Incredible Tips for Washing Elastane Clothes

Incredible tips for washing elastane clothes
Incredible tips for washing elastane clothes. Photo: pexels

Imagine living in a world full of clothes that don’t stretch – no leggings, yoga pants, sportswear, or shapewear. Equally challenging would be a world where fabrics stretch endlessly, never retaining their shape.

The introduction of stretchy fibers like elastane, spandex, and Lycra that return to their original state forever changed the world of fabrics and fashion. To keep your elastane items in great condition and maintain their elasticity longer, always wash in cold water and air dry whenever possible. Washing inside a mesh bag can also help prevent the items from twisting and overstretching.

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How often to clean elastane (spandex) clothes

Elastane garments are incredibly durable when washed correctly. The fabric holds up well to constant washing in cold water, so don’t worry about doing it often. Elastane apparel used for heavy workouts requires cleaning after each wear. Check the label to see the amount of elastane the garment contains before washing. If it’s 5% or less, you can wash and dry the item as usual. If higher, pay a bit more attention.

Soak if necessary

If your clothes have a strong odor – like sweaty gym clothes – soak them in a solution of cold water and 1 cup of baking soda for at least 30 minutes. Alternatively, let the clothes soak overnight before washing as usual.

Put clothes in a mesh laundry bag

Place spandex garments in a mesh bag designed for washing delicates before placing them in the washing machine. This helps prevent elastane fibers from getting caught.

Set up the washing machine

Set the washing machine settings to operate on a gentle cycle using cold water.

Air dry or machine dry on low

The heat from a clothes dryer can damage elastane fibers. If you have the time and space, hang the clothes to dry away from direct sunlight or heat. Drying should take a few hours. If you need to use a machine, set it as low as possible and remove the garment while it’s still slightly damp.


If the garment has a high spandex content, do not iron – the heat will damage the fibers. Fortunately, spandex doesn’t wrinkle easily. If it’s a blend, iron on the lowest setting. Keep the iron moving to avoid melting the fibers.

Storing elastane (spandex) clothes

Though elastane clothes aren’t usually considered delicate, ensure you wash them before storing them for an extended period; otherwise, stains may become permanent. However, store any spandex clothing away from heat or light, which can fade the colors. Some Lycra blends, like nylon, might fade over time if exposed to natural light during storage.

Stain treatment on elastane (spandex) clothes

Treat oily stains on elastane garments as soon as possible, as they can be hard to remove once set. Apply a small amount of mild liquid detergent to the stain, rubbing gently. Wash according to the instructions.
Tips for washing elastane (spandex) clothes

  • Never use fabric softener or dryer sheets when washing elastane. Most detergents are safe for use on such material, but avoid any product that’s a combination of detergent and softener. The latter leaves a residue on the fabric that can damage the finish and attract bacteria, leading to excessive odor.
  • Avoid using chlorine bleach as it will destroy elastane fibers.
  • Occasionally, you might want to reshape elastane garments that have become a bit loose over time, like leggings. To do this, carefully place the garment in a dryer on medium-high heat for no more than 30 minutes.

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