If you’ve ever hesitated to wash that cherished silk garment, fearing the fragility of its fibres, you're not alone. We’re here to help you get rid of that apprehension because, like any other material, silk can be maintained following the appropriate methods. You just need a gentle touch! Take note of our helpful tips and tricks on how to protect and wash your silk pieces properly. With our easy-to-follow guide, you'll learn the best techniques and products, so you can say goodbye to the fear of ruining your favourite silk pieces and hello to a world of silk care expertise! 

Can you hand wash silk?

Silk is a delicate and luxurious fabric that requires special care when it comes to washing. The good news is that yes, you can hand wash silk. In fact, hand washing is often the preferred method for cleaning silk, as it helps to preserve its delicate fibres and prevent damage. 

To hand wash silk, start by filling a basin or sink with lukewarm water and adding a gentle silk detergent. Gently agitate the water to create suds, then carefully place your silk garment in the water. Swish it around gently for a few minutes, making sure to pay extra attention to any stained areas. Rinse the silk thoroughly with cool water, avoiding any twisting or wringing. Finally, lay the silk flat on a clean towel and gently roll it up to remove excess water. 

Can you wash silk in a washing machine?

While hand washing is generally recommended for silk, there are instances where machine washing may be suitable. However, it's important to proceed with caution to avoid damaging the fabric and colour if you’re washing coloured clothes. If you choose to wash silk in a washing machine, always place the garment in a mesh laundry bag to protect it from rough agitation. Following the care label instructions is key to caring for your garments properly and can prevent clothes from fading. Select the delicate cycle and use a gentle detergent specifically designed for silk. Once the washing cycle is complete, remove the silk item promptly and reshape it gently. Lay it flat on a clean towel to dry, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. 

How to wash specific silk garments

Now that you know how to hand wash silk or how to wash silk in a washing machine, let’s cover the different types of garments you’re looking to clean.  

How to wash a silk shirt

When washing a silk shirt, it's important to pre-treat any stains with a safe stain remover before you begin. To do this, use the Vanish Oxi Action Liquid, following these instructions: 

  1. Pour 2ml of Vanish gel directly onto the stain and gently rub. 
  2. Leave the product in contact with the stain for a maximum of 10 minutes. 
  3. After the pre-treatment is complete, wash as usual or rinse thoroughly. 

How to wash a silk dress 

Caring for a silk dress requires slightly different care compared to a silk shirt. Start by pre-treating any stains, following the same method above.  

Next, check the care label on your dress for any specific instructions or recommendations. If the care label allows for hand washing, follow the steps outlined in our previous section on how to hand wash silk. If the care label indicates that machine washing is safe, you can choose to either hand wash or use a washing machine. Once the washing cycle is complete, remove the dress from the machine and gently reshape it. 

How to wash a silk scarf 

Silk scarves are a popular accessory among many, adding a touch of elegance to any outfit. Over time, they can collect all types of stains, from food spillages to makeup mishaps. Before washing, pre-treat these stains following the same method above. 

When it comes to washing a silk scarf, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind. If the care label allows for hand washing, follow the steps outlined in our previous section on hand-washing silk. However, if you prefer to use a washing machine, follow the appropriate steps and always follow the instructions on the label.  

Top tip! When drying any type of silk, make sure to keep it away from direct heat. Always avoid tumble drying, as this can cause the delicate material to shrink. 

With our expert advice, you can confidently wash your silk garments and accessories at home. The key is to use the right products, such as gentle detergents, which will clean and ensure the longevity and beauty of your silk items. Remember, taking care of your silk is essential to preserve its delicate nature and enjoy its luxurious feel for years to come. 

*If in doubt, test on a small, inconspicuous area before full application. Always follow the instructions on the back of the packaging. 

*Always check labels and follow product instructions.