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How To Wash Viscose

viscose shrink
Test Item

Can you wash viscose? Does viscose shrink? These are common questions we get on viscose fabric care. To answer them, yes, viscose does shrink if it is not washed properly, but some viscose is washable with the right method. Handwashing this fabric at home will help prevent viscose fabric from shrinking, and keep it long-lasting, too.

First, check the care label to make sure your viscose rayon item is suitable to be washed. Never wash items tagged "do not wash" or "dry clean only". When in doubt, perform a water test in an inconspicuous area before washing viscose. If your viscose dress passes the water test, treat it as a delicate item when washing using the following steps.

Does Viscose Shrink?

Yes, viscose can shrink. Viscose fabric gets weak and breaks down when it’s wet. If you need to wash it, handwash viscose in cold water.


For stains, first treat the affected areas with a stain remover designed for delicates to treat color-rich food and oil-based stains. Work stain treatment gently into the fabric with a soft stain removal brush, plus cool water if needed.

Does Viscose Shrink
viscose shrink

Hand Wash

Viscose weakens when wet, so it’s best to hand wash viscose with cold water and a delicate detergent. Soak viscose for no longer than 30 minutes. Rinse and gently press out water instead of wringing, and air dry.

Machine Wash

You can put washable viscose in the washing machine, but if you opt for machine washing, you should turn the viscose item inside out, and place it in a protective Mesh Bag to avoid snags and tears.

Select the delicate cycle on the washing machine, and make sure the water temperature is cold and the spin is on low.

Add the appropriate amount of delicate detergent according to the machine and load size.

viscose shrink
Woman loading laundry into washing machine
Dry & Finish

Lay the item flat in its natural shape on a drying rack or hang to dry. Do not put it in the dryer, as it may shrink!

To remove wrinkles, we recommend steaming for the best and safest finish.

If you don't have a steamer, you can iron viscose by hovering over the item and using the steam setting.

To freshen items between wearing, spritz with a fabric-freshening spray after lightly steaming.


Knit viscose items like tops should be stored folded to prevent stretching or distorting. Woven viscose items such as pants can be hung.

Always store items clean and store in a breathable cotton storage bag to protect items from pests. Storing in plastic encourages yellowing and can trap mildew-causing moisture, a prime environment for pests.

All techniques are based on textile science. Not all garments perform and react as science would predict.

viscose shrink
Care tag on Viscose garment
Woman hand washing blouse
Woman adding garments to washing machine