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In-Depth Silk Care Guide: How to Wash & Clean Silk
In-Depth Silk Care Guide: How to Wash & Clean Silk

Listen to an audio transcription of this post

Key takeaways:

  • Silk requires a gentle, pH-neutral detergent.

  • Store silk by hanging it in a cool, dry, dark closet on padded hangers.

  • Iron silk on the lowest heat setting or use a steamer.

  • Air-dry silk by laying it flat to maintain shape.

 

Wondering how to wash silk?

If you're worried about how much effort it takes (myth #1) or how fragile the material is (myth #2), this article is for you.

We'll debunk these myths and others including:

  • Silk can only be hand-washed or dry-cleaned (myth #3)

  • Silk doesn't hold its shape (myth #4)

  • And, you can't iron silk (myth #5)

Don't let misconceptions stop you from enjoying the fantastic benefits of this luxury fabric:

Caring for silk is a lot easier than you might think

Here's a quick confidence booster for you: Blissy silk items are all machine-washable. And, our pH-neutral detergent and mesh laundry bags are top silk care solutions.

Ready? The following tips will teach you how to wash silk garments, how to dry them, iron them, remove stains, and store them.

Selecting Silk Detergent

detergent for silk clothes

Let's start with the basicsyour laundry detergent.

Choosing the proper detergent may be the most important part of washing silk.

Silk items require the use of a gentle detergent. But in this case, a "gentle detergent" isn't just one without fragrance, dyes, harsh chemicals, or allergens:

Your silk laundry detergent must be pH-neutral

This helps preserve the natural fibers and prevent them from breaking.

Your laundry detergent must also NOT contain bleach, alkaline, alcohol, enzymes, or protease.

These ingredients are found in many regular detergents. Although they are powerful cleaning agents, they are also harsh on fabric. And while silk isn't as delicate as you may think, it does require special care. All of these ingredients will irreparably damage silk.

So, please wash silk with a gentle, pH-neutral detergent, like Blissy Wash. Our silk wash gently cleanses while maintaining shape, texture, and shine.

Plus, our plant-derived formula is paraben-free, phthalate-free, cruelty-free, and hypoallergenic. And to enhance your enjoyment of our premium silk products, our detergent is naturally scented with lavender oil.

What about wool detergents?

Some detergents designed for wool may also work for silkbut not all. Some wool detergents are still too harsh for silk.

The best way to ensure your silk stays lustrous for years is to use only a silk-specific detergent, like Blissy Wash.

Silk Storage

Properly storing silk is essential to prevent wrinkles in the fabric and preserve quality.

Make sure to store silk away from direct sunlight. Over time, sun exposure will harm silk's natural fibers.

The best way to store silk is to hang it up, in a dark closet. Hanging your silk items will keep them wrinkle-free while maintaining the proper shape.

But please avoid using a clip hanger, wooden hanger, or wire hanger:

Opt for a padded hanger instead!

Padded hangers won't crease or dent your silk garments, unlike wire and clip hangers. Wooden hangers are often treated with dyes, which can discolor your silk.

Although padded hangers are the best choice, you can also use non-slip hangers, like velvet hangers.

If you care for and store your silk properly, its superior quality will keep for a decade or more!

Extra silk storage tips

If you plan on storing silk items for an extended time, you should rotate them periodically. This helps prevent fabric distortion. Otherwise, the weight of the fabric will be held in the same spots for too long. This can misshape the fabric.

Another important factor to consider is the storage area's temperature and humidity. Silk is sensitive to heat and moisture. A dark closet or other space that's cool, dry, and well-ventilated is ideal. Avoid storing silk in areas like attics or basements, which are more prone to temperature fluctuations.

Ironing Silk

silk clothing iron

Yesyou can iron silk. However, you have to be careful about it.

If your silk wrinkles, first try hanging it for a time. If those wrinkles are stubborn, then simply iron it on the lowest heat setting, often labeled as the "silk" item setting.

Here are more detailed steps, so that you can iron silk perfectly each time:

  1. Flip your silk garment inside out
  2. Spritz a small amount of water evenly on the fabric. Or, iron it soon after washing, before it's completely dry. Make sure it's only slightly damp.
  3. Ensure your silk item is flat and smooth on the ironing board. For larger silk garments, you may have to work in segments.
  4. Place a lint-free press cloth atop the silk. It's best to use white so that no color bleeds onto your silk.
  5. Set your iron to the lowest heat setting, or "silk" setting.
  6. Gently iron your silk, but move quickly. Lingering too long in a spot can ruin the fabric.
    • Don't iron side to side. Simply hold the iron in a spot for 3 seconds before removing it. Allow the silk to cool briefly between sections.
  7. Repeat step 6 until your silk is wrinkle-free!

Once you've finished ironing, your beautiful silk garment is ready to enjoy.

Further reading:

Don't feel like ironing?

You can also remove wrinkles from your silk by steaming it.

A handheld steamer filled with distilled water is the best choice for this method. Hang your silk, and you're ready to steam.

