Here, we present to you an interesting and timeless discussion of handwashing clothes (should I hand wash?) versus machine washing clothes. Which is better? Let’s take a peek:
|S/N||Consideration Factors||Hand Wash||Machine Wash|
|1||Speed / Time Taken||Slower (Unless <5 pieces)||Faster (Unless <5 pieces)|
|2||Health Consideration||May damage your hands||Practically no risk if you use the machine properly|
|3||Costs (Long Run)||May add up to be more||Economical|
|4||Drying Ability||Have to manually wring +/- hang up to dry||Increasingly has spin functions and built-in dryer ability|
|5||Costs (Short Run)||Cheaper||Expensive|
|6||Clothing Suitability||All Types||Limited Types|
|7||Clothing Protection||Can be done well with the right techniques||Higher risks to damage or stains to clothings|
|8||Extent of Cleaning||Can be done more extensively and deeper||Limited options|
|9||Overall Cleanliness||Depends on method, skills, clothing type and quantity, and logistics.||Depends on method, skills, clothing type and quantity, and logistics.|
|11||Knowledge/Skills Required||Skill and Experience Based||Knowledge Based|
The table above showcasing 11 factors to consider between machine wash and hand wash will definitely help you make the right decision for your clothes!
But first, let us dive into a deeper discussion.
Hand Wash Is Better Than Machine Wash
When should I hand wash clothes instead of washing them in the machine? This is a good question! In actual fact, there is no easy answer. There are many variables to consider when deciding between hand wash or machine wash.
To start off, back in the days where a washing machine was not yet invented, all clothes are simply washed by hand!
Therefore, a straightforward and ideal answer would be that all clothes should be hand washed, unless they are safe for machine-wash. Whether a clothing can be machine-washed, is indicated by certain symbols on the clothing label.
Here is a link to differentiate and understand the different symbols!
Additionally, to help you understand which clothes should be hand washed, you should understand that the machine wash is designed for certain types of clothes only. Therefore, a washing machine often provides a slew of settings you can choose from. Such settings include: “Cotton”, “Synthetic” or “Delicate / Baby Wear”. Hence, besides ensuring the clothing label is washing machine safe, you should also use the correct washer settings!
Thinking back, it seems that the question is wrongly phrased. The question should instead be, “when should I machine wash clothes, instead of hand washing them”?
Are you convinced yet? Read on if you are not.
Machine Wash Is Better Than Hand Wash
Do not be mistaken. Actually, it is perfectly understandable why one would ask the question in the way you have asked.
Simply put, in today’s day and age, convenience and efficiency is one of the top priorities in doing household chores. It is thus no surprise, that many new homeowners would prefer to make an assumption that ALL clothes should or can be machine washed, with only some exceptions.
Furthermore, with technological advances, electricity and water supplies are getting more and more readily accessible for every household. In fact, even property developers (eg. HDB) always think about providing a dedicated space for a washing machine when building or renovating your home!
On top of that, clothing companies and businesses innovating the washing machine fully understand the modern mindset of today’s homeowners. With the advent of better, faster, and more comprehensive settings in washing machines, the number of clothes that can be machine washed is almost infinite. Some even have built-in drying functions! Coupled with more clothing designs and material usage that are purposely created to be “washing machine” friendly, it is no wonder that households in our new millennium are simply addicted to tossing everything (almost) to the clothes washer!
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Exceptions: Clothes That Need To Be Hand Washed
Going by this train of thought, then yes, increasingly, almost all clothes can be machine washed. All but some exceptions, which even your best or latest expensive washer may risk spoiling it after a single wash! Here are the exceptions:
- Delicate Lingerie and Bras
- Hosiery / Pantyhose
- Silk Clothings (Note: Brightly Colored Silk Garments may only be suitable for dry cleaning)
- Wool or Cashmere Clothings (Eg. Wool Sweaters)
- Baby Clothings
- Hats and Caps
Can I still use the washing machine for clothes that need to be hand washed?
