10 Steps To Wash Clothes In The Bathtub (Step-by-Step Guide)

Bathtub laundry skills will come in handy sooner or later. As with power outages and washing machine breakdowns, you need a backup plan for doing the laundry.

When a washing machine is not available, the next best thing is to hand wash your clothes in the bathtub. Does it make sense, though? Is it OK to wash clothes in the bathtub? Is there a chance it will damage the tub? In this article, we’ll discover.

how To Wash Clothes In The Bathtub

Yes, You Can Wash Clothes In The Bathtub

Yes, you can do your laundry in the bathtub. The bathtub is more practical than a sink because it can give plenty of warm or cold water faster and drains the dumped water more quickly. It also aids in catching drips while drying.

However, it is not recommended to wash a large quantity of clothing because it is water waste. It would also be difficult to rinse and drain with items clogging the drain if the tub was full.

For larger loads, use two buckets, one to agitate with detergent and the other to rinse. You can keep adding filthy garments after removing the previous one as long as it suds and the water does not become murky. To avoid transferring dark residue to the lighter clothes, start with the lighter ones first, then the dark ones.

Washing in the tub may be helpful for a half-dozen pieces of clothing. Still, anything more would be a complete load that you can take to a laundromat or a washing machine.

Procedures in Washing Clothes in the Bathtub

washing laundry in bathtub

There are several reasons why one opts to do laundry in the bathtub. You might do it for the environment by using human labor instead of electricity or maybe because you’re having financial difficulties.

It can also be because you’re traveling and need fresh clothes. Or it can be that the material needs to be hand washed to preserve the quality. Remember that different fabrics require different care, but washing them in the bathtub is one of the gentlest methods of keeping them clean.

Whatever the case may be, the following procedure is ideal for doing your laundry in the bathtub.

1# Clean your tub first

If you want to wash your clothes in the tub, make sure to clean them well before adding water and soap. You may not realize it, but the space around your shower is filthy and infested with germs.

Because cleaning an existing dirty tub by washing clothes in it negates the purpose of cleaning. To clean the tub, use an all-purpose cleaner and a large amount of warm water. If you need to safeguard your hands, consider using rubber gloves.


2# The next thing to do is read the label on the clothing

Always check the product’s label before using it. Washing by hand is OK if there is an image of a hand in a tub of water. Don’t wash anything that says “dry-clean only” on it. To clean it, you must take it to a dry cleaner. Colorfastness should be tested on a tiny piece of the garment before hand washing.

Some fabrics, such as silk, require special handling when being washed, so take extra care. To avoid irritating the infant’s delicate skin, wash baby garments separately from other clothing.

washing clothes in the tub


3# Sort your laundry

The fabric type and color of your laundry should be considered when sorting it! Avoid mixing your white clothes with your colorful ones because if your colored clothes begin to bleed, it might cause damage to your white garments.

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4# Ensure that the drain plug is functional

Always make sure that the drain is working fine to avoid water from leaking when you start washing. By checking beforehand, you can save the water and time you might have spent cleaning the mess in case of a leak.

washing clothes in bathtub


5# Set the appropriate water temperature

Water temperature must be set according to the type of cloth you will be washing. If it is not specified in the label, use lukewarm water to avoid destroying it.

how to wash your clothes in the bathtub


6# Add the detergent

Liquid detergent is advised when washing in the bathtub because it dissolves easily and has lesser residue than powdered ones.

how to wash clothes in the bathtub


7# Put your laundry in the bathtub

After adding the suitable detergent, you can now add your laundry in the tub and let them soak for ten minutes minimum. Soaking with soap and water helps remove the hard dirt that stocks into the cloth, making it easier to clean when you start hand washing them. It will also help in removing minor stains.

how to wash laundry in the bathtub


8# Start washing

After soaking for ten minutes, you can now start washing your hands by rubbing them against each other or getting into the bathtub and stomping it.

After soaking your garments for at least a few minutes, it’s time to give them a final push by rotating them around. Gently brush your clothes through the warm soapy water with moderate motions. If the dirt on an article of clothing is exceptionally obstinate, pressing the fabric together for a short time may help agitate it. To avoid harming the material, don’t overdo it.

Some say hopping in the tub and stomping on the dirty laundry is an additional alternative. But still, the best solution is to use a skin-friendly washing detergent. To totally flatten a place, stomp on it with both of your feet. If you have the energy, go for another 10 minutes.

how to wash clothes in a bathtub


9# Rinse with fresh water

It’s time to rinse your clothes after you’re satisfied that they’re clean and that all the dirt has been eliminated. To begin, remove the drain plug and drain the tub completely. Either re-insert the plug and replenish the tub. Use the faucet to rinse the clothes after the tub has been emptied completely.

Continue rinsing until you are confident that all of the soap has been taken from your clothing. To avoid skin irritation, make sure all your garments have been cleaned with water before hanging them up. While Instructables suggests stomping your clothes while rinsing, we don’t recommend it unless you’re using ordinary dish soap.

doing laundry in bathtub


10# Squeeze the water out of the clothing and dry them as soon as possible

Wash each item one by one until the water is no sudsier, then place them in a new container. Wringing out wet clothes before hanging them up to dry can reduce drying time in half.

On the other hand, delicate textiles should not be wrung or twisted due to the danger of damaging your garment. You should never wring out clothes that are made of delicate materials like silk.

We recommend squeezing fragile materials instead of twisting them. Even after pressing, a significant amount of water will be eliminated, resulting in a shorter drying time.

Hanging damp clothes up as soon as possible after washing prevents them from stinking up the whole house. If they go moldy, you’ll have to start the washing process all over.

Type of Detergent to Use in the Bathtub

  • Mild soap is the most effective for the majority of clothing items. EXCEPT in the case of silky, lacy, tweed, or delicate fabric.
  • No-rinse soap is perfect for silky and lacy clothes since it prevents the garments from being ruined by excessive rinsing.
  • A detergent containing lanolin – ideal for washing woolen and delicate knits to ensure that they remain soft and do not become damaged during the washing process.

Other Tips When Washing Clothes in the Tub

  • Pour the liquid soap into the water and thoroughly mix it with your hands. To avoid coming into direct contact with the soap, use rubber gloves.
  • If you run out of liquid detergent, you can use dishwashing liquid or powdered detergent as substituted if liquid detergent isn’t available. In either case, make sure the soap is thoroughly dissolved in the water before washing your clothes. This will help prevent soap stains on your clothes.
  • Using the bar soap provided by hotels is an option if you need to wash clothes while traveling and don’t have any laundry detergent with you. After letting the clothes soak for a few minutes, use the bar soap to scrub the dirtiest parts.

Is Bleach Safe to Use in the Bathtub?

how to clean clothes in bathtub

The disinfecting properties of bleach are undeniable, but improper application can result in discoloration or permanent damage to the bathtub’s surfaces.

Bleach is exceptionally corrosive. Thus it should only be with extra caution. When you use bleach in washing your clothes in the tub, make sure the restroom is well-ventilated to prevent inhaling the harmful fumes.

The use of bleach in the bathtub should be avoided in certain circumstances. Colored tiles and grout, or a tub painted in a color other than white, might cause the colors to fade irrevocably even when bleach solution is used at a low concentration.


Clothes that are washed in the bathtub will have the same output as clothes washed in the machine if you do it correctly. Use the bathtub to wash delicate materials that would be harmed in the washing machine instead.

Consider using the bathtub to wash your clothes if you ever experience a power outage and you have to wash. This simple practice saves you a lot of money when traveling and can be done in any location with a tub.

wash clothes in bathtub

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