Can you wash acrylic?


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Yes, acrylic can be washed. Most acrylic garments, including sweaters, can be safely machine washed. It is recommended to use a gentle cycle with either warm or cold water.

Always read and follow the care labels on the specific piece of clothing, as some may recommend dry cleaning instead. Acrylic fibers are quick-drying and resistant to mildew, odor absorption, and most chemicals, making them relatively easy to care for. Washing acrylic garments helps to keep them clean and maintain their appearance.

Dos and don’ts


  • Read and follow the care instructions on the garment label.
  • Machine wash acrylic garments using a gentle cycle.
  • Use warm or cold water for washing acrylic items.
  • Use a regular laundry detergent suitable for acrylic fabrics.
  • Pre-treat any stains on acrylic clothing before washing.
  • Check for remaining stains after washing and repeat the pre-treatment if needed.
  • Tumble dry acrylic clothes on low heat or air-dry them.
  • Use a low iron temperature with a pressing cloth if ironing is necessary.


  • Don’t use hot water for washing acrylic garments, as it can cause stretching.
  • Avoid overloading the washing machine to allow acrylic clothes to move freely.
  • Don’t place acrylic garments stained with oil in a hot dryer, as it can set the stain.
  • Avoid using hard scrubbing on acrylic fabric to prevent stretching.
  • Don’t hang wet acrylic clothes to dry, as the weight of the water may cause stretching.
  • Don’t handle acrylic garments while still warm from the dryer, as the fibers are susceptible to permanent stretching.
  • Don’t iron acrylic clothing with high heat or apply excessive pressure, as it can melt the fibers.

5-step guide to washing acrylic

Step 1

Check the Care Label
Carefully read the care label on the acrylic garment for any specific washing instructions. Follow any recommendations or requirements provided by the manufacturer.

Step 2

Pre-treat Stains
If there are any stains on the acrylic fabric, pretreat them before washing. Apply a stain remover or gently rub a small amount of laundry detergent directly onto the stained area. Allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes before proceeding to the next step.

Step 3

Machine Wash on Gentle Cycle
Place the acrylic garment in the washing machine and select the gentle or delicate cycle. Use a regular laundry detergent suitable for acrylic fabrics. Set the water temperature to warm or cold, as hot water can cause stretching of the fibers. Avoid overloading the washing machine to allow the clothes to move freely.

Step 4

Tumble Dry on Low Heat or Air-Dry
After washing, either tumble dry the acrylic clothing on a low heat setting or opt for air-drying. High heat can damage the fibers, so it’s important to use a low heat setting in the dryer or hang the clothes to air-dry. Remove the garments from the dryer while they are still slightly damp to prevent over-drying.

Step 5

Iron with Caution (If Necessary)
If ironing is necessary, use a low temperature setting on the iron and place a pressing cloth between the iron and the acrylic fabric. This helps to prevent the fibers from melting or becoming shiny. Avoid applying excessive pressure while ironing to maintain the shape and texture of the garment.


Does acrylic clothing shrink in the wash?

No, acrylic clothing does not typically shrink in the wash. In fact, if washed or dried in hot water, acrylic clothes are more likely to stretch and become larger in size.

Can I hang acrylic clothing to dry?

It is not recommended to hang acrylic clothing to dry, especially knitted garments like sweaters. The weight of the water in wet garments may cause the fibers to stretch. It is best to either tumble dry them on low heat or air-dry them flat to maintain their shape.

How often should I wash acrylic clothing?

Acrylic clothing generally holds up well and does not need to be washed as frequently as other fabrics. Since acrylic repels sweat and moisture and does a good job of resisting stains, washing when the garments become dirty or musty-smelling is usually sufficient. However, repeated washing, especially in machines and dryers, can gradually weaken or stretch the fabric.

Final thoughts 💭

Acrylic fabric is a synthetic material commonly used in various garments and household items due to its durability and easy care. It can be machine washed using a gentle cycle with warm or cold water, although some care labels may recommend dry cleaning.

Acrylic fibers are quick-drying, resistant to mildew and odor absorption, and hold their shape well. They are also resistant to deterioration from sunlight, oil, and most chemicals. When washing acrylic clothing, it is important to pre-treat stains, use a regular laundry detergent, avoid hot water and high heat in the dryer, and iron with caution at a low temperature. By following proper washing and care instructions, acrylic garments can maintain their quality and appearance over time.

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