Should You Hand Wash or Machine Wash Viscose? (Helpful Tips)

In this modern age many homemakers love the modern conveniences that make chores at home a lot easier. One of those conveniences is the washing machine. Unfortunately, some fabrics are still in the stone ages and cannot be washed with that handy device.

Should you hand wash viscose? Viscose is known to shrink when it is washed. But if you have no other option, it is best to hand wash viscose clothing. That is the gentlest way to do the task and protect the garment from the damage that comes from machine washing.

To learn all about washing viscose fabric just continue to read our article. Viscose is a delicate fabric and should be handled with kid gloves when cleaning it. If you do not have the time to hand wash then use the dry clean option before your washing machine.

Does Viscose Wash Well?

A positive answer to this question goes with hand washing and not with machine washing. Viscose will wash well if you are careful and do not put it into your washing machine. Part of the problem is that the washing machine will twist the fabric up and ruin it for you.

Also, the washing machine can distort the fibers, cause puckers, and other damage. All of those can be avoided if you hand wash or use the dry cleaners. The washing machine is just too rough for delicate fabrics, even if you wash them separately from other clothing items.

What Happens if You Wash Viscose?


The best-case scenario would be that your viscose clothing item will shrink beyond repair. The worst case would be that you get shrinkage along with elongation, distortion, or puckering.

Those conditions are not reversible. When those conditions take place, you will have to go out and replace your clothing item in another fabric so as not to face the same situation at a later date.

Hand washing is not totally secure either and the rule of thumb is if it says do not wash then do not wash viscose clothing items or bedding.

Can You Hand Wash Viscose?

Yes, you can but this is not always a safe method to wash the fabric. Some viscose clothing, etc., are mislabeled and it is safe to wash even if the tag says dry clean only. But it is always best to be safe than sorry so if the label says dry clean only, then use that cleaning method and avoid hand washing.

One of the problems with hand washing viscose is that you are still exposing it to water. The fabric is not strong when it comes to water and the liquid can weaken the fibers even further. When in doubt, dry clean.

Easy Viscose Wash Instructions

If you are bent on washing your viscose dress, etc., then use cold water and very mild soap. Harsh chemicals are not good for the fabric and may not react well to the other chemicals used to create the material.

Hang dry is the option when it comes to getting the moisture out of the fabric. But the dryer can still be used as a dry cleaning option. Just place the dress, etc., in a dry clean garment bag and put in your dryer for 30 minutes.

Just use the tumble cycle on your dryer to do the job.

Can You Machine Wash Viscose?


The tricky part about viscose is that it comes in different varieties of fabric and quality. Since it is also known as rayon, there is a possibility of machine washing your viscose fabrics. Some varieties of rayon can be washed in a washing machine.

If you are going to machine wash viscose, then turn the garment inside out and put cold water in the tub. Set the spin to its slowest speed and use the delicate cycle. Also, use a mild laundry soap designed for delicate fabrics. Avoid the dryer and hang dry the garment or lay it out flat to avoid wrinkles.

Why Can't You Machine Wash Viscose?

Machine washing is not viscose friendly. It is made for tougher fabrics that can handle the twisting and pulling that comes from the agitator action. Viscose is not strong enough to handle that twisting and pulling.

Plus, the fabric is water weak and its fibers get weaker when it is exposed to too much water for too long of a time period. One of the risks you take when washing viscose blouses, etc., in a washing machine is shrinkage.

That shrinkage can be very large and it is not reversible. You can’t stretch the item back to its original shape when that takes place. There are other risks involved as well.

What Temperature Wash Viscose

Whether you hand wash or machine wash, you should use only cold water. Some instructions do call for warm water but those are exceptions to the rule and not the rule to follow.

One way to protect your viscose clothing when using the machine to wash the clothing is to use a mesh bag. This bag helps protect the fabric from the twisting and pulling that comes when the agitator gets going.

If you are hand washing, then you can use cool, not cold water. That will be easier on your hands. Just make sure to use a soap that is made for delicate fabrics.

Cold Water vs Warm Water vs Hot Water

Cold-Water-vs-Warm Water-vs-Hot-Water

Warm water is okay on certain occasions but it is not the go-to water temperature when washing viscose clothing. You may get away with using warm water when you are washing viscose bedding or rugs but not clothing.

The experts say that cold water is the temperature to use no matter which style of washing you are using. Hot water is to be avoided at all costs as viscose materials shrink and they shrink a lot.

Keep the heat away from viscose. That includes the dryer when you do not want to hang dry your items.

What Setting To Wash Viscose

You want to use the delicate cycle on your washing machine if you have the courage to use that option to clean your viscose made clothing and bedding. There is no way the material can withstand anything more than that cycle.

If you go higher than delicate be prepared to replace those clothing items. Puckering, shrinkage, and other issues will ruin the blouse, etc., and make them unwearable. Those conditions cannot be repaired.

Can You Dry Clean Viscose?

Yes, you can and most viscose fabrics are marked as dry clean only. While some mislabeling can occur it is better to err on the side of caution and use the dry clean method over water washing.

Viscose fabric has too many vulnerabilities to be effectively cleaned with water. While you can wash with water, it is best to avoid the dangers that come with those methods and let the professionals handle the task. That way you are assured of having nice looking clothes that are very clean.

Why Dry Clean Viscose?


One very good reason is that you get very nice looking clothing back. This look is something you can be proud to wear at your next social event. Professional dry cleaners also have the materials and the experience to get the stains out.

