Can You Wash Rubber Bands In The Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Rubber Bands In The Washing Machine

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No, it’s not recommended to wash rubber bands in a washing machine. While you can wash fabric resistance bands in a machine, rubber bands are more delicate and may not withstand agitation. Instead, opt for hand washing or wiping them down.

Rubber bands are versatile tools that find their way into various aspects of our daily lives, from bundling papers to securing hair and even as components in DIY projects. However, over time, these elastic wonders can accumulate dust, dirt, and grime, leading to the question: can you wash rubber bands in the washing machine?

In this article, we will explore this query in detail and provide you with the best methods to clean your rubber bands effectively.

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Rubber Bands In The Washing Machine


  • Check the Material: Not all rubber bands are created equal. Some may be more resilient than others. Check the material and quality of your rubber bands before attempting to clean them.
  • Use Mild Soap: If you choose to hand wash your rubber bands, opt for a mild dish soap. Harsh chemicals or detergents can degrade the rubber.
  • Test a Small Batch: If you’re uncertain about how your rubber bands will react to cleaning, start with a small batch as a test run. This way, you can gauge the results without risking your entire collection.
  • Dry Thoroughly: After cleaning, ensure your rubber bands are thoroughly dried before storing them. Moisture can lead to mold or deterioration over time.


  • Avoid Hot Water: Exposing rubber bands to hot water can cause them to lose their elasticity or even melt. Stick to lukewarm or cool water.
  • Skip the Washing Machine: While it’s possible to wash fabric resistance bands in a washing machine, this isn’t advisable for regular rubber bands. They are generally more delicate and may not withstand the agitation of a machine.
  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals: As mentioned earlier, harsh chemicals or strong detergents can damage rubber bands. Stick to mild soap when cleaning.
  • Don’t Overstretch: Be gentle when handling rubber bands. Overstretching them during cleaning can cause them to lose their shape or snap.

Steps To Wash Rubber Bands In The Washing Machine:

As mentioned previously, it’s generally not recommended to wash regular rubber bands in a washing machine due to their delicate nature. However, if you are specifically dealing with fabric resistance bands, you can follow these steps to clean them in a washing machine:

Step 1

Gather Your Bands: Collect all the fabric resistance bands that need cleaning. Ensure there are no sharp objects or items with Velcro that could potentially damage the bands in the machine.

Step 2

Place in a Laundry Bag: To protect the bands from getting tangled or damaged in the washing machine, place them in a laundry bag or pillowcase and tie them securely.

Step 3

Use a Gentle Cycle: Select a gentle or delicate cycle on your washing machine. Use cold or lukewarm water to avoid any heat damage.

Step 4

Minimal Detergent: Use a minimal amount of mild detergent to avoid residue buildup on the bands. Alternatively, you can skip the detergent and rely on the agitation of the machine and water for cleaning.

Step 5

Dry Carefully: After washing, remove the bands from the laundry bag and allow them to air dry. Avoid using a dryer, as heat can damage the bands.

Alternative Washing Methods For Rubber Bands:

Since regular rubber bands are not suitable for machine washing, consider these alternative methods to clean and maintain them:

  • Hand Washing: Fill a basin with lukewarm water and add a few drops of mild dish soap. Gently agitate the water and immerse the rubber bands. Use your fingers to rub them clean, paying attention to any areas with stubborn dirt. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and allow them to air dry.
  • Wipe Down: For quick and efficient cleaning, wipe the rubber bands with a damp cloth or towel. This method works well for surface dirt and doesn’t require any soaking or drying time.
  • Soak and Rinse: If your rubber bands are particularly dirty, you can soak them in a mixture of water and mild soap for a short period. After soaking, rinse them thoroughly and allow them to air dry.
  • Rubber Band Cleaner: Some specialized rubber band cleaners are available on the market. These products are designed to clean and restore rubber bands. Follow the instructions provided by the cleaner for the best results.


Can I use bleach to clean rubber bands?

Answer: No, it’s not advisable to use bleach on rubber bands. Bleach is a harsh chemical that can damage the rubber and lead to deterioration.

Can I use a washing machine for fabric resistance bands made of rubber?

Answer: Yes, you can use a washing machine for fabric resistance bands, as they are designed to withstand machine washing. Follow the steps mentioned earlier to clean them safely.

How often should I clean my rubber bands?

Answer: The frequency of cleaning depends on how often you use them and the environment they are exposed to. As a general rule, clean them when you notice dirt or grime buildup.

Can I use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process?

Answer: It’s best to avoid using a hairdryer, as the heat can damage the rubber. Allow your rubber bands to air dry naturally.

What should I do if my rubber bands lose their elasticity?

Answer: If your rubber bands lose their elasticity over time, there’s no way to restore them to their original state. Consider replacing them with new ones.

Final Words:

In conclusion, while you can wash fabric resistance bands made of rubber in a washing machine, it’s important to be cautious when it comes to regular rubber bands. Due to their delicate nature, it’s best to hand wash them using mild dish soap and water or simply wipe them down with a damp cloth or towel. By following these guidelines and avoiding harsh chemicals or excessive heat, you can keep your rubber bands clean and in good condition for various practical uses.

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