How to Wash Modal Fabrics? (Modal Cleaning and Caring tips)

In general, modal fabrics are both hand-washable and machine-washable. Even though the fabric does not shrink like other fabrics, it’s ideal to wash it in cold water with a mild detergent. If you are machine washing the fabric, you can set the washer to gentle cycle and cold water settings. For deeper cleaning, you may use oxygen bleach instead of regular chlorinated bleach.

Once you are done washing modal garments, hang them over a clothesline or lay them flat on a drying rack to air dry naturally.

Always double-check the label to see if machine drying is safe for your modal fabric or not.

Key Takeaways

  • Modal fabric is similar to rayon in composition or is simply a subset of rayon, it’s just that modal is a bit stronger than rayon even when it’s wet.
  • It is known for being soft, absorbent, and durable and is often used in garments such as underwear, t-shirts, and activewear.
  • For modal fabrics that can be washed in a machine, use a delicate cycle, cold or warm water, and mild detergent.
  • If you want to use bleach for deeper cleaning, it’s best to use oxygen bleach instead of regular chlorinated bleach.
  • Always air-dry the fabric naturally to prolong the lifespan of your modal fabric.
  • Read the care label carefully to figure out the right method to wash your modal fabric.

Can you wash modal fabric in the washing machine?

Modal fabrics are machine washable in most cases. However, be sure to read the care label, as blended modal fabrics like “modal and spandex” or “modal and cotton” may have different washing and care instructions on the label. When machine-washing the modal fabric, use cold or warm water that does not exceed 40 degrees Celsius.

Likewise, you can hand-wash the modal in a sink or tub using mild detergent and warm water.

What wash setting do you use for the modal fabric?

If your modal clothing is particularly delicate, i.e., if it is made up of blended fabric that is relatively delicate, you may want to hand wash it instead.

If the fabric qualifies for machine washing, you should always wash it on a gentle cycle, like silk, wool, handwash, or any other setting in your washer that represents a delicate cycle.

Also, if your washing machine has a spin speed adjustment setting, always choose the lowest spin option.

And you should only use cold or warm water so that the fabric doesn’t shrink.

Lastly, avoid using bleach, fabric softeners, or harsh chemicals. Instead, use a mild detergent or oxygen bleach (only if you want to bleach).

How do you wash modal fabrics in a washing machine?

For a delicate item like a modal, it’s important to take a few extra minutes to make sure you’re using the right setting.

Before you start, you can soak clothes that are very dirty in a bucket of warm water mixed with a small amount of mild soap.

Leave it for about 15 minutes before you rinse it and place it in your washer.

By doing this, you are actually pre-treating the fabric before performing a final wash.

Once you are done pre-treating the modal fabric, it’s time to move on to the first step.

Step 1: Sort your laundry load

Modal fabrics are more likely to pill and wear when they are washed with different kinds of fabrics.

Therefore, it is important to sort your laundry items into two different loads. One that contains modal fabrics and another containing other fabric types like cotton, polyester, etc.

Once you have done the sorting, place the modal garment in the washer.

Step 2: Use a mesh laundry bag (Optional)

To separate modal garments from other similar loads, place them in a laundry bag or simply use pillowcases.

Note: If your modal clothing is particularly delicate, you may want to hand wash it instead.

Step 3: Add a mild detergent

You should always prefer using a mild detergent suitable for delicates, including modal. Natural detergent should do the trick for modal fabrics. 

Also, don’t use bleach or fabric softeners when you wash such delicate items. Instead, adding a cup of distilled vinegar would be gentler and better.

Step 4: Use a gentle cycle and cold water

Choose a gentle cycle from the washer’s settings and use either cold or warm water to wash.

After choosing the right settings, press the start button and let the wash cycle finish.

Step 5: Air dry naturally

As soon as the cycle is done, take out the modal fabrics and hang them to dry on a clothesline.

Alternatively, you can lay them flat on a drying rack in a well-ventilated area or under a running fan.

If you are keen to use a tumble dryer, you will need to be very careful.

Place the garment in a laundry bag suitable for a tumble dryer, and only then place it in the dryer.

You should also use the lowest possible heat setting and a gentle cycle for the shortest time to get the desired results.

Lastly, to keep your modal clothes from getting wrinkled, take them out of the dryer quickly and hang them up or lay them flat.

How to wash modal fabrics by hand?

Hand washing modal fabrics is the best method for washing, especially if the care label is missing or not clear.

Washing modal fabrics by hand not only gives more control over the washing process but also reduces the risk of damage.

Here are some tips for washing modal fabrics by hand:

  • Prepare a sink or basin by filling it with cool water and adding a small amount of mild detergent. If needed you may also add some distilled white vinegar if the clothes are heavily soiled.
  • Next, soak the garment for several minutes, then gently agitate it to loosen any dirt or grime.
  • Leave it to settle for about 15 minutes and then swish the garment and work on the stained or dirty areas of the clothes using your hands.
  • Then, rinse the clothes in clean water (make sure it’s cool).
  • You can then lay the clothes flat to dry or hang them up to air dry.

How to store modal fabrics?

It is always best to store modal fabrics in a cool and dry place.

Because it is a semi-synthetic fabric made from cellulose, it is important to keep them away from heat and sunlight, which can break down the cellulose fibers.

Additionally, modal garments can be folded or hung on hangers.

When folding, avoid creasing the fabric, as this can not only make it look worn out but also weaken the fibers.

Likewise, when hanging modal fabrics, use padded hangers to avoid stretching the fabric.

It is also a good idea to store modal fabrics in airtight containers or bags, as this will help protect the fabric from dust and dirt.

Final Thoughts

If your modal garment is labeled “dry clean only,” do not attempt to wash it at home; instead, take it to the nearest dry cleaner.

And if you’re worried about shrinkage, you can either hand-wash your modal garments or machine-wash them on a delicate cycle using cold water (again, reading the care label should give you a better idea of the right washing method).

Also, it’s always a good practice to take the fabric out of the washer promptly post-wash to avoid wrinkles.

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)