Just keep the steamer 6 inches away from the fabric at all times, moving it back and forth:

If the steamer drips on or touches the fabric, it can cause water spots

Don't have a steamer? Hang your silk garment in a hot, steamy bathroom for 15 minutes to help remove wrinkles.

Dry-Cleaning vs. Washing Silk Items

So, how to wash silk? There are 3 ways:

  1. Dry-cleaning
  2. Hand-washing
  3. Machine-washing

The best method depends on the item. Although many silk garments can be cleaned in the washing machine, some can't. Psstall luxe Blissy products are machine-washable.

Refer to the tag inside your silk garment for optimal care instructions. It will tell you whether the item can be placed in the washing machine or not.

Some may specify "Dry-Cleaning Only." It's best to dry-clean and not wash silk clothing yourself in this case.

If the tag just says "Dry-Clean" or "Dry Clean Recommended", you may be able to get away with washing the silk yourself. Try spot-testing the silk with water. If the color bleeds, don't risk ittake it to the dry cleaner.

If the color doesn't run, you can hand or machine-wash your silk! Clean silk clothes and accessories with Blissy Wash for the best results, regardless of your silk wash method.

Hand-Washing

preferred method of cleaning silk pieces: hand wash

Machine-washing silk is the easiest method, but hand-washing is gentler. This makes it a great method for laundering silk and other delicate items.

If you hand-wash silk, your garment may be more likely to:

  • Preserve its color

  • Keep its luster

  • Maintain its shape

  • Last longer

So, how to wash silk by hand (it's easy!) :

  1. Fill a basin, or sink, with cold water
  2. Add a gentle detergent formulated for silk, like Blissy Wash
  3. Gently lather and hand-wash silk garments
  4. Silk releases dirt quickly, but you may soak it for up to 30 minutes
  5. Rinse all the soap outand it's clean!

Machine-Washing

Next uphow to wash silk in the washing machine.

The convenience is fantastic, as long as you keep these precautions in mind:

  • Machine-wash with cold water on gentle or delicate cycle

  • Only use a silk laundry detergent, such as Blissy Wash. Our silk wash works with both regular and high-efficiency washers.

  • Wash your silk in a mesh laundry bag

    • Blissy's mesh bags are the top choice for washing silks. They'll protect your delicates from potential abrasions and won't damage clothes or scrape the washer drum. Our zippers are designed to stay put. Plus, they last for hundreds of uses!

  • Don't mix different materials with silk, not even other delicate fabrics. Although some may be compatible, it's best not to risk it. Wash silk garments separately.

Drying Silk

Now that we've covered how to wash silk, it's time to discuss the importance of air-drying.

The best way to dry silk? Lay flat and air-dry.

Drying silk on a flat surface allows the fabric to maintain its shape and prevent stretching. It doesn't place tension on the fabric like line drying does.

Once your silk garments are clean, put them flat on a towel and gently press out water. Do not wring out excess water. Wringing can harm the luxurious fabric.

Then, place them on a mesh drying rack.

Silk dries fairly quickly. Allow a few hours for it to air-dry.

Avoid drying your silk items in direct sunlight, as this can lead to damage.

Please, only put silk items in the dryer as a last resort.

Even if you put your dryer on the lowest setting, it may still produce heat. Exposing silk to high temperatures leads to fabric shrinkage, wrinkling, and a loss of shine.

If you have to machine-dry your silkmake sure it's on the lowest heat setting (preferably "no heat") and dry your items in Blissy's mesh bags

Stain Removal

removing stains from silk clothing

Stains got you down? Don't fretyou can save your silk. Wash as soon as possible to best treat stains.

If you're not home, gently blot the stain with a clean cloth to draw out moisture. Don't rub the stain, it'll make it worse.

For mild stains, you may be able to launder normally with Blissy Wash.

Removing more soiled stains may require white vinegar or lemon juice. This method works best for water-based and makeup stains.

Combine equal parts warm water with vinegar or lemon juice. Dab the mixture onto the stain with a clean white cloth and let sit for a few minutes. Rinse with cool water, then gently blot dry with a paper towel.

Always perform a spot test in a discreet area before applying any stain removal solution. This will ensure the mixture doesn't cause further discoloration.

For intense stains, dry cleaning may be an option.

Quick tip: Never use bleach to remove stains! It will permanently degrade and discolor silk.

Removing oil stains

Oil stains are tricky to get rid of, but it is possible!

If oil has tarnished your silk, first gently blot the blemish.

Then, apply cornstarch or talcum powder.

Allow the powder to sit for a few hours to absorb the oil.

Once it's ready, carefully brush off the powder. This should remove the oil from your silk.

Another method is to use baking soda. Mix it into a paste with water and apply it to the oil stains. Let sit for 10-15 minutes, rinse, and repeat if needed.

Wash Silk Confidently With Blissy

wash delicate clothing with blissy wash

Washing silk doesn't have to be tough! Use gentle detergent, wash with cold water, and lay flat to air-dry.

Now that you know how to wash silk, you can enjoy this amazing fabric worry-free.

And, with top silk care solutions like Blissy Wash and our mesh bags, your silk will stay gorgeous for years to come!

 

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