Useful Tips

Delicate fabrics and their care: a review of fabrics, washing and ironing tips


Delicate washing is a gentle cleansing of things from dirt at low drum speeds and at low temperatures. The mode is intended for thin and stretchable material, which is easily damaged during the operation of the machine, and especially during the spin cycle. If you run the standard program, capricious things can lose their shape and volume. The bright colors will fade, spools and puffs will appear on the clothes.

Delicate fabrics are materials made from “brittle” fiber that require special care. It must be handled with care, otherwise the formation of skew, tearing of threads or shrinkage of the product is possible.

Delicate fabrics include natural silk and satin, fine wool, cambric, chiffon, lace. Some manufacturers indicate that artificial fibers should be washed in a special mode - organza, polyester, viscose, elastane. It requires careful handling of cashmere, knitwear, microfiber clothes, as well as products from some new generation fabrics.

To determine in which mode you want to wash your favorite thing, pay attention to the shortcut. It indicates the maximum temperature of the water at which the fibers of the canvas will not lose their original appearance. If a hand wash is indicated, most likely the item is made of a capricious material that can easily be ruined.

How does gentle washing go?

The delicate washing mode implies the following nuances.

  • Stain washing occurs at low speeds - the drum of the washing machine spins slower than usual.
  • When using the program, more water is consumed: this is necessary in order to protect the fabric from mechanical damage and friction.
  • Cleaning of things is carried out at a low temperature, usually it is in the range of 30-40 degrees.
  • Spin is carried out at low speeds - 400-600, maximum - 800 revolutions, and in some models this function is disabled. You will have to manually squeeze the clothes.
  • The program has a shorter duration, the time for washing things is reduced to 1-1.5 hours.

In some washing machines, instead of the delicate washing mode, other programs are indicated - “wool”, “silk”, “hand wash”. Variations may be different, so read the instructions for the device. In it, the manufacturer must indicate which of the available functions is suitable for certain materials.

What products are recommended?

Delicate washing in the washing machine is used to remove stains from capricious things that can deteriorate during the spin cycle in the drum and when exposed to hot water.

If your item has lace inserts, is decorated with ruffles, rhinestones, lots of buttons, wash it only with a delicate wash program. You should not take risks with expensive things, a careful regimen will help to extend their service life.

If the clothes are made of canvases of different textures and contrasting colors, have bumps and reliefs, or can fade from hot water, she also needs gentle care.

How to configure delicate mode yourself?

If your washing machine does not have a designated function, it can be set manually. The resource recommends doing this as follows:

  • set the temperature to 30 degrees,
  • choose the shortest program or express mode,
  • program the machine for an additional rinse,
  • set the spin to the minimum number of revolutions or completely disable this function.

How long does it take to wash clothes? Usually a special program ends in 1.2-1.5 hours.

Different manufacturers in their own way designate a delicate washing regime. In some cases, it is painted on the panel in the form of a basin with water, in others it is indicated as a temperature of 30 °.

What mode can I use if the functionality of your washing machine is not designed for delicate things? Suitable programs for washing wool, silk, thin cloths. On the panel, they can be drawn in the form of a skein of wool, a silkworm butterfly, an image of a hand or a flower.

How to prepare things?

To avoid unpleasant surprises during the laundering process, please note the following recommendations.

  1. First, sort the laundry into white and color.
  2. If the item is very dirty, pre-soak it with a stain remover in a separate container.
  3. Use liquid detergents and special conditioners for delicate washing.
  4. If clothes need bleaching, buy chlorine-free household chemicals.
  5. Load items into the drum in mesh bags or cases.
  6. Take out laundry immediately after the program ends.
  7. If the fabric can stretch during the drying process, lay it on a flat, horizontal surface.

Some washing machines have an ECO program that produces a lot of small bubbles. They thoroughly dissolve the detergent and help it get to the deep layers of the fabric. Use this mode for products made of thin material. The great advantage of the ECO program is the significant savings in the consumption of water, detergent and electricity.

