The Ultimate Guide: What Cloth Fabric Should Not Be Washed in a Washing Machine

The Ultimate Guide: What Cloth Fabric Should Not Be Washed in a Washing Machine

Doing laundry can sometimes feel like a never-ending task. Sorting clothes, selecting the right cycle, and ensuring proper care for each fabric can be quite a challenge. While most garments can be safely washed in a washing machine, there are certain types of cloth fabric that require special attention. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the different types of fabric that should not be washed in a washing machine and provide valuable laundry tips to help you maintain your clothing's quality and longevity.

Why Certain Fabrics Should not be Washed in Washing Machine

Before delving into the fabrics that should not be washed in a washing machine, let's understand why some fabrics require special care:

Delicate Nature:

Certain fabrics have delicate fibers or intricate details that can be damaged by the agitation and rough movements of a washing machine.

Shrinkage and Distortion:

Some fabrics, like wool and cashmere, are prone to shrinking or losing their shape when exposed to water and the vigorous cycles of a washing machine.

Embellishments and Trims:

Fabrics adorned with beads, sequins, or delicate trims can be easily damaged or dislodged during machine washing.

Special Finishes and Properties:

Performance fabrics, such as those used in sportswear or swimwear, often have special finishes or moisture-wicking properties that can be compromised by machine washing.

By understanding these factors, we can now explore different types of fabric that require alternative methods of cleaning to ensure their longevity and quality.

The Fabrics That Should Not Be Washed in a Washing Machine

Here are some different types of fabric that, due to their delicate nature, should be cleaned separately and with extreme caution.

Delicate Silk:

Silk, a luxurious and delicate fabric, should never be tossed into a washing machine. The gentle fibers of silk are prone to damage and can easily lose their luster if subjected to the harsh agitation of a washing machine. Instead, opt for hand washing using mild detergent or consider professional dry cleaning to preserve the delicate nature of silk garments.

Wool and Cashmere:

Wool and cashmere garments are known for their softness and warmth, but they can shrink and become misshapen when exposed to the vigorous motions of a washing machine. To care for these fabrics, it is best to hand wash them in cold water with a gentle detergent specifically formulated for wool. Lay them flat to dry, and store them properly to maintain their quality.

Leather and Suede:

Leather and suede items, such as jackets or handbags, should never be immersed in water. Washing machines can cause irreparable damage to these materials, leading to discoloration, cracking, and stiffness. Instead, wipe down leather and suede with a damp cloth or use specialized cleaning products designed specifically for these fabrics.

Rayon and Viscose:

Rayon and viscose fabrics are made from natural fibers but require delicate handling to avoid shrinkage or distortion. These fabrics are best cleaned through hand washing or dry cleaning. If you must machine wash them, use a gentle cycle and place the item in a mesh laundry bag to reduce friction.

Performance Fabrics:

Fabrics used in sportswear, swimwear, or activewear often have special finishes, moisture-wicking properties, or stretch components. These fabrics require specific care instructions provided by the manufacturer. It is best to follow the recommended guidelines, as machine washing or using harsh detergents can compromise their functionality.


While washing machines offer convenience and efficiency, certain cloth fabrics demand extra care to prevent damage and maintain their appearance. By avoiding machine washing for different types of fabric like silk, wool, lace, and leather, and following the appropriate care instructions, you can ensure that your favorite garments remain in excellent condition for years to come. Remember these laundry tips and treat each fabric with the care it deserves, and you'll enjoy longer-lasting, well-preserved clothing.

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