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
- Fill a clean sink or large bowl with very cold water.
- Add a very mild detergent such as Woolite or Dr. Bronner’s Baby Soap (this soap will help preserve the garment’s natural oils) to the water and agitate the water to mix in the soap.
- Gently handwash the silk item by pulsing the water with your hand several times to move the soapy water through the fabric.
- Empty the sink or bowl.
- 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.