Can You Put Hoodies In The Washing Machine?

Yes, hoodies can indeed be put in the washing machine, especially if they’re made from cotton or cotton-blend fabrics. 

Hoodies made from wool require special attention, such as selecting a specific wool wash cycle, but they can still be machine-washed.

Wondering if there’s a right and wrong way to wash your hoodie in a washing machine?  This article explains how to get your hoodie ready for washing, the steps to wash it correctly, the best way to dry it, and tips on fixing it if it shrinks. 

Keep reading for tips that will change the way you care for your hoodies.

How To Prepare Your Hoodie For Washing

Always check the wash care labels

The first step is to always consult the care label before washing your hoodie. This label is your best guide to maintaining your hoodie’s quality, offering specific instructions for care.

Before tossing your hoodie into the machine, it’s important to turn it inside out. This simple step is key to preventing damage during the wash cycle, especially for hoodies with prints. 

Making sure any zippers are fastened will also prevent them from snagging on other items in the load.

For added protection during the wash, especially for delicate materials, using a mesh laundry bag can reduce damage.

How To Properly Wash Your Hoodie

30 Degree Wash Cycle

Use a cold wash cycle, ideally 30 degrees Celsius or lower, to keep your hoodies in pristine condition. This temperature is gentle enough to prevent colour bleed and material shrinkage, making sure your hoodie stays vibrant and retains its shape.

While regular detergents are generally fine, opting for a milder version can be more beneficial for hoodies made of delicate materials like wool and cotton. These detergents are designed to be gentle on fabrics, helping to preserve the integrity and softness of your hoodie.

Skip the fabric softener to avoid creating a greasy layer that impacts the fabric’s quality. A small amount of white vinegar can serve as a natural alternative, helping to soften and preserve the colour of your hoodie.

For optimal cleaning, wash your hoodie with similar items, such as other sweatshirts and sweatpants, and stick to the same colour palette to avoid dye transfer. Avoid overloading the machine and refrain from mixing your hoodie with lint-shedding items like towels.

Pro tip: Washing your hoodie too often can lead to premature wear and tear. This can lead to them getting bobbly and their colours fading. If your hoodie doesn’t have stains, isn’t smelly, or hasn’t gotten dirty, it’s not always necessary to wash it each time you’ve worn it, particularly if it didn’t touch your skin or pick up dirt from outside.

What Is The Best Way To Dry A Hoodie?

person wearing a white hoodie

To prevent shrinkage and maintain softness, opt for air drying your hoodie. Lay it flat on a towel away from direct sunlight to avoid fading. 

If you do choose to use a dryer, consider using wool dryer balls for a natural softening effect and to reduce drying time.

How To Reverse Hoodie Shrinkage

Some hoodies may shrink at a wash cycle of 30 degrees Celsius, although not significantly. If your hoodie does shrink, wearing it again can stretch it back to its original size. 

For notable shrinkage, you can soak them in warm water and a gentle shampoo, then stretch them back to their original shape and lay them on a towel afterwards to dry.

Remember that this method will not work for hoodies made from wool as stretching can damage the material’s fibres.

SEE ALSO: Can You Put Knit Sweaters In The Washing Machine?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it OK to put hoodies in the washing machine?

Yes, it is OK to put hoodies in the washing machine, especially those made from cotton or cotton-blend fabrics. Wool hoodies require a specific wool wash cycle but can still be machine-washed with care.

How do you wash a hoodie without ruining it?

To wash a hoodie without ruining it, consult the care label, turn it inside out, use a cold wash cycle, avoid fabric softener, and opt for a mild detergent. Fasten any zips and consider using a mesh laundry bag for extra protection.

Should you wash hoodies zipped or unzipped?

Hoodies should be washed zipped to prevent the zip from snagging on other items in the laundry.

How many times should you wear a hoodie before washing it?

The frequency of washing a hoodie depends on its use; however, it’s generally acceptable to wear a hoodie a couple of  times before washing, unless it’s visibly dirty or smells.

Do hoodies shrink in the wash?

Yes, hoodies can shrink in the wash, especially if washed at a temperature higher than recommended. Washing in cold water and air drying can help prevent or minimise shrinkage.

Can you unshrink a hoodie?

Yes, unshrinking a hoodie is possible by soaking it in a solution of lukewarm water and gentle shampoo or conditioner, then gently stretching it back to its original size while it’s damp. However, effectiveness can vary based on the fabric type and extent of shrinkage.

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