How to Wash Silk Garments
Silk is one of the world's most luxurious fabrics and has been sought after for centuries. But dry cleaning is expensive! Use these steps to wash silk thoroughly and without having to take it to the dry cleaners.
Silk is a fabric made from natural fibers created by moth caterpillars. Good for both summer and winter wear, silk is a delicate fabric that requires special care when cleaned.
- Check color fastness of silk first by treating hidden part of clothing. If color transfers dry-clean only.
- Soak the fabric in lukewarm water with a mild soap for about 5 minutes or less. Make sure the water is not too cold or too hot as this will stretch or shrink the garment.
- Rub stains very lightly under the soap-water, careful not to rub too hard as this can damage the fabric irreparably.
- Rinse with water containing 1/4 cup vinegar. This will remove the soap and help restore shine.
- Final rinse with cold water alone.
- Take out of the water and wring excess water out by spreading the garment out on a towel and rolling it up. The towel will absorb the water, and the garment will get an effective, yet mild wringing.
- Leave the garment on the towel and let it dry somewhat.
Use an iron on low heat to lightly press the silk fabric. Do not iron the outside of the material, but on the inside that is not seen. After ironing, either put the garment on a padded hanger to cool, or lay scarves, etc. flat on a table or bed.
- If you clean the garment in the kitchen or bathroom, make sure the countertops are clear and clean so as to avoid snags, rips, or harmful chemicals to touch the garment.
- Reds (Dark colour) are particularly sensitive to running and fading.
- Do not allow perfume, cologne, or alcoholic beverages to touch the garment during the washing process. These liquids can disturb the dye and cause the garment to bleed.
- Iron only on the inside of the garment. Silk garments are treated a special way and the inside will not usually damage under heat.
- Use a very lightly-heated iron. Excessive heat will damage any silk garment.
- Do not use detergents. These are too abrasive and will cause damage.
- Do not hang silk garments in the sun to dry.
- Do not twist or wring, as this will damage the fabric.
- Don't dry them in a dryer.
- You'll Need Water
- Very mild soap (no detergents!)
- Tub or basin large enough to hold water and garment
- Plastic bag