Tip: Spot treat any stains with cool water and a diluted solution of detergent. Test the solution on a part of the garment that's hidden or concealed, and if there is no adverse reaction, blot the stain with the solution before soaking. Be gentle when spot treating silk, as rubbing one spot too much can lighten the fabric.
Silk is a very delicate fabric, and you may feel nervous about washing any silk clothing you own. Although you need to give your silk scarf, blouse, or dress tender loving care on laundry day, you can keep your items beautiful and soft even when you wash silk at home. We’ll take the anxiety out of washing silk and show you a few simple steps you can take to give this luxurious fabric the care it deserves.
How to Wash Silk: The Basics
When it comes to washing silk, there are a few rules you’ll need to bear in mind to protect the garment you’re washing. Whether you need to wash by hand or in a machine, it’s important you keep the following in mind.
Your fabric care label can tell you a lot about the garment. If the label says “Dry Clean,” this is usually just a recommendation to take the item to a dry cleaner, but it’s best to gently hand wash the garment if you chose to wash it at home. “Dry Clean Only” on the other hand means that the piece of clothing is very delicate, and it’s safer to take it to a professional.
Check the instructions on the garment’s fabric care label. The fabric care label tells you how that specific item needs to be washed and cared for.
Never wash with chlorine bleach. It can damage your clothing’s natural fibers.
Do not dry in direct sunlight. Exposing your garment to long bursts of sunlight can cause the colors to fade or even damage your silk fabrics.
Do not tumble dry. Silk is very delicate and the high temperatures of the tumble dryer can shrink or damage your silks.
Use a detergent for delicates. Studio by Tide Delicates Liquid Laundry Detergent has been specifically designed to take care of silk.
Check for colorfastness. Some silk garments may bleed in the wash, so test a damp area by dabbing with a wet, white cloth to see if any color leaks onto it.
How to Wash Silk in a Washing Machine: Step-by-Step Instructions
Despite what you’ve heard, you can wash silk in a washing machine. However, it’s worth investing in a mesh bag to protect your delicate items from tangling or getting caught on other items during the wash. Follow the instructions for washing silk items in a washing machine.
Check the fabric care label
Before you put a silk item in the machine, check the tag to see if it can be machine washed. Some silk items may lose color or get damaged in the machine.
Sort the laundry
Don’t wash silk and delicate fabric with heavy pieces of clothing like jeans.
Place silk items in a mesh bag
Using a delicates wash bag will protect your silks from any abrasive damage.
Load the machine
Make sure you leave enough of a gap to fit in a hand, so you don’t overload the washing machine.
Add silk wash or delicate detergent
Studio by Tide Delicates Liquid Laundry Detergent is detergent specifically designed to care for your silk garments. Follow the dosing instructions on the bottle.
Start a delicate cycle
Your machine should have a delicate wash option, and also choose the shortest spin cycle and wash on the temperature recommended by the fabric care label.
Use a towel to soak up water after the wash
Take the garment out of the machine and use a towel to soak up excess moisture.
Hang garment or lay flat to dry
Depending on the garment, you will want to hang it up or lay it flat. Don’t dry in direct sunlight.
How to Hand Wash Silk Clothes: Step-by-Step Instructions
The safest way to wash delicate silk garments at home is to hand wash them. If the fabric care label tells you to “Dry Clean” or not machine wash, then it’s best to wash by hand. Follow the step-by-step instructions below on how to hand wash silk.
Fill a basin with cool water
Take a basin or use the sink and fill it with lukewarm to cold water. Submerge the garment.
Add a few drops of detergent for delicates
Mix in a few drops of gentle detergent and use your hand to stir it into the solution.
Soak the garment
Leave the item to soak for three minutes.
Agitate the item in the water
Use your hands and plunge the garment up and down in the water gently to remove any dirt.
Rinse in cold water
Take the garment out and get rid of the dirty water. Rinse the item under cold water till it runs clear and all the soap has been washed out.
Absorb excess water with a towel
Use a towel to soak up the moisture from your silk garment, but don’t rub or agitate the item.
Hang the garment to dry
Place the item on a hanger or a drying rack and leave to dry out of the way of direct sunlight.
How to Remove Stains from Silk
What can you do if you get stains on silk? You may think you need high washing temperatures and a lot of agitation to get rid of any stains from silk, but luckily you can use a few tricks to remove stains and keep the garment looking beautiful.
How to Care for Silk After Washing
Silk is a high maintenance fabric, but the steps you can take to keep it looking its best are simple and worth the effort. Apart from taking care of the garment when washing and drying, you can also do more to care for your silks, from handling wrinkles and creases to storing silk.
Silk is a beautiful, luxurious fabric so it’s worth taking a few measures to care for it, however, it’s not the only delicate fabric that needs a little looking after. If you have other delicates like lace, wool, or sheepskin, they will also need special care in the laundry room. Fortunately, when it comes to cleaning washing and caring for delicate clothing, Studio by Tide is here to help.
Turn garment inside out and turn the iron to low heat or the silk setting.
Only iron silk when dry.
Put a cloth between the silk and the iron.
Do not spray or wet silk when ironing.
Hang silk garments in a cool, dry place.
Store silk in a breathable plastic back if you’re planning to put it away for a long time.
Keep silk out of the sun.
Use moth repellant when storing silk.