Care advice for cotton corduroy trousers

Updated February 21, 2017

A good pair of cotton corduroys can last you a couple of seasons if you maintain them carefully. Follow the care instructions on your trousers to see whether they can be washed at home or if they should be dry cleaned. Generally, cotton corduroy trousers can be hand-washed or thrown in the washing machine.


Corduroy itself is not a material, but a particular way of weaving the cotton that results in textured rows. Avoid using a brush to clean out any stains in your corduroy trousers, as it will damage the texture. Blot out the stain with a wet rag, then hang them on a line, lay them on a flat surface or throw them in the dryer.

Machine wash

Cotton corduroy trousers hold up well in the washing machine. However, if the trousers are part of a suit and are lined with a sensitive material, dry cleaning may be your only option. Before placing them in your washing machine, turn them inside out to protect the textured side. Because corduroy material attracts lint, wash the trousers separately from the rest of your laundry. Fully dissolve the washing powder in cool water and use the gentle cycle.

Hand wash

When hand-washing your corduroys, don't wring them out or scrub the fabric harshly. Soak your trousers in warm water and gently rub the material together. Line dry them or tumble dry on a low setting. Remove the trousers from the dryer immediately and shake the wrinkles loose.

To iron or not to iron

If you left your corduroy trousers in the dryer for too long, they may become exceptionally wrinkled. Thin corduroys are notorious for this. Place the trousers on your ironing board and place a sheet over them as a protective layer, then iron. Alternately, hang your cords in a steamy bathroom to relax wrinkles.

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About the Author

Based in Atlanta, Crystal Huskey began writing in 2008 for various nonprofit organizations and news agencies. She now serves as the assistant editor for a hyper-local news site. Huskey is completing her Master of Arts in international relations at American Public University.