Rules for demanding materials

What fabric needs special care, you already have an idea. Here are ways to remove stains from delicate things.

  • Wool and knitwear is better not to wash, but to use dry cleaning. Wool is able to absorb moisture well, which leads to a change in the shape of the product. If it is not possible to visit dry cleaning, choose a special program for washing with plentiful rinsing and a temperature of no more than 40 °. Dry wool fabrics on a terry towel in a horizontal position.
  • Natural silk. For all its aesthetic and hygienic qualities, the material is rather moody. It is better to wash such a product manually, you can also use the delicate wash mode without spin. It is necessary to rinse things in cool water, not unscrewing, but gently squeezing from moisture. Stains from natural silk cloth are difficult to remove, so it is not recommended to postpone the process of their removal for a long time.
  • Viscose. Products made of artificial material are washed in the same conditions as natural silk fiber. Delicate cleansing from stains is carried out in a machine at a temperature of up to 40 degrees, viscose is allowed to dry in the open air.
  • Cupra is an expensive fabric with copper fiber in its composition. What washing will ensure the long existence of a thing? This requires minimal contact with water and washing at a temperature of no more than 40 degrees. Dry things, having turned inside out.
  • Microfiber. It is not recommended to use fabric softener for this material, since the fabric has high absorbent properties. The washing is carried out at a temperature of 40-60 degrees.

After cleansing delicate items, just as gentle ironing is necessary. Turn the clothing inside out and lay a damp cloth on top. If possible, use the steaming function.

What other recommendations should be considered? Fill the drum to 2/3 of the volume, manufacturers are not advised to drive the machine to the top.

To summarize. Wash capricious things preferably at low temperatures, turning off the spin function. Be sure to use special bags to mechanically protect the capricious material. It is better to rinse clothes in a manual way: this way you will preserve the appearance of clothes for a long time.

What fabrics are delicate

When buying any product, you need to look at the markings. The manufacturer indicates the composition of the material, acceptable methods of care for it.

Fabrics require special attention:

  • from natural fibers of wool, silk,
  • artificial and synthetic materials - organza, viscose, polyester, lycra, elastane, modal, microfiber, etc.

Carefully handle any knitwear lace, many heaters. It so happens that sometimes the label is missing. It should not be, but it happens.

It’s always good to remember that products

  • complex style
  • with many reliefs
  • with decorative details,
  • brightly painted

need to be cleaned or washed very carefully, in a delicate mode.

Features for the care of delicate materials

Let us consider in more detail the rules for caring for the most common materials that require careful treatment.

Woolen products are ideally best cleaned by dry cleaning professionals.

  • If you decide to wash the wool at home, then you should take a mild detergent diluted in a large volume of water. A shampoo for hair is good. The structure of hair is similar to wool. Water should have your body temperature. Check the water by immersing your hands, as when bathing babies. The difference should not be felt. Strongly rub, then wring out, twist the thing is not necessary. Allow water to drain spontaneously in the sink. Then gently dry the product with a towel. Lay on another dry towel. Wait for it to dry. If the product is thick, after a few hours the thing can be gently turned over, change the towel.
  • It is recommended to iron wool products from the inside out. This recommendation is not always easy to implement. It is possible to iron wool products from the front side through a thin cotton cloth or gauze. The iron must be constantly moved over the surface, not lingering in one place, to avoid overheating of the fabric.

Silk fabrics are also best cleaned.

If circumstances force you to wash silk at home, then you need to take water even cooler than for wool. Water temperature should not be higher than 30 ° С. You can wash it only with your hands, without wringing, without twisting. Rinse in a large volume of cold water.

Silk easily adsorbs dirt. Spots may appear on it, which you need to immediately get rid of. After washing, products made of natural silk can be rinsed in acidified water (1 tablespoon of vinegar per 1 liter of water). They will shine from this, look brighter.

Caring for natural silk is a painstaking task. The beauty of the material justifies the efforts to care for it.

Ironing silk should be in a wet state, preferably on the wrong side. If the product needs to be ironed on the front side, then it is better to do this through a thin cotton cloth.