Those stains can take a lot of time to remove if you try to do it yourself. Plus, you may not have the right ingredients on hand to do the job effectively. Another good reason to use a dry cleaner is that your viscose fabric should not shrink on you

Viscose Wash or Dry Clean?

This option is up to you but if you want our opinion, go with the latter. Washing viscose clothing is risky and the fabric is too weak to handle the stress and strain that comes with machine washing.

If you have the money in your budget to dry clean, then that is the best method you can choose. While washing saves money, it may not save as much if your clothing is ruined and you need to replace those items. Take the safest and best route and dry clean over washing.

How To Clean Viscose Rug at Home

If there are no stains to remove, then use your vacuum or carpet sweeper to get the dirt out. The key to this method is to follow the direction of the pile only. Do not use a back and forward motion as you can ruin the look of your rug.

If there is a stain, you can spot clean using vinegar, water, and mild dish soap. Mix the ingredients and dab it onto the stain, don’t rub or the stain may go deeper and be more difficult to remove.

Cleaning Viscose Upholstery


This is a task you may want to leave to the professionals. The reason for that is that if you wet clean the upholstery you can burst the fibers and ruin the fabric. Dry cleaning is the only real way to clean viscose upholstery.

The upholstery will be in all different shapes and angles so cleaning it will take time if you want to do it yourself. Normal soaps and cleaners won’t work as the viscose fabric is just as weak on furniture as it is in clothing.

Can You Spot Clean Viscose?

You can spot clean some viscose fabrics. You should do a test first to make sure the cleaning solution you use will not damage the fabric first. The key is not to use a lot of cleaning solution as the liquid factor comes into play here.

Also, water can leave yellow stains on the rugs or carpets you want to spot clean. You can spray some fabric softener on the stain after you have cleaned it to prevent the spot from becoming stiff.

Avoid using a vacuum when spot cleaning. Just brush the cleaning solution away when it is dry.

How To Spot Clean Viscose Fabric

First, select a use a citric or acetic acid solution instead of water as water will leave yellow stains. Next, do not put a lot of the solution on the stain and moisten it only. After that blot the area with a clean cloth.

Once the majority of the solution is picked up dab the solution in the direction of the pile. Next, spray some fabric softener on the spot to avoid having the material become stiff.

Let dry and brush away the solution with a soft bristle brushed. Do not dry with direct heat but open windows and let the air flow do the drying.

Can I Hand Wash Dry Clean Only Viscose?


This is a possibility because some viscose clothing items are mislabeled and actually can stand the water you use when hand washing. Just make sure to use a mild soap as harsh chemicals can ruin the fabric.

This is a guessing game as even though it may say dry clean only, it is possible that the label is not wrong and you have to dry clean instead of hand wash. The rule of thumb is if it says do not wash then do not wash.

How To Wash Viscose Shirt

If you do not have the budget for dry cleaning you can try putting the shirt in a mesh bag and let the washing machine handle the task. Just set the machine to delicate and the spin to its lowest speed.

Or you can place the shirt in a dry cleaning bag and let the dryer on tumble and 30 minutes dry clean the shirt. Whenever you try to wash a viscose shirt you are taking a gamble unless the cleaning label says it can be washed.

Can I Wash Viscose Scarf?

It is best to hand wash a viscose scarf. The washing machine may not be gentle enough, even on delicate, to wash the scarf without damaging it. Just follow the washing instructions above and make sure you use cold water and mild soap.

Hang dry or lay the scarf out on a flat surface so it can dry thoroughly. Scarfs made from this fabric are just as weak as blouses, dresses, and shirts made from viscose.

How To Wash Viscose Dress


If the dress’ cleaning tag says washable, then it is a wise move to turn it inside out first before putting it into the washing machine. This protects the fabric and helps keep any damage away. Also, it would be a good move to place it in a mesh bag and keep the machine on a delicate cycle.

Hand washing is a lot simpler and you just have to use cold water and mild soap to get the dress nice and clean. Either way, you wash the dress. Avoid using your dryer. Hang dry or lay out flat are the best ways to get the dress nice and dry without wrinkles or other damage.

Washing a Viscose Sweater

Be gentle. Viscose sweaters are very prone to damage including shrinkage as they may not always be made with a tight weave. Avoid the dryer at all costs as you will be shrinking the sweater so much it may only fit your daughter’s dolls.

You can use the same methods already described for the dress and other clothing items made from viscose fabric. There are not that many options available to clean viscose sweaters. Also, dry cleaning is the go-to method.

Can You Wash Bamboo Viscose?

Yes, it is possible to wash bamboo viscose. When viscose is blended with other fabrics its weaknesses seem to disappear and make it capable of being washed. Washing the bamboo viscose blend helps the bamboo soften and become more comfortable.

Just make sure to wash the bamboo viscose blends separately. You can dry the fabric on low to medium heat and wash in cool to warm water using a mild soap. Remove the blended fabric immediately when the dryer stops.

How To Wash Bamboo Viscose Sheets


The good thing about blending viscose with bamboo is that it is not as delicate as 100% viscose. You can use cool to warm water but be careful, the bamboo viscose sheets will still shrink some. You may want to get a larger size to protect yourself from that event.

If you do not hang dry, you can use a low to medium heat when you use your dryer. The bamboo sheets may feel a little stiff when it comes out of the washer but that is a normal feeling. Avoid liquid chlorine bleach, fabric softener, dryer sheets, and washer or dryer balls.

Some Final Words

To remind you it is best to hand wash your viscose materials over machine washing. The risk is too great to chance using your washing machine. Then the best cleaning method is dry cleaning. Let the pros have all the worries and you just enjoy your viscose clothing.

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