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The Best Detergent for Hand Washing Clothes

Updated Dec 10, 2022
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After spending 35 hours on research, squooshing more than 40 fabric swatches through 22 different detergents, talking to two fabric and detergent experts, and petting and sniffing freshly washed wool until we almost had a contact high, we found that Soak is the best detergent for delicates. It’s more than good enough to unseat the old guard, Woolite, which requires rinsing, feels slimy, and costs much more per wash than our pick.

Soak, the best delicates detergent


The best delicates detergent
A no-rinse whiz kid, Soak gently cleans with a minimum of handling and has an all-purpose formula that’s ideal for hand washing all your delicate garments.
We recommend
Eucalan Fine Fabric Wash, a detergent for woolens only

Eucalan Fine Fabric Wash

A detergent for woolens only
This no-rinse detergent has lanolin, which softens and protects your wool and cashmere garments and smells great doing it.
Another good choice
Tide Plus Bleach Alternative HE Liquid, a budget all-purpose delicates detergent

Tide Plus Bleach Alternative HE Liquid

A budget all-purpose delicates detergent
A cleaning powerhouse but a gentle giant, this is a great alternative if you don’t want a no-rinse detergent or don’t have to wash wool or silk. It costs only pennies per hand-washing load.
Another good choice

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