How to Wash Silk Fabric

Silk fabric is a very delicate material, so most people believe it needs to be taken to the dry cleaner for washing; however, contrary to this belief, you can wash silk fabric at home if you know how to go about it. 

This article covers everything you need to know about washing silk fabrics. 

Precautions To Take When Washing Silk Fabric 

how to safely wash silk fabric

Silk fabric is a delicate fabric that needs to be handled with care. It must be washed carefully to maintain its softness and luster. Plus, it requires special care when it comes to drying as it can shrink or stretch if not dried properly.

Because of how delicate the silk material is, there are a lot of precautions and golden rules to follow when washing the silk fabric. Here are some of the rules to follow when washing silk fabric below:

1. Avoid Using Bleach

Avoid using any kind of bleach on silk as this can cause the fabric’s color to fade away or even damage the fibers.

2. Use Cold Or Warm Water

When we wash silk, we should use cold water instead of hot water and avoid using any kind of detergent for hand washing. Instead, we should use shampoo or hair conditioner and rinse with cold water before air-drying.

3. Test for color fastness

When washing silk, its rich colors often bleed, so first test for color fastness before washing anything. To test color fastness, dip a ball of cotton wool in mild laundry detergent and water, then dab it on a hidden seam to see if any dye comes off on the swab. Bright prints or colors that bleed should be dry-cleaned.

4. Don’t spot-treat silk

Spot treatment can work as a stain remover. However, it’s not advisable to spot-treat silk fabric because treating one area of silk can cause a lightening in just that spot. So, it is advisable to wash the entire fabric whether the stain is moderate or not, especially in the middle of a pattern. 

Ways To Wash Silk Fabric 

Silk fabrics can be washed both in a washing machine or by hand. Each method of washing has simple steps to follow. 

How To Hand Wash Silk Fabric 

Silk contains natural oils that are used to protect the fibers from damage and dirt. These oils make it difficult for water to penetrate the silk fabric, which means that the silk will not get any cleaner with water alone.

Different household ingredients can come in handy to wash silk fabrics. Here are some of them below:

Use Laundry Detergent

use laundry detergent to wash silk fabric

Step 1: Make a soapy solution of laundry detergent and warm water using your hand to stir the solution properly. 

step 2: Soak your silk fabric in the solution and allow it to soak for about three minutes. Plunge the fabric up and down in the water gently to remove any dirt.

Step 3: Leave it to sit in the solution for another three minutes, then rinse in cold water until all the soap has been washed out.

Use White Vinegar

Vinegar is a multipurpose household ingredient with many benefits, and one of its benefits is that it is perfect for delicate fabrics. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use vinegar to wash silk fabric: 

Step 1: Mix equal parts of vinegar and water to make a solution. Soak the silk fabrics in the solution 

Step 2: Wash with cool water and regular detergent and leave to dry.

Use Baking Soda

use baking soda to wash silk fabric

Baking soda is handy for many things, and washing delicate fabrics like silk isn’t left out. Follow these simple steps to use baking soda to wash silk fabric:

Step 1: Mix baking soda with water to form a solution, then soak the cloth in the solution and massage it into the clothes. 

Step 2: Allow the baking soda to sit for some minutes, then gently brush it away. Rinse the cloth with cool water and dry. 

Use Hydrogen Peroxide

hydrogen peroxide to wash silk fabric

Hydrogen peroxide works just like vinegar and is perfect for washing silk fabric. So, if you can’t lay your hands on white vinegar, this is your best bet. Here is a step-by-step guide for washing silk fabric with hydrogen peroxide: 

Step 1: Mix hydrogen peroxide and dish soap in small but equal parts to form a solution. Spray some of the solutions on the fabric and massage it into the clothes. 

Step 2: Allow it to sit for about 15 minutes, then turn the cloth inside out and repeat the process. Rinse with cool water and leave to dry.

How To Wash Silk Fabric In A Washing Machine

Washing silk fabric in a washing machine requires extra care and gentleness. Here is a step-by-step guide for washing silk in a washing machine:

Step 1: Check the fabric care label to be sure it supports machine wash before you put the fabric in the machine. 

Step 2: Be sure to wash your silk fabric alone or with other delicate fabrics to prevent it from getting damaged. 

Step 3: Put your silk fabric in a mesh bag before putting it into the machine. Ensure that you don’t overload the washing machine.

Step 4: Add laundry detergents that support delicate wash. Then start a delicate cycle. If your machine does not have a delicate wash option, select the shortest spin cycle, and wash at the recommended temperature for the fabric. 

How To Dry Silk Fabric

Aside from washing the silk fabric, drying it is another important aspect to look into because of how delicate the fabric is. One safety rule with this fabric is to always be gentle with the fabric. Here is a simple guide for drying silk fabric below: 

Step 1: After washing the fabric, place a white cotton towel on a flat surface and put the wet silk on it. 

Step 2: Gently press the towel to remove excess water. Or, you can lightly tap the towel. 

Step 3: Do not sun dry. Instead, hang the silk fabric on a hanger and keep it in a well-ventilated room away from sunlight. It should be dry in an hour.

Care Tips For Washing Silk Fabric 

Silk fabrics are high maintenance because they are delicate, so taking care of them can be tricky, from washing them to drying them. To make it an easy job, here are a few tips and tricks to keep up your sleeves: 

1. They should be hand washed with a mild detergent or soap and dried away from direct sunlight.

2. Always wash alone or with other delicate fabrics and handle with care. Be gentle when washing, drying or storing. 

3. If you must iron, only iron when the fabric is dry and use low heat. 

4. Never wring or squeeze. Wringing or squeezing silk will damage its fibers and make it lose its qualities. Also, do not use spin mode in the washing machine as it could damage the silk fibers.

5. Do not dry in a dryer or direct sunlight: Never toss your silk clothing in a dryer as it could overheat and shrink the fabric. Drying under direct sunlight will accelerate fading.

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