can you wash felt in the washing machine

Can You Wash Felt in the Washing Machine?

Felt is a versatile material used for a variety of purposes, from clothing to crafts. Many people wonder if felt can be washed in a washing machine, and the answer depends on the type of felt and its specific properties.

Washing felt in a washing machine is generally not recommended, as it can lead to shrinkage and damage. Instead, opt for hand washing or spot cleaning for any felt items.

In this article, we will discuss the primary method of cleaning felt and answer frequently asked questions about washing felt in a washing machine.

Can You Wash Felt in the Washing Machine?

Firstly we need to look at all the different types of felt available, with each having its own characteristics and uses. Most types of felt must be handwashed.

Type of FeltCan be Machine Washed?Description
Wool FeltNoMade from natural wool fibers, this type of felt is soft, durable, and eco-friendly. It is often used for clothing, accessories, and home decor items.
Synthetic FeltMaybeMade from man-made fibers such as acrylic, polyester, or rayon, synthetic felt is an affordable alternative to wool felt. It is commonly used for crafting projects and decorations.
Blended FeltMaybeThis type of felt is made by combining wool fibers with synthetic fibers, resulting in a material with the benefits of both wool and synthetic felt. Blended felt is often used in clothing, accessories, and crafts.
Needle FeltNoCreated by interlocking fibers using a special barbed needle, needle felt is a dense, non-woven fabric. It is often used in crafts, textile art, and for making three-dimensional objects.
Pressed FeltNoMade by applying heat, moisture, and pressure to wool or synthetic fibers, pressed felt is a dense and sturdy material. It is used in various applications, including industrial purposes, soundproofing, and insulation.
Craft FeltMaybeTypically made from synthetic fibers, craft felt is an affordable and versatile material popular among hobbyists and crafters for a wide range of projects, such as children’s crafts and DIY decorations.
Types of felt and washing care

Please note that the “maybe” comment for synthetic and blended felts only indicates that machine washing may be possible. Handwashing is still the preferred method for these felts. Always follow the manufacturer’s care instructions and consider hand washing or spot cleaning for the safest approach to cleaning felt. We’ll use that approach for cleaning in this article.

We suggest that if you do opt for using a washing machine for synthetic felt you use a mesh laundry bag and wash in a cold, gentle wash. If you don’t colorfast test make sure any different colors are not mixed in the wash.

Does It Wash Team

Hand Washing Felt

As discussed the primary method of cleaning felt is hand washing, as it is the most gentle and controlled way to clean this delicate fabric. Here are step-by-step instructions for hand washing felt:

  1. Fill a basin or sink with cold or lukewarm water, ensuring it is not too hot, as heat can shrink felt.
  2. Add a small amount of mild detergent, swirling the water to create suds.
  3. Submerge the felt item in the water and gently agitate it using your hands, pressing the soapy water through the material.
  4. Avoid wringing or twisting the felt, as this can cause damage or distortion.
  5. Drain the basin or sink and refill it with clean, cold water.
  6. Rinse the felt item by submerging it in the clean water and gently pressing out the soap.
  7. Repeat the rinsing process until all soap residue is removed.
  8. Lay the felt item flat on a clean, dry towel and gently press out excess water.
  9. Allow the felt to air dry, ensuring it is not exposed to direct sunlight or heat sources.

Spot Cleaning Felt

If your felt item has a small stain or requires only a minor cleaning, spot cleaning is another method you can use. This technique focuses on cleaning specific areas of the felt without submerging the entire item in water. Here are step-by-step instructions for spot cleaning felt:

  1. Mix a small amount of mild detergent with cold or lukewarm water in a bowl, creating a soapy solution.
  2. Dampen a clean, white cloth or sponge with the soapy solution, ensuring it is not too wet, as excess water can damage the felt.
  3. Gently dab the stained or dirty area of the felt item with the damp cloth or sponge, being careful not to rub or scrub the fabric, as this can cause damage.
  4. Use a second clean cloth or sponge dampened with clean, cold water to gently dab the area and remove any soap residue.
  5. Blot the treated area with a dry, clean cloth or towel to absorb any excess moisture.
  6. Allow the felt item to air dry, avoiding direct sunlight or heat sources that could cause shrinkage or fading.


Can all types of felt be washed in a washing machine?

No, most types of felt cannot be washed in a washing machine. Some felt materials, such as wool or wool blend felt, are more delicate and prone to shrinkage or damage when machine washed. Hand washing is generally the safest method for cleaning any type of felt.

What are the risks of washing felt in a washing machine?

Washing felt in a washing machine can lead to shrinkage, distortion, and damage to the fabric. The agitation, heat, and detergent used in a washing machine can be too harsh for delicate felt materials.

Can you wash felt from craft supply places?

Felt from craft supply places can usually be washed, but it is essential to check the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Hand washing is the safest method to clean craft felt.

Can you wash wool blend felt?

Wool blend felt can be washed, but it is important to hand wash it gently, with a mild detergent in cold or lukewarm water to prevent shrinkage and damage.

Can felt be dry cleaned?

Some types of felt, particularly those made from wool or other delicate fibers, can be dry cleaned. It is important to check the care instructions on the felt item or consult a professional dry cleaner to check if dry cleaning is the right option.

Can you wash felt with other fabrics?

It is not advisable to wash felt with other fabrics, as the agitation and different material types can cause damage to the felt. Hand washing felt separately is the best way to ensure its longevity.

How do you remove stains from felt?

To remove stains from felt, gently dab the stained area with a clean, damp cloth or sponge and mild detergent. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing the stain, as this can cause damage to the fabric. Rinse the area with cold water and allow it to air dry.


While some types of felt can possibly be machine washed, it is generally best to gently hand wash felt in cold or lukewarm water with mild detergent. By hand washing you are ensuring the felt is more likely to keep its shape and hold together.

While synthetic felt could be put in the washing machine the potential of damage, shrinkage and losing shape is probably not worth the risk.