How-to

How to Wash Silk Clothes at Home

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Who doesn’t love the soft, luxurious feel of silk clothing? The only thing not to love is when the time comes to clean them. But before you drop off your favorite silk clothing at the dry cleaners, we’re here to tell you that you can do it yourself! And this isn’t some complicated lengthy process either. 

Despite the label on silk clothing that usually reads “dry clean only,” there is a simple, safe, and effective way for you to wash your silk clothes at home. Not only will this save you a bill from the dry cleaners, but it’s also a more eco-friendly option! 

Two Rules for Washing Silk Clothes

1. Always Use Cold Water

    First things first — silk does tend to fade easily, so it’s important to wash your silk clothes in cold water to avoid a lot of color bleeding. Plus, did you know that 90 percent of a washing machines’ energy is used just to heat the water? This means that you can save energy and lower your carbon footprint just by simply washing silk clothes with cold water! 

    2. No Harsh Detergents

    The most important thing when you wash silk clothes (other than using cold water) is to use a gentle detergent. Silk is a delicate fabric and most heavy-duty laundry detergents are best for washing cotton and synthetic fibers. 

    To be safe, avoid detergents with harsh ingredients. Kind Laundry’s Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent Sheets are a great option because they only include safe and gentle ingredients, unlike most big-box store detergents.

    Machine vs. Hand-washing 

    Now, you can wash silk clothes together in a machine on the delicate cycle, but it’s best to wash them separately by hand. Hand washing your silk clothes is the best way to preserve the quality of them. 

    Machine Washing Silk 

    If you do still decide to machine wash your silk clothes in a delicate cycle, turn the garment inside out and put it in a Mesh Laundry Bag for protection. Also, be sure to divide colors just in case any bleeding occurs. 

    Hand-Washing Silk

    To hand-wash your silk clothes, simply fill a bucket or your sink with cold water, add a teaspoon or two of gentle detergent (if using Laundry Detergent Sheets, tear a soap sheet in half and add to the water) and swirl until dissolved before adding the silk garment. Give it a stir, let it sit for a few minutes, and then rinse the item well with cold water. It doesn’t take long for dirt to lift from silk, so that’s all it takes! 

    Never Toss Silk in the Dryer

    Drying silk in a dryer machine can change the texture, shape, and size of the silk clothing, so definitely avoid drying it in a machine. To dry silk, first, roll the garment up in a white cotton towel and gently squeeze. Once you’ve gotten out as much moisture as possible, remove it from the towel and lay it flat to dry to prevent wrinkles. Air drying is fine as long as it’s not done outside in the sun, as the sun can cause damage to the color of the silk.

     

    Treating Stains on Silk

    Stained your silk? Don’t stress. You can make an easy, gentle stain remover by mixing a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar or lemon juice with an equal amount of lukewarm water. You can also use a gentle stain remover like a Stain Remover Bar, but again, avoid stain removers that use harsh chemicals and ingredients. 

    First test the stain remover on a small, hidden area of the garment (like an inside seam) by dabbing it on a small spot with a paper towel or q-tip. You’ll know that it’s safe to use if color doesn’t bleed onto the paper towel or q-tip. Once you’ve tested it, you can dab some of the stain remover onto the stain lightly. Be sure not to rub. Let it sit for a couple of minutes before washing silk clothes. 

     

    That’s All There Is to it!

    And there you have it! Hopefully, after reading this you realize that washing silk clothes shouldn’t seem like a complicated or stressful task. Next time your silk clothes are dirty or stained, put what you’ve learned to the test and clean them at home (saving yourself time and money) instead of handing them off to the dry cleaners!

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