Can You Wash Chiffon? (How to Wash Chiffon Dress or Blouse)

Keeping it clean. That is a hard task to do sometimes. When your kids are young, keeping their clothes clean is almost impossible. That is why some fabrics like chiffon are reserved for adult events and activities. The clothes stay cleaner longer.

Can you wash chiffon? It is possible to wash some varieties of chiffon. Those made from silk should be dry cleaned only. When you wash your chiffon items, hand washing is the best way to go, use cool water and gentle soap. Just be gentle when you do the washing.

To learn more about how to wash chiffon clothing items, just continue to read our article. It is filled with the type of information you need to keep your chiffon outfits looking their best. The key is to know which chiffon can be washed.

Can You Wash Chiffon?

Some chiffon fibers can be washed. For example, the poly chiffon style can be machined washed in your washing machine with cool or cold water on the delicate cycle. Other chiffon fibers may be hand wash only.

On the other hand, silk should not be washed at all. It is a fabric that requires dry cleaning at all costs. Chiffon is a very lightweight and sheer fabric so extra caution has to be used when trying to wash it.

An example of this is crepe chiffon made with rayon fibers. It is so delicate that even the mention of water has the fabric losing its shape. This style of chiffon should be dry cleaned like the silk version.

The key for you will be held in the manufacturer’s cleaning labels. Check them first to see in which direction you should go. There will always be exceptions to the rule but do not assume that those exceptions apply to your chiffon clothing items.

Can I Hand Wash Chiffon?


For those chiffon fabrics that can be washed, hand washing is the preferred method to use. It is gentler on your clothes and if you use a gentle detergent like Woolite, then your chiffon clothing should last longer.

When you hand wash make sure to rub very gently. If you do not and you rub a little too hard, you run the risk of damaging your nice chiffon clothing. Also, do not wring the garments when you are done.

Always use a towel to soak up any excess moisture and then lay the garment out flat to dry. Again, we must mention that crepe chiffon should not be washed at any time using any method. It is very vulnerable to water and will lose its shape very quickly when wet.

If you do a hand wash, always use cool to cold water. Hot water is not a friend to the chiffon fabric and should shrink it up very quickly. You are looking at a 3-5% shrinkage rate when you use the wrong water temperature.

How to Wash Chiffon

There are two methods you can use to wash chiffon materials. The first one described will be hand washing.

  • Step 1: Fill a tub or sink up with cool water and add about 2 capfuls of a mild detergent. Swish the water around to mix the two together and form some suds.
  • Step 2: Fold your chiffon item in half to make it easier to wash. Then place it in the water and gently swirl it around. You may see some color bleed but that is normal if it is a small amount
  • Step 3: After swishing, let the item soak for about 30 minutes. When that time is up, take it out and rinse it in a tub of clean water or under a running stream from the tap. Get all the soap out but do not wring the material no matter what you do.
  • Step 4: Now place the item between two clean towels and press the towels to get the excess moisture out. Once that is done, remove the top towel and let the item dry.

For machine washing here are the few steps you need to take:

  • Step 1: Turn the garment inside out and place it in a mesh washing bag. Then place the bag in your washing by itself. This protects the garment from snags, dye bleeds, and more ailments.
  • Step 2: Add one capful to the water, making sure it is a mild detergent you are using.
  • Step 3: Set your machine to cold water, the delicate cycle, and the shortest spin cycle possible. Turn on your washer.
  • Step 4: Once the washing is done, do not put the chiffon item in your dryer. Place it on a towel to dry. Make sure to lay it out flat.

Can You Wash Chiffon In Hot Water?


The only time you should contemplate using hot water is when you are trying to shrink the chiffon clothing on purpose. Any other time, you should use cool or cold water.

The perfect temperature level that chiffon responds to is 40 degrees F. Hot water will shrink your chiffon and if you forget and try to wash silk, you are looking at up to a foot in fabric loss. Other chiffon clothing items can shrink between 3 and 5% and the bad news is you can’t control that shrinking process.

If your chiffon clothing happens to pick up a foul odor during its tour of duty, then add a half a cup of vinegar to the wash water and let the fabric soak for about 30 minutes. Just rinse the vinegar out before adding any soap. Then soak the clothing for another 30 minutes in cold soapy water.

How do You Wash Chiffon Dresses?

Chiffon dresses are like any other chiffon clothing item. The first step is to check the cleaning label. When it says dry clean only, make sure to check to see what fibers were used to create that chiffon dress.