Viscose is sometimes called rayon. The comparison is justified. Viscose must also be looked after like silk.

  • Wash in warm water without wringing strongly. Dry by hanging or unfolding in an open space.
  • Ironing products from viscose should be on the back side with a not very hot iron. It is necessary to set the heating temperature of the iron the same as for natural silk.

Organza products require respect.

  • Organza can be machine washed using the delicate mode of operation. The water temperature should not exceed 40 ° C. After washing, the organza can be slightly squeezed, straightened and gently hung.
  • Organza products should be ironed from the wrong side through paper or a thin cotton cloth.

Particular attention is required to care for lace. The beauty of the picture will be preserved with a careful attitude.

Lace items can only be washed in cool water. First soak and leave the lace in a diluted solution of a mild detergent. After a couple of hours, change the solution. After being kept in a washing solution, the lace can be slightly stretched in whipped foam. Then the product must be rinsed in cool water, changing the water 2-3 times.

Lace made of embossed threads. A large number of detergents can be adsorbed on them. Therefore, rinse thoroughly. It is not necessary to twist the products out of lace. After spontaneous draining of water, the thing must be carefully laid out on a horizontal surface for complete drying.

Lace should be well straightened. Having dried in a shriveled state, it will lose its exquisite appearance. Before washing, small lace items can be swept onto a thin white fabric.

Ironing lace should be through a thin fabric, folded in several layers.

Fleecy tissue

Careful care requires fleecy tissue.

  • Velvet is better to dry clean. Cleaning velvet at home is very difficult. There is no guarantee that after deep cleaning at home it will retain its pristine beauty. At home, you can only slightly brush velvet items. Synthetic velvet fabric at home can be washed in the usual synthetic mode.
  • Velveteen and plush can be cleaned at home with a sponge in soapy foam, spreading the product on an inclined surface. Wash off the washing solution with a damp sponge.
  • It is better to iron fleecy fabrics (velveteen, plush) by weight, touching the surface of a vertically standing iron with a cloth. Velvet recovers well when steaming. You can lay the velvet fabric on a soft surface, such as blankets. Then fix the fabric on it. Top with a dry, then damp cotton cloth. Leave overnight at room temperature. In the morning, after moistening the cotton fiber with moisture and drying, the velvet fabric will be perfectly ironed.

Synthetic fabrics, regardless of the manufacturing method, require common approaches.

  • The structure of polymer fibers changes at temperatures above 60 ° C. Hot water can ruin such a fabric.
  • When washing in a moderate mode with heating the solution no more than 40 ° C, you can achieve a good result. Strongly squeeze synthetic products should not be. Gentle extraction, drying at room temperature will retain the appearance of synthetic fabrics.
  • You do not need to iron some synthetic products at all. Drying on the shoulders is enough. Other things can be ironed at a temperature not exceeding 100-130 ° C. If there is no indication on the label, it is best to start with a minimum temperature. Then you can increase it if necessary, observing the material.

General guidelines for the care of delicate fabrics

In any case, fabrics requiring a special treatment should be dry cleaned. Costs will be justified by the result.

  • In no case do you need to follow the advice of craftsmen recommending cleaning with gasoline and other organic solvents. Material from natural wool, synthetics is prone to accumulate static electricity. At the slightest spark of gasoline, organic solvents can ignite. Risk does not justify the result.
  • Many organic solvents are also toxic. Sometimes trichloromethane, offered as a cleaning agent, is generally an anesthetic. Some sources recommend the use of toxic organic substances for cleaning products. It is good that the bulk of consumers will not find these reagents on sale.
  • If it is not possible to hand over a product from a delicate fabric to a dry-cleaner, it can be washed at home. Wash better with your hands. If you decide to wash in a typewriter, you should purchase a special bag with a zipper. They are on sale. The presence of such a bag at home will repeatedly help you gently wash products from delicate fabrics.
  • For drying, it is convenient to use dryers with special horizontal devices from the grid. Any product laid out on a mesh basis will dry faster than on a regular table, since water evaporates on both sides.

