How to wash silk clothing? Fabric Care The Complete Guide

How to Wash Silk Clothing - Fabric Care by Fashion Aftermath Fashion Aftermath

The Complete Guide to wash silk

If you’re the one at home managing household (laundry) or fashion freak who loves to wear silky fabrics, we know how time-consuming and tedious it can be to properly clean your delicate ensemble.

From shell tops to tailored skirts, silk garments require special attention and caution when being laundered in order for them to remain beautiful and fresh-looking.

If you're looking for advice on how to care for your favorite pieces of clothing without ruining their appearance, then this guide is just what you need!

We'll provide step-by-step instructions that will help you learn all the ins-and-outs of washing silk correctly.

So whether you're a beginner or an experienced cleaner, now is the perfect opportunity to discover everything there is to know about washing the luxurious fabric.

How to Wash Silk

Silk is a luxurious fabric that is often used in high-fashion garments. However, silk can be delicate and requires special care when washing.

Here are some tips on how to wash silk without damaging it:

1. Check the care label.

  • Look for the care label. The care label is usually located on the inside of the garment, near the hem. It may be a small, sewn-in tag or a larger, printed label.

  • Identify the symbols. The care label will be filled with symbols that indicate how to care for the garment. These symbols are standardized, so you can find their meanings online or in a care label guide.
  • Interpret the symbols. Once you know what the symbols mean, you can follow the instructions on the care label to care for your garment properly.

The first step is to always check the care label on your silk garment to see if it can be machine-washed or hand-washed.

If it says "dry-clean only," then you should take it to a professional dry cleaner.

If you browse through our products you will mostly see washing instructions if available.

2. Use a mild detergent.

When washing silk, it is important to use a mild detergent that is designed for delicate fabrics.

We linked one of our favorites below - eco-friendly, of course!

EcoVer´s products are made with plant-based ingredients that are gentle on your skin.

They are also dermatologically tested and vegan friendly.

Make sure to avoid using harsh detergents or bleach, as these can damage the silk fibers.

3. Wash in lukewarm water.

Silk should be washed in lukewarm water (no hotter than 100°F).

Have in mind that hot water can damage the silk fibers.

4. Soak the garment.

If the garment is heavily soiled, you can soak it in the washing solution for 30 minutes before rinsing.

5. Rinse thoroughly.

Rinse the silk garment thoroughly with lukewarm water until the soap is gone.

Gently squeeze out the excess water from the silk garment.

Do not wring or twist it, as this could damage the fabric.

6. Lay the garment flat to dry

Lay the silk garment flat on a clean towel.

Do not hang it up to dry, as this could stretch the fabric.

7. Steam the garment

Once the garment is dry, you can steam it to remove any wrinkles.

8. Store the garment properly

Silk should be stored in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing silk in direct sunlight, as this can fade the colors.

You can also store silk in a garment bag to protect it from dust and dirt.

The product above is a garment bag made of certified cotton.

Hayden Hill's garment bags are made from soft, high-quality Certified Organic Cotton with a 238 thread count.

This makes them delicate enough to protect precious fabrics, while also being durable enough to withstand daily use.

Here are some additional tips for washing silk

By following these tips, you can keep your silk garments looking their best for years to come.

  • If you are unsure how to wash a silk garment, it is always best to err on the side of caution and take it to a professional dry cleaner.
  • If you do wash silk at home, be sure to use a mild detergent and rinse it thoroughly.
  • Do not wring or twist silk garments, as this can damage the fibers.
  • Lay silk garments flat to dry. Do not hang them up, as this can stretch the fabric.
  • Steam silk garments to remove wrinkles.
  • Store silk garments in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing silk in direct sunlight, as this can fade the colors.
  • You can also store silk in a garment bag to protect it from dust and dirt.

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100% pure silk is extremely sensitive and can readily harm by sunshine, detergent-based soap, or any other cleaning agent.

So you should wash it by hand in order to preserve your 100% silk. It is suggested that you wash it with neutral-pH soaps.

What to do first when washing silk textiles

Firstly, you should check the garment's tag, mostly found on the inner layer.

Commonly, it is sewed in at the backside of the collar and on the side along the waist.

If it says, ´dry-clean´, it should be allowed to hand wash.

On the other hand, ´dry-clean only´ recommends avoiding any other method.

Check the color fastness before washing anything and make sure to test it first because the rich colors of silk frequently fade.

To check if any dye has gone off on the cotton swab, dip it in water and mild laundry detergent, then dab it on a seam that isn't visible.

Dry cleaning should be used for bold designs or colors that leak.


Avoid spot treating silk

One place on the silk might brighten as it is rubbed.

Wash the entire item if there are any significant stains, especially ones that are in the center of a pattern. Take dark or unattractive stains to a dry cleaner.


Can you wash silk with shampoo?

Yes, you can try to wash your silk-based garments with shampoo. See below how it works:

  • Add Ludicrously warm water and a tiny amount of liquid detergent. The detergent should preferably be designed for delicate items. Both must be added to a tidy sink or small tub. 
  • Rinse well after three to five minutes of gentle agitation.
  • A moderate, cold-water cycle should be used if machine washing is recommended on the care label. (Ariel, 2022)


What happens if you put silk in the dryer?

You should not put silk in the dryer.

To remove excess moisture, lay wet silk apparel flat on a clean, absorbent towel and wrap it up in the towel.

Lay flat on a drying rack or another dry towel after unfolding and repeating with a second dry towel.


Looking for more Textile Care Guides?

Visit our blog division TEXTILE CARE exclusively dedicated to teach you how to treat your fabrics.

Wear longer, wear sustainable. 

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