How to Clean Rayon, Cotton and Spandex


When cleaning rayon, cotton and spandex it helps to know a little about each fabric so it does not get damaged during laundering. These three fabrics are very different and have their own unique set of care requirements. For instance, cotton is a natural fiber, while rayon and spandex are synthetic manmade fibers. All three can be laundered at home, but require different temperatures and procedures for optimal care.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild laundry detergent
  • Bleach

Washing Cotton Fabric

  • Set your washer to a gentle cycle. Use a warm water temperature setting.

  • Add a mild laundry detergent to your washing machine. Add chlorine bleach if you want to brighten white cotton. Use bleach sparingly because it may yellow fabric when overused. Add your cotton clothing items to the washing machine.

  • Dry cotton fabric on a line, or tumble dry on medium heat. High heat may shrink cotton. You can iron cotton at high temperatures to remove wrinkles.

Washing Rayon Fabric

  • Fill a clean basin or sink with cool water. Add a few drops of mild laundry detergent.

  • Submerge your rayon items into the soapy water. Massage them with your hands to work soap into the fabric. Do not wring or twist the fabric.

  • Drain or empty the soapy water. Rinse with clean cool water. Massage the fabric with your hands to help release the soapy water from the fabric. Gently squeeze excess water from the fabric over the basin, after removing the soap.

  • Hang rayon fabric to air dry. You can iron wrinkles out of the fabric after it dries. Use a towel between the fabric and iron to protect it from damage.

Washing Spandex Fabric

  • Set your washer to a normal cycle. Use a warm water temperature setting. Add a mild laundry detergent.

  • Add spandex items to the washing machine, along with other similar fabrics.

  • Remove the spandex item from the washing machine and place it in the dryer to tumble dry on the lowest setting possible.

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  • Photo Credit laundry image by timur1970 from
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