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How To Wash Silk Clothes At Home

How to wash silk clothes
How to wash silk clothes

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Silk is one of the finest and most delicate fabrics, and they definitely require some extra care. Most people don’t know the right ways to wash and iron this fabric and often end up ruining their clothes. If you are unaware of how to wash silk at home, we are here to help. 

In this article, we have shared everything about washing silk clothes in machines as well as hand washing silk. You can read carefully, and wash all your silk clothes including sarees, tops, suits, and dresses easily. 

Before discussing how to wash silk, we will look at how to remove stains from silk. Because you will have to remove stains before washing.

How To Remove Stains From Silk Fabric

We are listing a few stain removers which are safe to use on silk. However, before using any of these, always carry out a patch test.


  • In case the stain is still wet, blot it immediately using a paper towel. 
  • Sprinkle talcum powder on oily stains (grease or food). Let it absorb the liquid stain and then scrape away the talcum powder with a knife or your fingernails. 
  • Do not use hot water to treat stains on silk. 

How to remove light stains from silk clothes

Removing light stains from silk clothes
Light stain on silk garment

In case you have stains from sweat, deodorant, water or any other very light stain you can remove by using vinegar:

Remove light stains on silk using vinegar or lemon juice

Mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice with 1 tablespoon of water. You can increase the quantity of these ingredients depending on the surface of the stain. The key is to cover the whole stained area with a mix of water and vinegar/ lemon juice. Next, you can place the stained silk garment in a tub or bucket. Pour the mixture onto the stain directly, and rub it in a circular motion until the stain goes away. Rinse the stained garment.

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How to remove tough stains from silk clothes

Removing tough stains from silk clothes
Removing tough stains from silk clothes

In case your silk garment has tough stains that came from makeup, blood, chocolate or other food items, you can use baking soda or rubbing alcohol. Here is how you can use both of these things:

Removing tough stains from silk with rubbing alcohol


Place the stained garment in a tub or bucket. Pour 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol directly onto the stain. Leave for 5-10 minutes and blot the stain using a paper towel. Keep blotting until the stain is visible. At last, rinse the garment.

Removing tough stains from silk clothes with baking soda

Make a paste of baking soda and water by adding equal amounts of both ingredients. You can take 1 tablespoon of each of these. Apply this paste on the stain using a toothbrush or your fingers. Take an old toothbrush and rub the paste on the stain gently in a circular motion until the stain goes away. Then, rinse the garment.

In case there is an ink stain on silk clothes, refer to our article – How to remove ink stains from clothes.

Now, let’s see how to wash silk at home. We will be discussing two ways: hand wash and machine wash.

Before choosing any of these methods, always read the garment care label, if it clearly says “dry clean only”, you shouldn’t wash it at home. If it says “hand wash only”, then you should go for hand washing only. There can be some warnings on the label as well, make sure you check it out.

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How To Hand Wash Silk At Home

Hand washing silk clothes at home
Hand washing silk clothes
  • Fill a bucket or tub with cold water to submerge the garment.
  • Add a teaspoon of any bleach-free mild detergent.
  • Mix the detergent in water with your hands.
  • Soak the garment in the water for 5-10 minutes.
  • Hold the garment and plunge it up and down in the water 5-7 times. This will wash out dust and dirt.
  • Rinse the garment with clean and cool water until there is no soapy residue.

How To Wash Silk In A Machine At Home

Washing silk garment using a machine
Putting silk garment in the washer tub

Load the washing machine:  Place the garment in the washing machine. In case the silk garment is embroidered or embellished, put it in a mesh laundry bag to avoid damage. 


  • Don’t place any heavy pieces of clothing like jeans, bed sheets, etc. with your light-weighted silk garment. 
  • Don’t put garments with metal buttons or snaps that the silk could snag on. 
  • Don’t put garments that bleed colour along with your silk garment.

Add a mild detergent: Add a mild laundry detergent. Always prefer to use natural and gentle detergent as opposed to a detergent that contains bleach or any other component that could harm the silk fibres.

Run the machine on a delicate cycle: Set the machine on a delicate cycle. Also, make sure to choose the shortest spin cycle so that the wash is as gentle as it can be for your garment. 

How To Dry Silk Clothes After Washing

Air drying silk clothes after wash
Air dry silk clothes after wash

We do not recommend using a clothes dryer for this purpose. It will exert agitation and heat which can damage the silk fabric. Here is what you can do once you have washed the silk. 

Soak up extra water after the wash: Take the silk garment out of the washing machine after the cycle ends. Spread out a clean towel on a 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.

Hang the garment to dry: After soaking the excess water, hang the garment carefully on the clothes line or spread it over a drying rack. Don’t dry silk under direct sunlight because this can fade the garment and damage the silk material.

In case your silk garment is a very fine, expensive or high-quality one, and you don’t want to risk it at all, you can prefer a trusted dry cleaning service. This doesn’t mean home cleaning is risky, it is just that you may not be 100% attentive at times while washing silk at home and it may cause damage to the fabric. Other than this, sometimes manufacturers give clear instructions on the garment care label as “dry clean only”, we do not recommend you wash such silk clothes at home. 

How To Remove Wrinkles From Silk Clothes

Once you will wash silk clothes, there can be some wrinkles on them. In general, ironing is the first choice is ironing. However, with silk, you should try to prevent heat as much as you can. So, let’s see all the options to remove wrinkles from silk clothes (including ironing). 

Hang the garment overnight: If the garment only has minor wrinkles you can hang it straight on a clothes hanger. Keep it hung overnight or for 6-8 hours. Minor wrinkles often go away with this trick. 

In case it doesn’t work, you can try the next one. 

Hang the garment in the bathroom: This method is only applicable if you have hot water showers while bathing. You just have to hang the silk garment in a place where it doesn’t get wet but gets in direct contact with steam caused due to hot water. Hang it before you get into the shower and let it be there until there is steam. 

In case this doesn’t help, you can take the final resort to iron. 

Iron the garment: First of all, you should check the garment care label to see if the garment can be ironed or not. If there is no warning, then you can use a dry iron. You can also use a steam iron as a dry iron. The reason why we are emphasizing on dry iron is that steam is not considered ideal for silk fabric.

Turn the garment inside out. And set the iron on the “silk” or “low” setting. In general, irons have settings like these, if your iron has some different settings, then choose the mildest one to iron silk clothes. Iron your garment as usual but be a little extra careful that your iron doesn’t heat up. It may burn the fabric. You can check the ideal temperature to iron silk clothes first. 

Check this out: Can you iron “dry-clean only” clothes or not

Can’t get wrinkles out of silk clothes easily? We can do it for you.

Key Takeaway

Now, you have read everything about how to wash silk by hand or in a machine. You can choose any of these methods depending on the garment care label and your convenience. However, we will always recommend hand washing over machine washing for silk fabric. When it comes to ironing try the above-mentioned tricks of hanging the garment first. If that doesn’t help, try to use a clothes steamer. Ironing should be your final resort with silk garments. 

This was all you need to know about how to wash silk clothes. If you want more information on laundry, dry cleaning and fabric care tips, keep visiting Tumbledry as we post a lot about these things.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not necessarily purport to reflect the values or views of Tumbledry.

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