How to wash Corduroy clothes? (Care and maintain corduroy)

To wash corduroy fabric, start by reading the care label on the garment carefully. If it is safe to be machine-washed, use a gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent. If the care label recommends hand washing or dry cleaning, follow the recommended instructions.

However, if the care label is worn or missing and you’re unsure how to wash corduroy, dry clean or hand wash it.

Tip: Just turn the fabric inside out when hand washing the clothes manually.

Key Takeaways

  • Corduroy fabric is a good option for fall and winter wear, providing both warmth and elegance in abundance.
  • To clean washable corduroy clothes at home, you should always use cool water and mild detergent.
  • When machine washing corduroy fabric, set the washer to run on a gentle cycle with a medium spin speed, normal soil level, and cold water settings.
  • In general, most corduroy fabrics are machine-washable. However, reading the care label is recommended to confirm the right washing or cleaning method.

What exactly is corduroy fabric?

Corduroy is a strong, durable, and rigid fabric manufactured using a variety of different materials, such as cotton, cotton blends, wool, or synthetic materials such as polyester or nylon. It is made up of woven pile-cut yarn, which gives corduroy a distinctive texture that is soft and slightly plush.

In simple terms, corduroy is made by weaving cords or columns of yarn into the fabric.

Additionally, the tight spacing of the cords gives the cloth a unique textured appearance.

This specific fabric is typically used for making clothing such as pants, shirts, and jackets because it’s comfortable and durable.

Natural fibers such as cotton or wool make corduroy breathable and comfortable to wear, which can last for many years if it is properly cared for.

How to wash corduroy clothes in a washing machine?

Before washing a corduroy fabric, or any fabric for that matter, it is important to check the garment’s care label for specific instructions.

Machine washing should only be used if the care label specifically states that the item is “machine washable.”

After making sure the fabric can be washed in a machine, proceed as directed below.

Step 1: Sort your laundry

Sort your laundry by separating corduroy fabrics from your load of laundry; however, you can include delicate items for washing with corduroy.

It’s best to separate the dark corduroy fabric from the lighter-colored fabrics and wash them separately.

Step 2: Spot cleaning

If your corduroy is really dirty, you can use a gentle stain remover on the spots before washing.

You can also use mild detergent and water to spot-clean the stains on your corduroy fabrics.

Step 3: Add mild detergent to the detergent tray

For better results, use a small amount of mild detergent or a natural detergent.

It’s best not to use any chemical-based fabric softeners or bleach to clean or soften the fabric.

If needed, you can use white vinegar as a natural fabric softener for corduroy garments (you can either use it during the wash or in the final rinse cycle).

Tip: Vinegar helps to freshen the garment and keep the fluffiness of the corduroy fibers intact after they dry.

Step 4: Load the corduroy garment into the washer

Turn the fabric inside out, and then put the fabric in the washer.

Turning the corduroy fabric inside out helps protect the cords from wear and tear.

Also, if your corduroy clothes have buttons or other decorations, you can protect them by putting them in a mesh laundry bag.

All you need to do is put the corduroy in the mesh laundry bag, and then place the bag in the washing machine.

Note: Don’t overload your washing machine, as this can cause clothes to become tangled and prevent damage.

Step 5: Set the washer to run on gentle settings

The next step is to choose the right cycle and temperature for your delicate fabric to be washed. 

Here are the ideal settings to set when washing corduroy in a washing machine:

  • Set the cycle to a gentle or delicate cycle
  • Select the water temperature as “cold.”
  • Set the soil level to “light or “normal,” depending on the degree of soiling.
  • Set the spin speed to medium or low.

Once you have selected the above settings, let the washer run until it completes the wash cycle.

Note: Read the care label for the ideal washing machine settings (the settings for your fabric may vary slightly).

Step 6: Drying your corduroy garment

The best way to dry corduroy is to hang it up or lay it flat to air-dry naturally. If you have to use a dryer, dry it on the lowest setting to keep it from shrinking.

How to wash corduroy garments by hand?

Machine washing is always a risky proposition, regardless of the fabric type. Different types of fabric may require different washing methods based on the type and make.

This is where reading the care label becomes an absolute must.

Corduroy as a fabric is highly susceptible to shrinkage, especially when washed and dried in hot water settings.

So, as long as the care label recommends machine-washing you should machine-wash the fabric without any hesitation.

However, if the care label is not clear, you are better off washing it by hand.

Hand washing is gentler and provides more control over the entire washing process.

Let’s take a quick look at the steps to hand-wash your corduroy fabric.

  • Start by filling a sink or basin with lukewarm water and adding mild detergent. You can also include half a cup of white vinegar with the detergent for washing.
  • Gently swish the corduroy around in the water until it is fully soaked in the solution.
  • Let the fabric soak for about five to ten minutes, this will help loosen dirt and grime from the corduroy garment.
  • Work on the stained areas with your hands before rinsing them with cool and clean water.
  • Repeat the rinsing part until the soap residues are removed.
  • Once the corduroy is rinsed thoroughly, gently squeeze it to discharge excess water and lay the item flat on a towel to air-dry naturally.
  • Once the garment has dried evenly, hang or fold it and store it in a cool and dry area, away from direct sunlight, as too much exposure to the sun can weaken the fabric fibers.

Does corduroy fabric shrink when washed?

Corduroy fabric is prone to shrinking when it is washed, especially if it is made from cotton or a cotton blend. It shrinks because the fibers may get damaged when exposed to hot water and heat.

The amount of shrinkage that occurs can depend on the type or make of corduroy fabric, the water temperature, and the method used to wash the fabric.

Corduroy should be washed in cold water and dried on a low heat setting to reduce shrinkage.

Final Thoughts

Washing corduroy clothing is quite simple and straightforward, as it does not require any special prep work.

The only real prep work is to read the care label thoroughly to figure out the right washing method based on the fabric type.

While washing, just ensure that you use cool water, as hot water can shrink the fabric. Also, use a small amount of mild detergent specifically formulated for delicates.

Lastly, if you want your delicate fabric to last longer, don’t use bleach or fabric softener that has chemicals in it.

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at)