Silk is a delicate fabric and should be handled with care. However, it is fairly easy to clean. It has a naturally tendency to release dirt quickly and does not always require dry cleaning to keep its quality.
Washing Silk Items
- Gently handwash silk items using very cold water.
- Apply a very mild detergent such as Woolite or Dr. Bronner’s Baby Soap (this soap will help preserve the garment’s natural oils).
- Rinse the item in cold water until all soap residue has been removed.
- Add a few drops of hair conditioner to the rinse water to keep the silk soft and flexible.
- Press the water out of the fabric by rolling it in a towel. Do not twist or wring, as this will damage the fabric.
- Hang the wet garment and allow it to air dry completely.
- Do not hang silk garments in the sun to dry.
- Iron only when absolutely necessary. Use a cool iron with a press cloth between the iron and the fabric.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Unless the tag on your silk fabric recommends dry cleaning, it should be avoided as dry cleaning will shrink certain types of silk.
- Use lemon juice or vinegar to spot clean, but test an inconspicuous area first to test for colorfastness.
- Be gentle – it’s the agitation from washing that causes this material to shrink. Even the gentle cycle on the washer is too rough for this delicate fabric.
- To keep silk from yellowing, add ½ cup of vinegar to the rinse water.
- Since silk is a natural fiber, do not use bleach as it will damage the fibers.
- Be careful not to let hairspray and perfume get on silk as the alcohol will damage the fabric.
- If you have hard water, you may want to add a tablespoon of borax to the water prior to washing.