How to wash suit pants

Updated February 21, 2017

You can wash suit trousers at home, even if they have a tag on the inner lining that states "dry clean only." However, you must do so with extreme care. Hand-washing suit trousers is an easy way to save money and achieve a result comparable with dry-cleaning. Bear in mind, however, that you should check the tag to see which materials make up the trousers. For example, most suit trousers contain a blend of wool and either polyester or nylon. Some suit trousers are made of cotton, which is fine to hand-wash, as well.

Fill the basin 3/4 full with cold water. Add a gentle cleanser, such as Woolite. Some nonabrasive facial cleansers work just as well.

Mix the water and the cleanser together so that the water becomes sudsy.

Hold the trousers by the waist and dunk them in and out of the water. Rub your fingers gently against any stains or soiled areas.

Empty the dirty, sudsy water down the drain. Rinse out the basin and fill it with cold, clean water. Rinse the trousers in the clean water. Repeat one to two times until clean, soap-free water drips from the trousers.

Pull the trousers out of the water and shake them vigorously. Lay them on a dry towel.

Roll the trousers up in the towel to absorb the excess water. Repeat this two to five times with a dry towel.

Shake the trousers out after the final roll to prevent wrinkles. Lay the trousers flat on the drying rack. Keep the rack away from direct sunlight.


Never use bleaches, regular laundry cleansers, fabric softeners, or rinse additives when washing suit trousers. When shaking the trousers, shake them over a bathtub so as not to make a mess.


Never twist or wring the trousers, even when they are in a towel (as in step 6). Concerning suit trousers that contain rayon or acetate---take them to the dry cleaners. Never try to wash leather or suede.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean basin
  • Cold water
  • Gentle cleanser
  • Two to five dry towels
  • Drying rack
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About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."