Did you forget to restock your Woolite? Here’s what to use on your fine washables—it’s cheaper and works just as well, and there’s a good chance you have both items on hand.

You can wash washable silk with shampoo. But make sure its first ingredient is water, not oil. Add about a capful to a basin of tepid water, and swish the silk item around for a few minutes. In another sinkful or basin of rinse water, add a capful of hair conditioner to soften your silk. Don’t soak or wring out. Instead, drip-dry out of the direct sunlight. See Texere Silk for more.

You can do the same with other fine washables (lace, knitwear, etc.), except feel free to soak the item for a good 10 minutes. Then gently rinse the garment (adding your favorite, fragrant hair conditioner to the rinse water, if you’d like) and drip-dry.

Think about it…the amino acids in shampoo and hair conditioner make hair clean and soft, so they should make your delicate garments clean and soft as well.

Thanks to LifeHacker.com for help with this tip.

More help with your laundry…