Wash Silk Garments
Silk is a very delicate material, so you must wash any silk clothing you own with care. Before washing your silk garment, check the tag to see the manufacturer’s recommended method of cleaning. If your garment says “Dry Clean Only,” you can still hand wash your garment with cold water and gentle soap. If the tag recommends gentle washing, you can hand wash or use the “Delicates” setting on your washing machine to wash the silk garment.
Method 1 of 3: Hand Washing Your Garment
1. Fill a basin with cold water
Fill a basin with cold water. Most silk garments can be hand washed, even if the tag advises dry cleaning only. To begin washing the garment, fill a large basin or bowl with enough lukewarm or cold water to submerge the garment inside.
If you really care about the garment, you should probably take it to a dry cleaner’s rather than handwashing it. Silk is easy to damage.
2. Add a few drops of gentle detergent
Add a few drops of gentle detergent. Add in a few drops of gentle detergent to the basin of water. Try to use an all-natural or extra gentle brand to protect the gentle fibers of the silk. Then mix the water around with your hand to mix in the soap.
You can also use baby shampoo if you don’t have a fitting detergent.
3. Let the garment soak for three minutes
Let the garment soak for three minutes. Place the garment in the water of the basin and push it under the water once to get the whole garment wet. Then let the piece of clothing soak for about 3 minutes to let the soap interact with the garment.
Some experts recommend solely spot treating silk garments if you must wash them yourself. That way you don’t risk lowering the quality of the whole clothing item.
4. Agitate the garment around in the water
Agitate the garment around in the water. Take the garment and gently plunge it up and down in the water to move the water through the fabric and wash out any dirt or residue. This motion simulates the motion of a washing machine but is much more gentle.
5. Rinse the garment in cold water
Rinse the garment in cold water. Remove the garment out of the water and pour the water down the sink. Then turn on the cold water and rinse the silk garment to wash out all the soap.
Move the garment around under the jet of water to rinse the entire surface of the garment. Stop when you no longer see soap suds.
6. Absorb the excess moisture with a towel
Absorb the excess moisture with a towel. To begin the process of drying the silk garment, lay a clean towel out flat on a table or counter. Place the silk garment on top of the towel, then begin rolling the towel from one end to the other with the silk garment inside. Once you have rolled the towel all the way up, unroll the towel and take out the silk garment.
Don’t wring or squeeze the rolled towel, as this can damage the silk material.
7. Hang the garment to dry
Hang the garment to dry. Hang the piece of clothing up to dry on a drying rack, making sure not to place it in direct sunlight, as this could fade or damage the fibers of the silk.
Method 2 of 3: Machine Washing Silk
1. Check that the tag recommends machine washing
Check that the tag recommends machine washing. Before you put a silk garment in the washing machine, check the tag to make sure that the garment can be machine washed. Machine washing a silk garment that isn’t designed to be machine washed can wash out some of the color or damage the makeup of the silk.
2. Load the washing machine
Load the washing machine. Once you have made sure that you can wash your silk garment, place the garment in the washing machine by itself or alongside other delicates. Use a mesh bag if you have one to protect the garment and prevent it from snagging on anything.
Don’t place any heavy pieces of clothing like blue jeans in with your garment. Also avoid adding any clothing with metal buttons or snaps that the silk could snag on.
3. Start a delicate cycle
Start a delicate cycle. Adjust the washer to put it on a delicate cycle. Also make sure to choose the shortest spin cycle to so that the wash is as gentle as it can be for your garment.
4. Add gentle detergent
Add gentle detergent. As the water begins to fill up the washing machine, add in mild laundry detergent. Try to use natural and gentle detergent as opposed to detergent that contains brighteners or enzymes that could harm the silk.
5. Soak up excess moisture after the wash
Soak up excess moisture after the wash. Once the wash is over, take the silk garment out of the washing machine. Spread out a clean towel on a counter or table and put the silk garment on top. Roll the towel with the silk garment inside from one side to another. Then unroll the towel and take the garment out.
6. Hang the garment to dry
Hang the garment to dry. After soaking the excess moisture, lay the garment flat to dry or drape it over a drying rack. Don’t place the drying rack in direct sunlight because this can fade the garment and damage the silk material.
Method 3 of 3: Removing Wrinkles From Silk
1. Hang the garment overnight
Hang the garment overnight. If you notice wrinkles in your silk garment, there are a few ways that you can remove the wrinkles without exposing your garment to high heat. If your silk garment only has minor wrinkles, use a plastic clothes hanger to hang the garment, making sure that the garment is hanging completely straight and isn’t folded over on itself. Keep it hanging overnight and see if the wrinkles are gone in the morning.
2. Hang the garment in the bathroom during a shower
Hang the garment in the bathroom during a shower. If simply hanging the garment overnight didn’t straighten out the wrinkles, keep the garment on the hanger and hang it from the towel rack in the bathroom while you are taking a shower. The indirect heat from the shower is a gentle way of straightening out wrinkles.
3. Iron the garment on the “silk” setting
Iron the garment on the “silk” setting. If you didn’t succeed in getting out stubborn wrinkles, check the garment tag to see if it can be ironed. If so, dampen the silk garment in the sink and turn it inside out. Turn the iron onto the cool “silk” setting, then iron gently.
Make sure to use a cool iron setting, because the hot setting can pucker or even burn the silk.