Washing silk pillowcases is not as easy as you might think. Not only do they require special care, but also dry cleaning can be expensive and time-consuming. Luckily, there are some
simple steps to follow for washing a silk pillowcase at home. Follow these instructions to keep your silk pillows in tip-top shape and avoid the risk of ruining them with improper care. Here we go!
What You'll Need
- Mesh laundry bag
- Washer or sink
- Drying rack
- Distilled white vinegar
- Gentle detergent
- Cold water
Washing a Silk Pillowcase by Your Hand
There's always a way to hand washing your silk products. However, it will take time to do, and the results may not be as satisfactory as you would like. It's best to ask a silk product professional for guidance if hand washing is your preferred method, although we encourage you to try it on your own first before taking such a big step. Here are some things to remember:
Read the Label on Your Pillowcase to Check How it Should be Washed
Most silk products will come with care instructions that you should always keep in mind. The care label is always on the inside corner of the pillowcase. It would recommend hand washing your pillowcase. If there's no care label attached to the pillowcase, then get it dry cleaned to be on the safe side.
Fill Your Basin with Cool Water and Detergent
Fill a basin with lukewarm water and add a little bit of gentle detergent. You can learn how to make homemade laundry detergent for this purpose. Mix the detergent well with your
hands before soaking it in the pillowcase. Use your fingers to rub the laundry detergent around all parts of the silk material, making sure it's properly cleaned. Make sure you don't use hot water, as this can cause the silk to shrink.
Add Some Drops of Detergent
If you want to make sure the pillowcase is clean, then add a few drops of detergent. Make sure it's not too much, as this will cause the silk to become dry and rubbery because of leftover residue.
Put in your hand and gently knead that into the silk pillowcase. Unlike how you do laundry or washing your silk in the machine washing, ensure you use less detergent. Excess detergent, even if it's a gentle detergent, can break down your natural fiber.
Soak Your Pillowcase in the Basin Sink or Bucket for 5 Minutes
Just like the washing cycle, leave your pillowcase to soak for 5 minutes. This will allow the detergent to soften up dirt or oil that has settled into the material over time, causing it to look dirty and dull.
Soak it in a bucket of lukewarm and laundry soap, then set the timer for 5 minutes. Don't soak it for longer than 5 minutes, as this can damage your silk pillowcase. Swirl the silk gently while soaking but do not scrub or wring as this can damage silk fibers.
Drain Water and Laundry Soap from the Bucket or Basin Sink
Remove the silk from the water and laundry soap. Quickly remove any excess water by squeezing it with your hands. Make sure you do not wring the silk pillowcase as this can cause damage to its fibers.
Refill Your Bucket with Cool Water, White Vinegar, and Fabric Softener
After removing the excess water, refill your bucket with 3/4 white vinegar and 1/4 cup of fabric softener. Stir well to mix the contents. Make sure the fabric softener is safe for the silk before adding it to the mix. The white vinegar will remove excess soap and alkalinity while the fabric softener adds softness and shine to your pillow.
Rinse Your Pillowcase in Cold Water
Once you've properly washed and cleaned your pillowcase, finish off with cold rinse water. Do not soak your silk pillowcase in cold water, as this may result in shrinkage. Washing it in cold water will help you clear out all the soap and water, hence keeping your pillowcase clean.
Lay Your Pillowcase Flat on a Fresh Towel to Let it Dry
Once you've rinsed your silk pillowcase, lay it flat on a clean towel to dry. Use a fresh towel or rag as this will serve as your drying cloth. After laying the silk pillowcase flat on the new dried cloth, let it air dry before putting it back in place. Never hang your silk fibers in a clothesline to dry, and always dry them out of direct sunlight. Exposing your pillowcase to direct sunlight may cause the colors of your silk pillowcase to fade and deteriorate quickly.
How to Wash Silk in the Washing Machine
Washing your silk bedding in the washing machine is quite possible, but you must follow a specific washing procedure to preserve its silk fibers. Also, ensure you know the washing machine brands to avoid with your silk materials so you don’t end up incurring losses.
Check the Care Label
The label attached on the inside corner of your pillowcase should tell you whether it's appropriate to machine wash your silk pillowcase. If it's not, check the label attached to your silk bedding for washing instructions.
Wash Your Silk Separately from Other Fabrics
Avoid mixing your silk cloth with heavy fabrics, such as jeans or towels, because its fibers are much weaker. Remember to wash it separately from other delicate clothes. Make sure you wash your silk items alone because their fibers are very weak and could tangle with other fabrics.
Fill the Washing Machine with Suitable Temperature Water
Fill the washing machine with tepid water. The maximum water temperature that is safe for silk in a washing machine is around 40 degrees Celsius or 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you choose the most gentle cycle that the washing machine offers. If you choose a hotter cycle, you risk damaging your silk or causing it to shrink.
Put Your Pillowcase into a Mesh Laundry Bag
Pour the correct amount of silk-specific detergent into the washing machine, making sure you choose a gentle or delicate cycle. Close the mesh bag and put it inside the washer with your pillowcase. The laundry bag will help your silk stay separated from the other fabrics being washed, preventing it from developing pulls or tangling with other items such as the washing machine drums.
Use Mild Detergent
The silk-specific detergent you chose needs to mix with the water before it can spread out and get on your pillowcase. Avoid using harsh detergents such as bleach to protect your delicate fabric from getting damaged.
Put bleach in your washing machine by accident, and you risk ruining the color of your silk or dulling its sheen. If you need to bleach your clothes, pre-soak the silk in a mixture of water and bleach before washing it to protect the fabric. You can skip the fabric softener and instead use white vinegar to give your pillowcase a fresh scent.
Use the Delicate Cycle
Add a mild laundry detergent and start up your washing machine using the most delicate setting the delicate cycle. If you have a front loader, lower its water level and increase the agitation speed to protect your silk from getting torn or wrinkled. Use cold water to prevent color bleeding and set the spin speed to its lowest level.
Let it Soak with Your Detergent
Unlike other fabrics, silk doesn't let go of dirt and dust so easily. So to release as much grime as you can, let the pillowcase soak for about 15 minutes with lukewarm water before putting it in the washer. Put a few squirts of your mild detergent and white vinegar into the basin to soften up stains.
Leave the Pillowcase Resting Flat on a Clean Towel to Dry
Remove silk pillowcases from the washer and lay them flat on a clean towel. Leave it there to dry for another half-day before putting it away in your linen closet. Do not dry your silk fabric in direct sunlight, as this can cause yellowing and damage the silk fibers.
FAQs on How to Clean a Silk Pillowcase
How often should you wash a silk pillowcase?
Silk fabrics should be cleaned after every two weeks to maintain their freshness. Don't skimp on this step if you want to keep your silk pillowcase looking well for a long time.
What detergent is safe for washing silk?
Powdered detergents are ideal for washing silk in the laundry. Since powdered detergents are more diluted compared to liquid ones, you can be sure that it's gentle enough not to irritate the fabric.
Final Thought on How to Wash Your Silk Pillowcases
If you're conscious about the appearance of your silk fabric, then it's best to wash and dry them after every two weeks. You can also clean stains in your silk pillowcase by using cool water and spot stain removers.
Remember not to rub the fabric harshly when washing silk because it may cause damage to the material. With all these tips, you'll have a clean pillowcase that will not only beautify your night but will serve you for a long time. Feel free to pin and share this article.