If it is the right fabric you can hand wash it like the instructions said that were given above. If the dress is made from silk or crepe fibers then you can’t wash those dresses. Even hand washing is not good for them. Those materials need to be sent out to the dry cleaners.

Just remember to use cool or cold water, a mild detergent like Woolite, and do not wring the fabric out when the washing task is done. Wringing out the excess moisture may be the normal thing to do but it damages chiffon.

Use towels to help the dress dry properly and be ready for ironing. If you are going to iron, do not let the dress dry all the way.

Washing Chiffon Bridesmaid Dress


If the bridesmaid dress has a lot of layers to it, it is recommended that you send it out to the dry cleaners and let the professionals handle the task. It is a difficult task to perform and very time-consuming.

Not only because you have to be careful when you wash the dress but throughout the drying and ironing process as well. It is best left to professionals. But if you can’t afford to do that, use the hand wash method first.

Hand washing is the safest way to go and you have more control over the cleaning process. To remove stains, you should add a little baking soda to a toothbrush and gently rub the baking soda into the stain.

Then let the dress soak for 30minute sin soapy water. You can add vinegar to clean water if you smell something foul on the dress. Rinse, reshape, and let dry.

How to Wash Chiffon Blouse

When you go to your machine to handle this task, just follow the instructions given above. Wash the item separately in cold water and on the delicate cycle. Use a mesh laundry bag to protect the blouse from damage from the agitator.

Chiffon is very delicate and it can snag very easily or get torn without a moment’s notice. Chiffon has a reputation for being difficult and that reputation doesn't just apply to sew with the material. It applies to the whole cleaning process as you can see, and it takes patience to clean, dry, and iron chiffon blouses.

Whatever you do, avoid using the dryer. Let the blouse be laid flat on some clean towels and let the air and the towels handle the drying duties. Hopefully, you have enough space to do that. The dryer will shrink your blouse without batting an eye.

Can You Dry Clean Chiffon?


This is the preferred method of cleaning chiffon clothing. Dry cleaning is the best way to handle this difficult fabric especially when you have a very busy schedule or when your limits of patience have been taxed to the limit.

Also, the dry cleaners know exactly how to handle chiffon fabric. If they don’t then seek out another dry cleaner who does. You do not have to use the dry cleaner for every style of chiffon on the market today.

Silk and crepe chiffon are the two fabric styles that demand dry cleaning. Other styles like cotton, nylon, and polyester you can avoid the dry cleaners and save a few bucks by hand or machine washing them.

The key here is to find the right dry cleaner who knows how to clean chiffon correctly. They should get all the stains and wrinkles out a lot easier than you can.

How to Spot Clean Chiffon

Unfortunately, chiffon is one of those fabrics that does not spot clean very well. The water used can also create more stains if you are not careful. But this is not an impossible task if you are careful.

The first thing you need is a bowl of soapy water, using a mild soap and a clean cloth. Lay a towel down and place the dirty spot on the towel and leave it there. Holding the item with one hand, dip the clean cloth into the soapy mixture and dab the spot.

Do this until the stain is gone. Then rinse with plain water. Let dry by laying the item out flat on a towel. Just be careful as crepe chiffon does not react very well to water and will lose its shape if wet.

Sometimes it is just better to let the dry cleaners clean the whole garment instead of risky any damage by doing spot cleaning.

How to Wash Chiffon Curtains


This may be a difficult chore as chiffon curtains carry the same vulnerabilities that other chiffon items have. The first step would be to vacuum the curtains prior to taking them down. Removing loose dirt will help speed up the cleaning process.

You can use the machine wash method if your curtains are made from the right chiffon materials. Those right materials would be nylon and polyester. Those fibers are strong enough to handle the wear and tear of a washing machine.

Make sure to use cold water unless you want to shrink the curtains down a little. Also, use a mild soap as a harsh one may do some damage. Chlorine bleach should not be part of the process at any time.

You may try an oxygen bleach made for all fabrics but that is something you have to play by ear with chiffon. Once the curtains are in the wash, use the delicate cycle, and put the curtains through one cycle.

Use towels to squeeze out any excess moisture and let the curtains hang to dry after that.

Some Final Words

Chiffon lives up to its tough and difficult to work with reputation. Washing the material can be tricky and it is easy to slip up. Make sure to read the cleaning label before starting to clean chiffon items.

Knowing what to do beforehand will save you a lot of frustration afterward and your chiffon items should be nice and clean.

Leave a Comment: