How to wash silk

It’s a beautiful, versatile fabric, but taking care of silk can be a daunting prospect. Here’s how to do it.

How do you clean silk?

Luxurious and elegant, silk is a beautiful addition to your wardrobe – or bedding. But the prospect of cleaning it can make that stunning silk dress, shirt, skirt or sheets seem less appealing.

If you’ve ever wondered how to wash silk it may not be as challenging as you think.

Due to the feel, shimmer and its lightweight appeal, silk is regarded as a delicate fabric, but it’s ‘tougher’ than it looks. Unless the care label reads ‘dry clean only’, there’s a good chance you can wash your silk garment, by hand or even in the machine.

Hand washing silk

If your care label specifies hand washing your silk, it’s best to test the fabric for colourfastness first by gently blotting an inconspicuous part of the garment (a hidden seam, for example) with a damp white cloth.

To hand wash silk, choose a mild detergent, suitable for delicates, and dilute it in a lukewarm basin or bucket. Soak your silk for up to five minutes before rinsing in a new bowl of clean, cool water.

Give the item a final rinse before laying flat and dabbing with a clean towel to absorb any excess water: never wring out silk clothes as this can warp the shape.

You can leave your silk out to dry flat, or hang it carefully on a washing line with wooden or soft grip pegs.


Machine washing silk

If you’ve consulted your silk care instructions and your garment is suitable for machine washing, you just need to take a couple of precautionary steps.

Washing silk in a laundry bag – or pillowcase – helps to prevent the fabric catching or pulling on the washing machine drum.

You should also make sure the washing machine is on a cool temperature cycle, preferably 30°C, and look for a setting that is suitable for delicate items: if your washer has a ‘hand wash’ programme, that could be ideal.

A mild detergent is another must, as is a short spin cycle.


Dry cleaned and delivered to your door

If your silk is dry clean only, you can trust Laundrapp to care for your delicates – and even if your silk sheets or clothes are machine washable, you might prefer to let the experts take care of it.

Laundrapp can either dry clean or wash your silks at 30°C, delivering them back to your door looking and feeling fresh, pristine and beautiful.


Guest written by,

Johanna Payton

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