Silk is one of the world’s most luxurious fabrics and has been sought after for centuries. But dry cleaning is expensive! Use these steps to wash silk thoroughly and without having to take it to the dry cleaners.
Cleaning and washing silk is surprisingly easy if certain precautions are observed.
Care of Silk Fabric: General Precautions
- Silk is a natural protein fiber. Do not use chlorine bleach to clean silk; chlorine will damage the silk fabric
- Avoid drying silk in direct sunlight as sunlight for a prolonged period will damage the silk fabric
- Substances containing alcohol will damage silk fabric. So let your perfume and hairspray dry before dressing
Hand Washing Silk
- Hand washing silk is our recommended mode of cleaning silk. Almost all silk can be hand washed (and would not shrink if the silk fabric were pre-shrunk before sewing)
- If you have hard water, you may wish to first add a spoonful of borax to the washing water
- Use lukewarm water and mild, non-alkaline soap (such as Ivory Liquid) or baby shampoo
- While rinsing, you can add a few tablespoonfuls of distilled white vinegar to the rinse water to neutralize alkali traces and to dissolve soap residue
Or, add a few drops of hair conditioner to the final rinse water for extra silky feel
- Soaking silk for any more than a few minutes should be avoided
- Do not use harsh detergents that contain bleaches or brighteners
- Do not wring or twist; roll in towel to extract water
Machine Washing Silk
- We recommend hand washing silk, even those items labeled safe for machine washing
- If, however, you do wish to machine wash silk, please use Delicate Cycle and mild detergent.
- Do not use detergents that contain enzymes and brighteners
- Use the shortest spin cycle
- In a top-loading machine, we strongly recommend using a mesh bag for extra protection (this step would not be necessary in a front-loading machine)
- Always separate your colors
Silk Care: Ironing Silk
- If necessary, press the silk sleepwear inside out while damp using cool iron setting (“Silk” setting on the iron)
- Do not wet locally as this may cause rings
- Too much heat can dull, pucker, or burn silk fabric
- Most wrinkles in silk can be removed by hanging the sleepwear in the bathroom during a shower. Let humidity do the ironing for you!
Cleaning Silk: Wrinkle Removal Tips
- Minor silk wrinkles should disappear if the sleepwear is hung overnight
- Stubborn wrinkles can be removed with a cool iron set on “silk”
- Better yet, hang your silk sleepwear in the bathroom during a shower. Humidity will remove the wrinkles for you
Cleaning Silk: Silk Stain Removal
- Please consult with your dry cleaner
- As with all fine fabrics, NEVER use chlorine bleach on silk, as it will erode the fiber (not to mention the fabric discoloration)
Silk Care: Travel Tips
- Pack your silk sleepwear as you would any other clothing. Simply hang the sleepwear after unpacking. Minor wrinkles should disappear overnight
- Better yet, hang your sleepwear in the bathroom during a shower. The humidity will remove the wrinkles for you.