Can you wash waxed fabric?


Waxed fabric has gained popularity in recent years due to its durability and water-resistant properties. However, many people are unsure about how to properly care for this unique material. One common question that arises is whether it is safe to wash waxed fabric. In this article, we will explore the process of washing waxed fabric and provide you with essential tips to maintain its longevity.

Understanding Waxed Fabric:

Before delving into the washing procedure, it is crucial to grasp what waxed fabric actually is. Waxed fabric is cotton or canvas material that has been treated with wax to make it water-resistant. This special treatment creates a protective barrier that prevents water from penetrating the fabric. Waxed fabric is commonly found in outerwear, bags, and accessories, providing a stylish yet practical solution to combatting the elements.

Washing Waxed Fabric - Yes or No?

Preparing Waxed Fabric for Washing

Hand-Washing Waxed Fabric

Machine-Washing Waxed Fabric

Drying and Restoring Waxed Fabric

Washing Waxed Fabric - Yes or No?

The answer to whether you can wash waxed fabric is not a simple yes or no. While some waxed fabrics can be washed, others require different forms of cleaning. It is crucial to check the instructions provided by the manufacturer before attempting to wash the fabric. Some waxed fabrics may lose their water-resistant qualities if not cared for correctly, while others can handle occasional washing without much trouble.

Preparing Waxed Fabric for Washing:

Regardless of the washing method chosen, it is important to prepare the waxed fabric beforehand to minimize any potential damage. Start by removing any visible dirt or stains from the fabric using a soft brush or cloth. Gently scrub the affected areas to avoid rubbing the dirt further into the fabric. Once the visible dirt is removed, check for any loose wax flakes. If you find any, carefully scrape them off using a plastic spatula or your fingernail. This step ensures that the waxed fabric is clean and ready for the washing process.

Hand-Washing Waxed Fabric:

Hand-washing is often the safest method to clean waxed fabric. Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water and add a gentle detergent specifically formulated for delicate fabrics. Make sure to use a detergent that does not contain bleach or other harsh chemicals, as these can damage the waxed fabric. Submerge the fabric into the water and gently agitate it for a few minutes, ensuring that the detergent reaches all areas. Avoid wringing or twisting the fabric, as it can cause the wax coating to crack or peel. Once washed, rinse the fabric thoroughly to remove all traces of detergent.

Machine-Washing Waxed Fabric:

Machine-washing waxed fabric should only be attempted if explicitly stated by the manufacturer. If allowed, it is crucial to select the appropriate settings to prevent any damage to the fabric. Set the machine to a delicate or gentle cycle with cold water. Hot water can melt the wax and negatively impact the fabric's water-resistant properties. Additionally, avoid using harsh detergents, fabric softeners, or bleach, as they can strip away the wax coating. Instead, opt for mild, eco-friendly detergents specially designed for delicate garments. Place the waxed fabric in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase to protect it from excessive friction during the wash cycle.

Drying and Restoring Waxed Fabric:

After washing, it is essential to dry and restore the waxed fabric properly. Firstly, avoid using a dryer, direct heat, or hanging the fabric in direct sunlight. These actions can cause the wax to melt or soften, leading to irreversible damage. Instead, lay the fabric flat on a clean, dry towel. Roll the towel and fabric together to gently squeeze out excess water. Once most of the water is removed, carefully unroll the towel and reshape the fabric to its original form. Finally, allow the fabric to air dry in a well-ventilated area away from direct heat sources.

Maintaining the Water-Resistant Qualities:

To maintain the water-resistant properties of waxed fabric, occasional re-waxing may be required. Over time, the wax coating can wear off due to regular use, washing, or exposure to the elements. Re-waxing replenishes the protective layer and ensures the fabric remains water-resistant. Various wax products are available on the market, specifically designed for re-waxing purposes. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to apply the wax evenly on the fabric's surface. Regular re-waxing will enhance the fabric's longevity and keep it looking and performing its best.


Waxed fabric can be washed, but it requires gentle, appropriate care to maintain its water-resistant qualities. Whether you choose to hand-wash or machine-wash, always follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer and be mindful of the detergent and water temperature used. Additionally, proper drying and occasional re-waxing are essential to ensure the fabric retains its durability and functionality. With the right maintenance, your waxed fabric items will continue to protect you from the elements while remaining stylish and long-lasting.


Author: Jiede–Fashion Fabrics

Author: Jiede–Apparel Fabrics

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