Yet, there are 3 common counter-arguments. One – what if my washing machine has a “hand wash” or “delicate” function? Two – I have dumped this into the washer before, and it turned out fine anyway, so your guide is flawed! Three – I really have no time and/or do not know how to hand wash. How now, brown cow?
Can I Skip Hand Washing By Using the Delicate Function On The Washer?
First, kudos to you! You can possibly use that function. MEIDE would, however, recommend some 5 pieces of advice before washing, if you really choose to do that:
- Put the clothing in a secure laundry net, preferably one with the right structure (eg. you can buy specialised bra laundry nets from Daiso or Japan Home at budget prices!) and size.
- Remove accessories including detachable buttons, clips, bra wires, sponges and the like.
- Follow the detailed instructions and recommended weight load of the washer.
- Fill the washer drum with sufficient clothes of the same color and material. This will help prevent damage from the spinning drum, or discoloration other clothes.
- Avoid using the spin or dry function via the machine. You will still have to manually squeeze and hang dry.
I have tried once and the clothes are fine, so can I machine wash it all the time?
Secondly, yes you are right. There are caveats indeed. As mentioned, that is precisely this article was written – to discuss and lay out all the possible scenarios and facts! Thus, if you got lucky one time round, be grateful that your garment did not turn out warped or discolored! There are certain delicate items that would be destroyed instantly with one mistake by putting it in the washer. However, there are many other clothes that are not suitable, but would not spoil immediately after being machine washed. Instead, they would wear out more rapidly. Hence, our advice would still be to avoid conducting machine wash as much as possible.
What if I do not know how to hand wash, or lack the logistics?
Thirdly, this beats me too. What should you do if you do not know how to hand wash, or lack the logistics? Perhaps you could bet against the odds by still doing a machine wash, and reducing your risks by following our 5 pieces of advice above-mentioned. However, MEIDE would recommend that you do a crash course learning hand wash techniques from MEIDE, or engaging a professional / helper directly from us, if things have indeed come to this.
All in all, even though more and more people are relying and using the washing machine, it is worth noting that using a washing machine to wash your clothes versus hand washing your clothes does carry vast differences. Based on these differences, you will easily understand why the younger generation would simply toss clothing into the washer, whereas the elder ones would stick to handwashing. Indeed, a choice of whether to hand wash or not, is not merely dependent on the clothing material and type, extent of dirtiness, but also consideration of convenience, individual washing skills, and costs and logistical concerns! Check out our summary table of hand wash versus machine wash, weigh up your factors for consideration, and you will have a clear choice on how to wash your clothing.
|Consideration Factors||Hand Wash||Machine Wash|
|Speed / Time Taken||Slower (Unless <5 pieces)||Faster (Unless <5 pieces)|
|Health Consideration||May damage your hands||Practically no risk if you use the machine properly|
|Costs (Long Run)||May add up to be more||Economical|
|Drying Ability||Have to manually wring +/- hang up to dry||Increasingly has spin functions and built-in dryer ability|
|Costs (Short Run)||Cheaper||Expensive|
|Clothing Suitability||All Types||Limited Types|
|Clothing Protection||Can be done well with the right techniques||Higher risks to damage or stains to clothings|
|Extent of Cleaning||Can be done more extensively and deeper||Limited options|
|Overall Cleanliness||Depends on method, skills, clothing type and quantity, and logistics.||Depends on method, skills, clothing type and quantity, and logistics.|
|Knowledge/Skills Required||Skill and Experience Based||Knowledge Based|
Hopefully, with these 11 factors for consideration, you can choose hand wash over machine wash, or vice versa. The bolded text indicates a likely winning factor. Don’t say we never help you!
Have even more factors or ideas? Or, perhaps something we missed out? Do you have more questions? Contact us via WhatsApp button right here on our website, or at +65 8598 8579, or email firstname.lastname@example.org!
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