How to Clean and Care for Clothes With Sequins

Someone cleaning a sequined garment

The Spruce / Michele Lee

Overview
  • Working Time: 1 hr - 1 day
  • Total Time: 10 mins - 1 hr
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

Sequined clothes and home accessories bring a bit of sparkle into our lives. But these dazzlers need some special care to keep them shiny and bright. How you should care for your sequined items depends on what type of fabric is under the sequins, how the sequins are attached, and how the garment is made.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Large sink or tub
  • Washing machine
  • Drying rack
  • Clothes steamer (optional)

Materials

  • Gentle detergent
  • Cool water
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Cotton swabs
  • Paper towels

Instructions

How to Clean and Care for Clothes With Sequins
Detergent Gentle
Water Temperature Cold
Cycle Type Gentle
Drying Cycle Air-dry only
Special Treatments Hand-washing or dry-cleaning preferred
Iron Settings Do not iron
Materials for cleaning sequined clothing

The Spruce / Michele Lee

Before You Begin

First, always check the garment label to see what the manufacturer recommends. Some sequined clothes are hand- or machine-washable; others are dry clean only. Even if you are experienced at doing laundry, follow the label.

While most sequins won't be harmed by gentle washing, the base fabric can be ruined. For example, a sequined jacket has interfacings that give it structure, and, if they get wet, the jacket may lose its shape.

It also depends on whether the sequins are attached with thread or glue. Some glues will melt in dry cleaning solutions. A professional dry cleaner will know how to properly clean the garment. Don't use a home dry cleaning kit to clean sequined clothes.

Instructions

  1. Freshen Sequined Items

    To freshen a sequined garment, use a fabric freshener spray only on the inside of the piece. Never spray the sequined areas because the spray can dull the finish of the sequins.

    Someone spraying a sequined garment

    The Spruce / Michele Lee

  2. Hand-Wash

    Hand-washing is the most gentle method for cleaning a sequined shirt, sweater, pillow, or blanket. Button or zip all closures, and turn the garment inside out. Fill a sink with cool water and one teaspoon of gentle detergent designed for hand-washing.

    Completely submerge the item, and swish it through the water. Don't scrub vigorously or wring the garment tightly. Too much agitation can bend or break the sequins. Allow the item to soak for at least five minutes.

    Drain the soapy water, and refill the basin with clean water. Rinse the sequined item until no suds remain. Gently squeeze out the water.

    Sequined garment in a wash tub

    The Spruce / Michele Lee

  3. Machine-Wash

    Select the gentle cycle and cold water temperature. Set the spin cycle on the lowest speed to prevent damage to the sequins. Add a gentle detergent, and don't use bleach or fabric softener. Button or zip the garment completely. Turn it inside out so that the sequins are protected.

    Someone setting a washer

    The Spruce / Michele Lee

  4. Air-Dry

    No matter how you wash your sequined item, skip the dryer. Never put freshly washed sequined garments or home accessories in a dryer because the sequins or glue could melt. If the garment is made from a woven fabric, it can be hung to air-dry.

    Sequined shirt hanging up

    The Spruce / Michele Lee

Storing Clothes With Sequins

The best way to store items with sequins is in a clean cotton bag or pillow case. This will keep the item from getting tangled with loose threads or loosely woven garments.

Repairs

Loose sequins? If the sequins have predrilled holes, they can be reattached with thread. Use a very thin, fine needle and a thread that matches the sequins. Tie a knot in the thread, and draw it up to the surface from the wrong side of the fabric (the knot will be on the wrong side). Use tiny stitches, and reattach the loose sequins. You can also use fabric glue to reaffix loose sequins. Use the least amount possible, and allow it to dry completely before wearing the garment.

Treating Stains on Clothes With Sequins

Rather than washing, try spot-cleaning stains first. Mix a solution of one teaspoon dishwashing liquid with one cup cool water. Mix well, and use cotton swabs dipped in the solution to remove the stain. Work between the sequins to reach the base fabric as well as any stain on the surface of the sequins.

Blot the area with a clean white cloth or paper towel as the stain is loosened. When the stain is gone, blot the area with a cloth dipped in water to remove any soapy residue. Finish by blotting with a dry white cloth, and allow the item to air-dry.

If the stain is oily, you may need to use a dry cleaning solvent. Follow the product directions carefully, and use as little cleaning solution as possible.

Ironing

Never iron clothes with sequins. Even ironing on the wrong side with a pressing cloth can cause the sequins or glue to melt. If you must remove wrinkles, carefully use a clothes steamer. Steam on the wrong side, and keep the steam wand at least 12 inches away from the fabric.

You can also remove wrinkles from sequined clothes by hanging them in a steamy bathroom for 30 minutes. Allow the garment to dry completely before wearing to avoid creating more wrinkles.

steaming the sequined garment

The Spruce / Michele Lee

Tips for Washing Clothes With Sequins

  • While some types of fabric glue are permanent, many won't hold up to washing. Always hand-wash the item, or be prepared to reattach sequins after washing.
  • Wash your item inside-out to keep the sequins from rubbing against the sides of the wash tub or washing machine.
  • Knitted items with sequins and any especially heavy garment should be dried flat.