How Do You Wash Lycra?

wash-lycra Credit: Smith Collection/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Although Lycra has properties that make it more durable than other fabrics, you must take care when washing it. You can easily wash Lycra materials to remove stains and odors using water, oxygen-based bleach and baking soda.

  1. Choose a preferred washing method

    Wash Lycra by hand when you want to prevent excessive stretching and wringing. You may machine wash Lycra, but you must use a mesh lingerie bag.

  2. Use the correct water temperature

    Use only cool or tepid water when washing and rinsing. Never use hot water on Lycra garments.

  3. Use the correct bleach

    Use an oxygen-based bleach, such as OxiClean, Clorox 2, Country Save Bleach or Purex 2 Color Safe Bleach, to remove and treat stains when necessary. Chlorine bleach destroys fibers, so avoid using it on Lycra.

  4. Provide extra treatment for odors

    Mix cool water and 1 cup of baking soda in a bucket, and soak the Lycra garment overnight if you need to remove any odor. You only have to rinse it after the soaking if you successfully remove the odor.

  5. Dry the garment properly

    Hang a Lycra garment out to dry away from direct sunlight or heat. Never place Lycra in the dryer. If drying after odor treatment, find a breezy area.