Traditionally, men’s suits have been made of wool and other materials that are not machine wash friendly, to say the least. You have no doubt spent a lot of time and money at dry cleaners to have them wash and prepare your suit. Even worse, if you don’t drop it off or pick up in time, you are at risk of missing your important event!
Only recently has new technology been developed to make certain suits machine washable. To be able to do this requires technology and quality by the manufacturer - both in their process and materials – allowing the suit to not either take damage, fall apart while washing, or shrink after a wash and dry session. This new type of suit can allow new freedom to the traditionally “stiff” article of clothing and allow for a much more flexible wearing experience.
How to know if your suit is Machine Washable?
In general, most suits are not machine washable and require dry cleaning. The suit’s company will usually clearly state if the suit is machine washable. For example, most xSuits are able to wash in machines - including the xSuit 3, xSuit 4, and xSuit Sport – due to the workmanship and material durability that allows them to withstand washing cycles.
If you are still not sure, you can also check the tag of your suit jacket or pants, which should indicate how to care for your apparel. For example, it might say “Dry Clean Only”, in which case you’ll need to head out to the nearby cleaner or tailor. If it is machine washable, it might give some further guidance on whether to use hot or cold water, and if it is also ok to dry it.
What happens if you wash a non-machine washable suit?
So you might be having some childhood curiosity that makes you question what would happen if you did try to machine wash your suit at home. Will it cause serious damage or is it just a recommendation? Maybe you just want to try it once in a hurry, or perhaps you have even accidently done it before.
Well, there are certainly issues that will come about from machine washing a suit that is not designed for it. Depending on the materials, it might become damaged and worn, losing its smoothness and appeal. In that case, there is pretty much no way that the suit can be fixed after that. Another possibility is that the suit could shrink dramatically after washing it. xSuits are designed and tested repeatedly to avoid this issue. The bottom line is to not try and machine wash a suit that is not designed to be! Just dry clean it for now and upgrade the next time you buy.
How Often Should You Wash Your Suit?
There is no set time for this, as it depends on the conditions that you wear it and for how long. If you have an anti-odor and moisture wicking suit, you may be able to wear it for a few weeks without washing it. But if it's very hot out or gets marks or odors, washing it may be needed. Keep in mind that while the suit is machine washable, after many washes over time it will lose some of its original technological benefits, so there is no need to overdo washing if it's not needed. In fact, even dry cleaning will also put wear on articles of clothing.
Steps to Machine Wash Your Suit
1) First, determine if you really need to wash your suit. After you determine your suit blazer and pants are machine washable and that they need to be washed, take them out and make sure to remove everything from the breast pocket and others (if you have any xSuit, then check the hidden pockets to see if you stashed anything!)
2) You must wash your suit separately to keep it from getting faded or changing color tones. In addition, some clothing could have parts of it that could potentially damage the suit. For such as nice and expensive item, it is worth doing a separate wash. You can also use a garment wash bag for extra protection of your jacket and pants.
3) Run it in a standard cold water wash with laundry detergent (you may like to buy a detergent that is specialized for black clothes if you are washing black suits). Using the lowest and coldest wash settings is the best for clothing in general, and especially premium items like suits. The exception to this is if there are visible stains, in which case warmer water is better. But the best alternative to this is to remove stains by wiping the stained area first, preferable as soon after the stain occurs as possible. Use as little detergent as possible.
4) After it is finished washing, it is recommended that you hang the jacket and pants up to dry. You can even use specialized suit hangers if you like. Using a dryer is not recommended, as it adds some wear to the suit and can potentially give negative longer term effects.
5) Right after washing, the suit may show some wrinkles. Don’t worry though, after it is dried and you give it a few flips with your hands, it will be ready to go. You might want to do some light ironing or steaming to remove wrinkling that occurs from washing. A portable steamer is easy and affordable to purchase online.
6) Enjoy your newly washed suit!
Now you know how to machine wash a suit. Having a suit that you can machine wash at home is a game changer! You’ll save a lot of time and money - while keeping the comfort, style, and convenience that you seek.