How to wash silk bedding

Quality silk bedding can give you a lifetime of comfort and ask that you give them only a little tender loving care in return. Take a look below to learn how to care for a silk bed set.

Although you can wash silk by hand or machine, hand-washing is the safest method for washing silk. 

How to Wash Silk by Hand

What You Need:

  • Sink or wash tub/basin 
  • Silk detergent of your choice
  • Drying rack
  • Iron or steamer

Step 1: Pre-treat odors and mix soap solution.

If your silk pillowcases and sheets have developed an odor, soak your fabric in lukewarm water mixed with 1/4 cup white vinegar before washing. Fill a clean washtub or sink with cool water. Add the correct amount of detergent by reading the label recommendations.

Step 2: Wash pillowcases.

Turn your pillowcases inside-out and submerge them into the water. If cleaning multiple items of bedding, only wash with like colors. Using your hands, gently agitate the water and soap with the silk. Silk becomes weak when its fibers are wet and shouldn't be rubbed too much. Do not let silk soak for more than 30 minutes.

Step 3: Rinse and dry.

Rinse your item by running cool water until all soap is washed away. Gently push the water out of your items. Do not wring them.

Air your silk pieces on a drying rack or lay them flat on a surface. Avoid using hangers with metal clips as this can damage the fabric. Padded or flocked hangers work best. After laundering, silk will become wrinkled. Follow our steps for drying and storing silk, below, to remove wrinkles.

How to Wash Silk by Machine

What you'll need:

  • Delicate detergent
  • Mesh laundry bag
  • Drying rack
  • Hand or steam iron

Step 1: Choose the machine setting and temperature.

Look for a silk cycle option on your washer. If it doesn't have one, use the delicate cycle, which is the machine equivalent to handwashing. Silk is more prone to tearing (and wrinkling) on fast spin cycles, which is why delicate cycles work best. This is the safest way to wash silk by machine because it uses low or no spin and is the shortest cycle. Make sure your water temperature is cold and the spin is set to low.

Step 2: Place in the laundry bag and wash.

Wash your silk separately from your regular load of laundry; do not wash silk with cotton clothing or towels. Also, wash with like colors only. When washing silk pillowcases, place smaller items into mesh laundry bags to prevent tearing. 

Step 3: Remove from washer and dry.

Promptly remove your silk pieces from the washer once the cycle is finished. Do not let silk soak longer than 30 minutes. Air out your silk pieces on a drying rack or lay them flat, avoiding hangers with metal clips. Once dry, silk may be wrinkled.