Hand-washing clothing may seem like a time-consuming chore, but for some types of clothing, it’s necessary. Many garments today use rayon fiber to give them stretch. And when rayon becomes wet, it weakens and can lose up to 50 percent of its elasticity. When a rayon garment is put through a washing machine, it can overstretch and essentially destroy the item. By hand-washing it, you help prevent that type of destruction.