Can You Wash Rayon In The Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Rayon In The Washing Machine

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Yes, rayon can be washed in the washing machine, but it is important to follow some precautions to avoid damaging the fabric.

Rayon, known for its softness and breathability, is a popular fabric choice for various types of clothing. However, when it comes to cleaning and maintenance, rayon requires a delicate touch. Can you wash rayon in the washing machine without ruining it? The answer is yes, but you need to take some careful steps to ensure your rayon garments remain in pristine condition.

In this article, we’ll provide you with the dos and don’ts of washing rayon in the washing machine and offer alternative washing methods for those who prefer extra caution.

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Rayon In The Washing Machine


  • Check the Care Label: Before tossing your rayon garment into the washing machine, always check the care label. Some rayon fabrics may not be suitable for machine washing and may require dry cleaning instead. Following the care label’s instructions is crucial to maintaining the fabric’s integrity.
  • Use Cold Water: Rayon is sensitive to temperature, so it’s best to use cold water for washing. Hot or warm water can cause the fibers to shrink and may damage the color.
  • Choose a Mild Detergent: Opt for a mild detergent. Harsh detergents can be abrasive to rayon fibers and cause them to break down over time.
  • Turn the Fabric Inside Out: To protect the color and finish of your rayon garment, turn it inside out before placing it in the washing machine. This simple step can prevent color fading, even if the item is colorfast.
  • Use a Mesh Bag: Placing your rayon item in a mesh laundry bag offers an extra layer of protection. The mesh bag minimizes friction with other garments and prevents any hooks or zippers from snagging your delicate fabric.
  • Choose the Delicate Cycle: When setting your washing machine, opt for the delicate or gentle cycle. This cycle has a lower spin speed, reducing the risk of stretching or misshaping the fabric.
  • Avoid Bleach and Stain Removers: Steer clear of chlorine-based bleach or stain removers, as they can cause permanent damage to rayon. Instead, use gentle stain-removing methods or consult a professional cleaner for tough stains.
  • Don’t Machine-Dry Rayon: One of the most critical dos is never machine-drying rayon. The high heat and agitation can harm the fabric, leading to shrinking, wrinkling, and loss of shape. Instead, hang or lay the garment flat to dry.
  • Use Non-Metal Hangers: When hanging rayon garments to dry, avoid metal hangers. They can leave rust stains on the fabric. Opt for non-metal hangers or use a drying rack to protect your clothing.


  • Avoid Hot Water: Hot water can cause rayon to shrink and lose its shape. Stick to cold water to prevent this.
  • Don’t Overcrowd the Machine: Avoid overloading your washing machine with too many rayon garments at once. This can lead to excessive friction and damage the fabric.
  • Skip the Spin Cycle: The spin cycle in your washing machine can be quite vigorous. Opt for a low spin setting to minimize the risk of stretching or misshaping the fabric.
  • No Chlorine-Based Products: Chlorine bleach and stain removers containing chlorine should never come in contact with rayon. They can cause irreversible damage.
  • Don’t Use Metal Hangers: As mentioned earlier, metal hangers can leave rust stains on your rayon garments. Play it safe with non-metal hangers or a drying rack.

Steps to Wash Rayon in the Washing Machine:

Step 1

Check the Care Label: Always start by reading the care label on your rayon garment. This will provide specific instructions for washing and care.

Step 2

Turn Inside Out: To protect the fabric’s color, turn the garment inside out.

Step 3

Place in a Mesh Bag: Put your rayon item in a mesh laundry bag to prevent snags and friction.

Step 4

Choose Cold Water: Select the cold water setting on your washing machine.

Step 5

Use a Mild Detergent: Add a mild detergent to the machine. Avoid using too much detergent as it can leave residues on the fabric.

Step 6

Delicate Cycle: Set your machine to the delicate or gentle cycle to minimize agitation.

Step 7

Low Spin: Opt for a low spin cycle to prevent excessive stretching or misshaping.

Step 8

Avoid Bleach and Stain Removers: Never use chlorine-based bleach or stain removers on rayon.

Step 9

Hang or Lay Flat to Dry: After washing, never machine-dry rayon. Instead, hang it or lay it flat to air dry. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can cause fading.

Step 10

Use Non-Metal Hangers: When hanging rayon items, use non-metal hangers or a drying rack.

Alternative Washing Methods for Rayon:

  • Hand Washing: For the utmost care, hand washing is an excellent option. Use cold water and a mild detergent. Gently agitate the water and avoid wringing or twisting the fabric. Rinse thoroughly and air dry as usual.
  • Dry Cleaning: If you’re unsure about washing your rayon item at home or if the care label recommends dry cleaning, take it to a professional cleaner. Dry cleaning ensures your garment receives the appropriate care.
  • Steam Cleaning: Steam cleaning is a gentle way to freshen up rayon items and remove wrinkles. Use a garment steamer following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Spot Cleaning: For small stains or spills, spot cleaning with a mixture of mild detergent and cold water can be effective. Blot the stain rather than rubbing it to avoid damaging the fabric.
  • Freezing: For delicate rayon items like scarves or shawls, you can freeze them to eliminate odors. Place the item in a sealable plastic bag and leave it in the freezer for a few hours. This can help refresh the fabric.


Can I use fabric softener when washing rayon?

Answer:  It’s best to avoid fabric softeners when washing rayon, as they can leave a residue that affects the fabric’s texture and breathability.

How can I prevent wrinkles in rayon clothing?

Answer:  To prevent wrinkles, hang your rayon garments immediately after washing. You can also use a garment steamer to remove wrinkles gently.

Can I iron rayon clothing?

Answer:  Yes, you can iron rayon, but do so on a low heat setting. Place a pressing cloth between the iron and the fabric to protect it from direct heat.

What if my rayon item doesn’t have a care label?

Answer:  If your rayon item lacks a care label, it’s advisable to err on the side of caution and hand wash or have it dry cleaned.

Is rayon shrink-resistant?

Answer:  Rayon is prone to shrinking when exposed to hot water or high heat. Always use cold water and avoid machine drying to maintain its size and shape.

Final Words:

Rayon is a beautiful and versatile fabric that can be cared for in your washing machine, provided you follow the right steps. By checking the care label, using cold water, mild detergents, and the delicate cycle, you can ensure your rayon garments stay in excellent condition. Remember to avoid bleach, machine-drying, and metal hangers to preserve the fabric’s softness and color.

When in doubt, opt for alternative methods like hand washing or dry cleaning to guarantee the longevity of your rayon items. With proper care, your rayon clothing can continue to look and feel fantastic for years to come.

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