Q: The care label on a sweater indicates it is hand washable. Can I wash it in a machine on a delicate cycle?
A: There is some risk involved in using any care process not recommended by the manufacturer. Handwashing involves manual removal of soils with water, detergent, and gentle squeezing action. A care label that calls for machine washing (in a delicate or gentle cycle) indicates the garment can be cleaned with water, detergent, soap, slow agitation, and reduced time in a washing machine.
Hand washing is a restrictive care process that minimizes the amount of abrasion a garment receives in cleaning. If hand-washable garments are machine washed in a gentle cycle, agitation may be reduced by putting the item in a net bag. Beware – even this procedure is in violation of the care label instruction, and places responsibility for damages on the launderer rather than the manufacturer.