Skip to Content


How to wash delicates

close-up of a hand holding a piece of clothing label

You may have already asked yourself what delicates actually are and how they are washed. We explain what you need to know so that you can enjoy your fine, delicate garments for a long time.

What are delicates?

Although you may not be able to answer this question yourself off the top of your head, you've certainly seen the symbol for delicates before. On the labels of most garments there are washing instructions, which usually show a washtub. If this tub is highlighted on the bottom with two horizontal lines, you are dealing with delicates. Simple!

Delicate laundry includes clothes with very finely made fabrics that require special care, such as dress pants, especially when it comes to washing, drying and picking a laundry detergent for delicates. This applies, for example, to silk, some types of wool, nylon fabrics or underwear. Garments that shrink quickly are considered delicates and therefore need a little more attention.

Washing delicates by hand

Some delicates do not tolerate being washed in a washing machine and must be washed by hand. Since the risk of damaging the garment in the machine is too great, you should definitely clean it by hand in this case. To do this, pour lukewarm water into a container and add a suitable laundry detergent for delicates. We recommend Persil® ProClean® Sensitive Skin. A mild detergent is best suited for this. Let the laundry soak for a good five minutes and carefully rub the stains with the soapy water. Then rinse the clothes with cold, clear water until no detergent residue remains.

ATC Logo

Sign-up now to take advantage of member exclusives!

As a member of Ask Team Clean, you get access to exclusive offers and the best cleaning tips.

Washing delicates in the machine

If a hand wash is not required, you can put delicates in the washing machine. However, these pieces of clothing require special treatment. Here the symbol for delicates will help you again. In the washtub shown on the label, you will also find an indication of the maximum temperature for washing your clothing. As a rule, delicates can be washed in cold or sometimes warm, but never hot. Always follow label instruction.

Many washing machines have their own program for delicates. This program uses more water and spins less. The clothes are washed more carefully. To do this, it's best to use a special detergent.

It's also best to avoid intense spin cycles when washing delicates as this can also damage the laundry. You can also use laundry bags for more protection. The preset delicate wash cycle already takes care of all the necessary steps. After washing, remove the clothes as soon as possible; otherwise they may start to smell unpleasant.

How do you dry delicates?

Some dryers offer a special program for delicates. You can then also use this for your delicate laundry items, as it works with little heat and is thus gentle on delicates. Otherwise, the best way to dry delicates is to air dry them. To do this, you should not wring out the pieces, but only gently pull them into shape, smoothing them out and then hanging them up.

Now that you have the details to clean those delicates, check out the rest of our helpful laundry tips. And be sure to register for Ask Team Clean in order to receive our latest content and our special offers.