Viscose Do’s and Don’ts: What Can You Use on Viscose?

Viscose is not the perfect fabric. There are a lot of do’s and don’ts that accompany this material that overshadow the benefits it brings. Then with its great versatility how you use Viscose depends on how it was manufactured.

One of the biggest don’ts when working with Viscose is to not wash it in a washing machine. This is a very delicate fabric and the twisting action in a washer damages the cloth very easily. The same goes for placing the fabric in the dryer.

To learn how to handle Viscose correctly, just continue to read our article. The Do’s may not outnumber the don’ts but you have to read on to find out. Viscose is not an easy fabric to work with even though it is the third most used fabric in the world.

Can You use Starch on Viscose?


It is possible to use spray starch on Viscose clothing and fabric. One use for the starch is to help keep the fabric still when you are sewing with it. Another use can be to keep collars and cuffs in place as well as give the outfit a little body.

The issue with using starch on Viscose is that you lose that flowy drape you like. If you are working on a craft project that involves little amounts of viscose you can use a liquid starch meant for ironing to hold it in place while you work on other parts f the project.

How you use starch on your clothing or fabrics is up to you. Just be careful that you do not over starch or you may ruin the look you are going for. The best use of starch is to control the Viscose when you are sewing.

Can You use Vanish on Viscose?

The best guess is that you can try to use Vanish on Viscose but you may not like the results you get. That stain remover does not seem to work on removing armpit stains when those stains appear on a Viscose blouse, etc. Your results may be different.

Another person tried to use Vanish on a Viscose rug when their dog relieved themselves on it. It was to no avail and the rug was rendered worthless. Keep in mind that Vanish is a liquid and Viscose does not respond that well to most liquids.

The best thing to do when you are not sure of what to do is to read the cleaning label attached to your clothes. Sometimes the best advice is when in doubt don’t do it. Viscose is a very vulnerable material and you take a great risk in using chemical stain removers since Viscose is made from a lot of chemicals.

Fabric Softener on Viscose


Usually, Viscose clothing is marked as dry clean only. That instruction implies that you should not use fabric softener when you wash your Viscose clothing. However, if you do use fabric softener you should dilute it so the chemicals inside that product to not harm the fabric or interact with the chemicals used to make the Viscose fabric.

The key here is to read your manufacturer’s cleaning instructions before assuming it is okay to use fabric softener when you wash your Viscose clothing items. One of the Dont’s that goes hand in hand with this advice is that it is not recommended to wash clothes made from Viscose material.

Hand washing is the preferred non-dry cleaning method. When you hand wash just be careful when ad how much fabric softener you use. If the label says do not use the product then do not use fabric softener.

If you want to soften Viscose material it may be best to make your own softener out of white vinegar and water. Just mix equal parts of both liquids in a spray bottle, then spray the mixture over the fabric and let it dry. Then wash away.

Can You use a Steamer on Viscose?

It is possible to use a steamer on Viscose made clothing but you should really be careful how much steam you use. Heat is not a friend to Viscose but sometimes it is necessary to use it to get tough creases out of those clothing items.

The goal is to relax those creases and wrinkles and get the fabric back into shape. With that said, you can also use the steam function on your iron if those wrinkles are not co-operating.

Keep the temperature to a low medium or what is called the silk setting and your iron should remove the toughest of creases when they get in your viscose clothing. Don’t over iron or over steam as Viscose is a delicate fabric and its fibers can weaken if too much moisture is applied to them.

Read the cleaning label to see if you get any more instruction on using steam.

Can You use Heat Transfer Vinyl on Viscose?


It may be possible but one attempt left a box where a heat press was used. It is not known if that mark is permanent or not. But you really should read the label before buying any HTV materials to stick on your Viscose made clothing and other items.

If the label says do not iron then you are risking damaging the clothing item if you apply heat and the HTV. Other issues to watch are your heat settings and the amount of time your iron or heat press stay on the clothing.

Some HTV decals can be applied at lower temperatures but not all of them can. You would have to read the instructions. Keep in mind that Viscose is heat sensitive so you do not want to set the iron or heat press too high.

As for the length of time pressing the HTV onto your Viscose shirt, etc. Play that by ear as too long may leave heat stains that may not come out. Another thing to remember is that Viscose is just another name for Rayon.

What is bad for Rayon will be bad for most Viscose fabrics.

The Advantages And Disadvantages of Viscose

To not confuse you a little clarification is needed about the name of the fabric. While some people use the term Viscose the American term is rayon. So when people are talking about Rayon they are talking about Viscose.

The risks and advantages of rayon will be present in Viscose since they are basically the same material.


- Inexpensive- Viscose was developed to replace silk and keep your costs down.

- Feels great- it is named fake silk because it feels like silk in some instances.

- Drapes well- the look of Viscose is one reason it is so popular.

- Breathes well- that is another reason why Viscose is so popular, it helps keep your body cool on a hot day.

- Great blend partner- Viscose is very flexible in that it blends very well with other fabrics especially when they are woven together.

- Easy to dye- that is if the color you want to change isn’t black. Other than that, you get beautiful colors when you dye Viscose material.


- Hard to wash- usually all you can do to clean this material is send it to the dry cleaners.

- Not environmentally friendly- not the natural part of the process but the chemical part. It is better to buy naturally processed Viscose fabric than the chemically produced variety.

- It doesn’t hold its shape- this material stretches very easily and can get very baggy without too much difficulty.

- It is not a strong fabric- plus it gets even weaker when it gets wet. This material is not made for rainy days or high humidity levels.

- Very absorbent- you may think this is a good thing but the fabric absorbs sweat, body oils, and other moisture which can leave spots and ruin the look of the dress, etc.

- Hard to spot treat- even trying to get those moisture marks out may leave more marks behind. Those new marks can be permanent if you are not careful.

Some Final Words

Viscose do’s and don’ts is information you can’t ignore. Not if you want your new Viscose clothing to last you a long time and look good over its lifespan. Taking care of your Viscose fabric is essential if you are going to reap the benefits that are a part of this fabric.

Just be careful not to use too much starch as you can ruin the drape of the material. Watch out that you do not commit the biggest don’t of all- washing Viscose in your washing machine. Hand washing is okay but dry cleaning is best.

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