Prudent handling, correct cleaning methods, washing delicate fabrics will help to keep the product attractive.

Washing delicate things - general recommendations

  • Before washing, delicate linen should be sorted by type of fabric, color and degree of contamination. The following materials should not be mixed: white and colored, thin and dense, natural and synthetics. It is best to sort by the above categories, except for silk, wool, fleecy fabrics, knitwear and decorated items - they are washed separately.
  • Before washing clothes, turn inside out, fasten buttons, zippers and hooks. Be sure to carefully study the labels, there is all the necessary information on handling linen, for example, some products are not washable at all, but only dry cleaned.
  • Any washing of delicate items should be carried out at a temperature of no more than 40 ° C. In this case, it is advisable to use liquid detergents on a plant basis, without aggressive components, and designed strictly for certain types of fabric.
  • Delicate textiles do not like prolonged soaking, and categorically does not tolerate physical impact. It is necessary to wash and rinse it gently and carefully, you must not make efforts, rub, twist and squeeze. Rinse the "finicky" material should be very carefully, until clear water.
  • Dry “capricious” clothes in a natural way, away from direct sunlight and drafts. So that knitwear and woolen products do not stretch, and the lace does not lose shape, it is better to dry them on a horizontal flat surface. You can previously get rid of excess water by wetting things with a bath towel.

Hand wash delicate items

Machine wash delicate items.

Если на бирке одежды указано, что изделие подлежит только ручной стирке («handwash»), то здесь все понятно, выполняя рекомендации выше, можно легко справиться с этим процессом. Хотя сейчас совсем не обязательно тратить время и силы на стирку вручную даже самых деликатных вещей. Modern washing machines are so multifunctional and equipped with the “latest technology” that they can easily cope with any type of washing all kinds of products, except for those that are prescribed exclusively dry cleaning. Moreover, in many washing machines, even the “hand wash” mode is specially provided, it can replace the “delicate wash” program or go with it in the kit. It is worth considering in more detail what modes there are for delicate things of various popular brands of washing machines, as well as what is included in these programs.

Machine wash delicate

Features of the Delicate Wash program

Washing delicate things in this mode, as well as other similar ones: “hand wash”, “wool”, “silk”, “thin fabrics”, is performed taking into account the following parameters:

  • washing temperature is 30 ° C – 40 ° C - in order to prevent staining, loss of shape and color,
  • much more water is drawn into the washing tank than in other modes, while the rotation of the drum is as soft and smooth as possible - in order to thoroughly rinse the laundry from detergents, and prevent physical impact on the material,
  • drying and spinning are not performed - although in exceptional cases spinning is possible at the very minimum speed.

Washing delicate items in different brands of technology

There are three modes to choose from in the “washers” of this brand: “Delicate” (icon in the form of a feather), “Hand wash” (basin with hand), “Wool” (ball). They differ slightly in parameters: delicate mode - washing lasts longer than others (for 30 minutes), there is a spin at low speeds, manual - with pre-soaking, no spin, wool - the most accurate washing, drum speed 36 rpm, temperature 30 ° C – 40 ° C, no spin or up to 800 rpm. The washing characteristics inherent in each program are approximately the same in all brands of machines, the technique differs only in the presence or absence of a certain mode, as well as in the type of icon (symbol).

Icons of delicate modes in the early models of “washing machines” Ariston

In older models, similar programs: Wool, Hand Wash, and Delicate Fabrics. In the new Hotpoint-Ariston modifications, the manufacturers left only two specialized modes: “Wool” and “Silk / Curtains”. Silk is the most gentle program in all washing machines, there is no spin here, and the temperature is 30 ° C.

Hotpoint-Ariston Latest Modifications Panel

There are two pieces of each program that differ in temperature: “Delicate fabrics” (flower), “Wool” (ball of thread), “Hand wash” (hand in the basin).

Delicate programs in a Zanussi washing machine

The programs in these machines are numbered and decoded (registered) on the powder tray, which is very convenient. The brand’s delicate items are washed with just two special modes: “Wool” and “Silk”.

