7 fabrics that should not be machine washed

Your tights are spinning? Is your lingerie getting damaged a little too quickly? If the modern washing machine offers 10 programs, it nevertheless has its limits! Here are the 7 mistakes you shouldn’t make.

It happens to all of us to end up with the unpleasant surprise of the new wool sweater which shrinks in the wash and which can no longer be put on. Or, to discover that our little lace top has torn. While washing machines are handy in our daily lives, they can also spoil us during the day by ruining our favorite clothes. A small mistake can turn out to be fatal. But nevertheless, we still feel better with a clean closet… No worries, we give you the 7 fabrics that should never be put in the washing machine and how to keep them in good condition.


If we are getting ready to take out our swimsuits and sportswear with the arrival of sunny days, maintaining them is often difficult, because they cannot withstand the washing machine. Between salty sea water, perspiration and sunscreen, a good wash is imperative. But how do you avoid damaging the sensitive fibers of spandex swimsuits? As with all fragile fabrics, ideal for spandex clothing is hand wash with fresh water and mild Marseille soap. If you want to machine them once in a vacation, it’s not the end of the world. However, be sure to slip them into a laundry bag before washing them at low temperature and low spin speed as for lingerie.

The essential products


Tulle requires special attention because it is a very delicate material. To avoid the risk of tearing and holes, it is recommended to wash this fabric by hand … But if you are looking for a less demanding alternative, put your dresses, tops, ballerina tutus and panties in a washing net and wash them. at low temperature and low spin speed for optimum protection. If your washing machine offers the “hand wash” program, choose it!

Read also : How to disinfect fabric masks without a washing machine?


Lingerie, tops, tights … If the lace tends to yellow or stain, it must be cleaned in one way or another. Because of this fabric which is particularly susceptible to tearing, the washing machine should be avoided to keep it in the long term. An equally effective, but much gentler method, is to bathe your laundry in lukewarm water with wool detergent (one dose of detergent for each liter of water) for about twenty minutes. Then rub the fabric gently with vertical pressures and then rinse it. Dry everything flat, and even better, in the sun to accentuate its whitening.

The leather

Leather pants and jackets are essential pieces to have in your home. Unless the label specifies that the garment can be washed in a washing machine, it is better to opt for a dry cleaner, or for a simpler and more ecological solution, opt instead for a hand wash in lukewarm water with mild soap and a damp sponge.

Read also : How to clean and maintain your suede shoes?

Fragile wool

While it is permissible to wash sheep’s wool in the washing machine on a cold and delicate mode, this is certainly not the case for more fragile wools, such as cashmere and angora wool. In the washing machine, you may end up with a sweater the size of a child… It is therefore necessary to prioritize washing by hand with a mild soap and cold water. As with lace, dry these fabrics flat, but first, be sure to wring out the clothes well to prevent them from getting waterlogged and warping.

For the tweed, a thick fabric made from sheep’s wool, and for wool flannel, a material that keeps wonderfully warm, pressing, dry cleaning, is ideal for them. However, this cleaning method is expensive and not very environmentally friendly, so you can also opt for another effective solution: a cold wash in the machine or by hand with a mild detergent.

The felt, made from non-woven wool fibers, is more compact than the yarns mentioned above and can be cold washed without problems, but avoid spinning and tumble drying.

Namely that cotton flannel does not fear the washing machine provided that the temperature does not exceed 40 ° C. Opt for air drying so that the fabric does not shrink.


Also under penalty of shrinkage like wool, there are some precautions to take to protect this delicate material, especially when it is wet. Hand washing in cold water with a mild detergent is preferable, but machine washing is still possible without adverse effects when slipping your viscose clothes into a laundry net. A “hand wash” program should be preferred, followed by air drying on a hanger.

The silk

Fiber of animal origin, silk remains a very delicate fabric. Once again, hand washing in cold water with a mild soap is the safest method to protect the fiber. After a maximum of 5 minutes in water, rinse the silk in cold water, wring it out, and let it hang in the open. Unlike lace, avoid drying silk in the sun, as this may discolor it. On the other hand, if the label of your silk clothes allow it, the washing machine on a delicate program at less than 30 degrees with a special silk detergent also works!

See also: 8 washing mistakes that ruin your clothes

Video by Juliette Le Peillet

Juliette Barlier

Web editor for AuFeminin since January 2021, Juliette comes directly from California and writes on subjects related to culture, astrology, and plants from an angle …