Indesit Modes

All washing machines of this brand have almost the same set of programs, divided into sectors with a choice of temperature. For "capricious" products, the modes are provided: "Thin linen / silk" and "Wool".

BOSCH Programs


For this manufacturer, it all depends on the modification of the “washer”. Some models come with a large number of different characters without decoding, which can be confused, because there are only five delicate modes: “Thin fabrics” (flower), “Hand wash” (basin with hand), “Wool” (ball of thread), “Silk” (butterfly), “Sport” (gym shoes). In other versions, for user convenience, there are signatures next to the icons. By the way, the Sport program, which not only this brand has, is ideal for washing modern synthetic materials: microfiber, fleece, and membrane fabric.

Electrolux Signature Badges

There is no delicate mode in washing equipment

If the washing machine does not have a program with the name “Delicate Wash”, then you can try using any similar mode, as can be seen from the description above, the units have them in other different variations, and in principle have similar washing parameters. But first, you must necessarily study the instructions for this device and the label on the clothes, in order to be sure that the characteristics of the washing mode are consistent with the requirements of the manufacturer of the laundry. In the case when there are no programs at all in the machine, and the modes are set manually, it is best to proceed according to the following algorithm:

  • temperature - 30 ° C – 40 ° C,
  • spin - not more than 800 rpm., and preferably without it at all,
  • drying - do not include,
  • wash clothes in specialized mesh bags for clothes.

Temperature and rpm for delicate washing

Washing delicate things - high technology

Thanks to the latest technology, manufacturers are constantly improving their washing equipment. This significantly affects not only the economy, ergonomics and versatility of the machines, but also the quality of the wash that they perform. In the modern world of washing equipment, innovative implementations appear every day, making devices more and more functional. Many well-known brands offer interesting innovations, with which washing delicate items becomes several times better and more careful than in ordinary cars. Knowing about these opportunities may help in the future, choosing the right washing technique for yourself.

Eco bubble

With this mode, delicate laundry is not washed with detergent, but with saturated foam, which is formed thanks to a special generator that mixes water and washing powder with air bubbles. This makes it possible to wash heavily soiled things even in cold water. There is such an innovation in Samsung machines.

Foam wash

True steam

Here clothes are generally washed or steamed, which is an excellent solution for “finicky” fabrics. The technology is used in LG units, but not only, Electrolux and Miele also have similar options.

Korean LG offers another interesting idea, perfect for "moody" underwear. The bottom line is 5 additional modes of rotation of the drum, where you can choose, for example, rocking, smoothing or saturation.

Miele Cellular Drums

Delicate wash cycle - what is it?

We are surrounded by many beautiful things that need careful and attentive care. Lace, silk, satin, chiffon, organza and many other fabrics can be found in our wardrobes or in home decoration. But there is a great danger of spoiling such a “fragile” thing if it is not handled properly. Most often, such fabrics deteriorate during washing - if the wrong mode of the washing machine is selected.

Modern household appliances and washing machines are no exception; they are prudently equipped with different operating modes. And in the vast majority of washers there is a delicate washing mode. It can be called in different ways - gentle washing, hand, for silk, for wool. Delicate mode is: careful care of your things. This washing mode has several characteristics:

  1. Items are washed in large quantities of water. Thus, the mechanical effect on the structure of a thing is minimized.
  2. Strictly observed temperature conditions - 30 °. Sometimes, a washing machine can heat water up to 40 °, but this is the limit.
  3. As a rule, this is a fairly fast mode - the longer the delicate thing stays in the water - the higher the likelihood of deformation.
  4. During delicate washing, the drum rotates more smoothly and slowly than in normal modes.
  5. Spinning things occurs at minimum speeds - from 400 to 700. Sometimes there is no spin at all.
  6. The washing does not dry and does not iron in the washing machine, even if such capabilities are provided by the manufacturer.

See also - The use of liquid powder in the washing machine: how, where and how much to pour

Delicate wash: for what things is needed?

Some natural and synthetic fabrics need gentle care. Silk, wool, guipure, satin, viscose, polyester, cashmere, organza, lycra, elastane - all these fabrics can stretch, shed or even tear during washing. Therefore, they should be washed only in delicate conditions.

Also, a delicate mode is prescribed for things of bright colors or with color inserts. A complex style, the presence of many accessories or a combination of different fabrics or contrasting colors are also indicators for the use of delicate washing.

How is the delicate wash mode indicated?

On the washers of different manufacturers, the modes are indicated differently. Some simply sign their modes, indicate the category of fabric - cotton, synthetics, wool / silk and the temperature at which things are washed. Sometimes, special symbols or pictograms are used to indicate a particular mode.

As we recall, delicate washing is 30 ° and a large amount of water. Mean icon delicate washing - a stylized image of a basin with water, sometimes with an indication of temperature and one or two horizontal lines below the "bottom" of the container. It is these stripes that indicate that a lot of water will be used.

Sometimes, on the dashboard of the washer, you can also find another designation of the delicate regime - the same basin with the image of a hand, a feather, a flower, a silkworm butterfly or a skein of yarn. The last two pictures mark washing silk and wool, respectively.

Nuances that are important to know

Surely, you are interested in the question - which should the washing conditions be followed so that the delicate mode erases truly delicately, but efficiently? There are few rules:

  • separate color from light
  • for washing it is better to use a specialized liquid detergent and a small amount of softener,
  • pre-soak heavily with stain remover for delicate fabrics,
  • refrain from pre-soaking,
  • some items, such as underwear, should only be loaded into the washer in special covers or bags,
  • do not leave things in the machine after washing,
  • some things that are prone to stretching, it is better not to hang, but to lay out to dry.

How to configure delicate mode yourself?

If suddenly this mode is not provided on your device, don’t worry, we will teach you to change the washing parameters to take care of delicate things.

  1. Choose one of the short modes. What is the optimal time? About 40 minutes.
  2. Set the temperature to 30-40 °, not more.
  3. You can program a double rinse.
  4. Adjust the spin speed. 800 is the highest limit. But sometimes, you should use the drain without spin - for this, read the information on the tags of your things.
  5. Turn off the drying and ironing of things, if these functions are provided in your machine.

Some modern Samsung washing machines (WW5000 and WW60K series) have the Eco Bubble feature. During washing, air bubbles are produced that help dissolve the granules of the washing substance and convey them to the very fibers of the fabric. During this process, even the most delicate and elegant items remain safe and sound, but at the same time they wash off very effectively. Such delicate washing in a washing machine yields an amazing result, and also saves washing liquid, water and electricity.

To summarize

The delicate regime has a gentle effect on the shape and color of the thing. The washing temperature is reduced, and duration - is minimal. During such washing, your silk or wool products, lace and some synthetic fabrics do not deform - they will not sit or stretch, they will not lose color and, at the same time, they will be cleaned effectively. The advantages of a delicate machine mode before hand washing are mass. This saves time and effort, and the absence of increased friction, rinsing in a large amount of water and accurate squeezing.

It is worth entrusting your belongings to the delicate regime in the washing machine of a trusted manufacturer. Then an excellent result and clean things are provided for you!

Honeycomb and Teardrop Drums

The Miele brand produces ideal washing machines for delicate things with honeycomb drums, their surface is like a honeycomb, which provides a thin film between the walls and the laundry, and, accordingly, a super gentle wash. And Bosch began to manufacture aggregates with drums having asymmetrical teardrop-shaped protrusions, the flat side of which erases delicate clothes, wool, silk and other “delicate” products as accurately as possible.

Drops on Bosch Drum

Washing delicate items is absolutely not a complicated process, especially coupled with high-quality equipment. Modern washing machines can help to cope with this task as soon as possible with a minimum investment of effort. The main thing is to follow the basic recommendations, to know the principles of the delicate washing modes, carefully read the labels on the clothes, following the information received, as well as understand the icons indicated on the washing machines, and carefully study the instructions for the units.