How to: Wash Silks at Home

So Valentine’s weekend is over. And you wore that cute little red silk top to celebrate. Turns out, you got a small stain on it, and now you’re forced to clean it. But you’re lazy like me, and you really don’t want to make a trip to the dry cleaners. So what do you do? You clean it at home! 2015-02-17 17.10.15

Yes…you can clean your silks at home! I do it all the time. In fact, I’ve never stepped foot in a dry cleaners. If you recall, I do clean all my wool sweaters at home, too!

Silk is actually very quick to release dirt; you just have to know how to do it properly. Hand washing is typically the best method, and if there is a serious stain, you will need to apply some motion to the stained area to get the stain out. 2015-02-12 14.29.18

Washing silks at home is easy, as long as you have a mesh delicates bag, some delicates detergent, a steamer, and a trusty washing machine with a gentle cycle.2015-02-12 13.27.55


Step 1: If your shirt has a serious stain, fill up your clean sink with cold water and submerge your shirt. Add a small dab of your delicates wash to the stain and gently rub into the stain with your fingers.

Step 2: (If you didn’t have a stain on your shirt at all, and you just need to wash it, skip Step 1.) Place your silk shirt into your delicates bag, making sure all buttons are buttoned, and all zippers, snaps, etc, have been closed.2015-02-12 14.36.40

Step 3: Add your delicates bag to your washing machine. Run your washing machine on cold water, on the gentle or delicates cycle.  Add the suggested amount of detergent based on what the bottle says.  I use The Laundress Delicates Wash, and it has never let me down! You can do multiple delicates at once, just don’t overload your delicates bag, or use a few delicates bags if you need to. I don’t put more than 6-8 delicates items in to wash at once.

Step 4: When your load is complete, remove immediately and hang your silks. They will be damp and very wrinkled. That’s ok, just make sure to hang them right away so they can fall naturally and dry.

My dried wrinkled silk top!

My dried wrinkled silk top!

2015-02-17 16.57.40

Step 5: Once your silks are completely dry, use your steamer to get rid of the wrinkles. This process doesn’t take longer than 2 minutes per item, unless there are a lot of pleats, etc..2015-02-17 17.00.18

Step 6: Hang your silk back in your closet to wear again!

If you’re too worried that your washing machine will ruin your silks, hand washing works too! And if you don’t know how to hand wash, I’m about to tell you! It’s really easy, it just requires more effort. Essentially, you just follow step 1, massaging your delicates detergent into the silk and then allow your silks to be submerged in water for approximately 3 minutes. Then you drain your sudsy water and gently rinse your silks with lukewarm water. Once your silks are rinsed, you can proceed with Step 4.

I hope this helped everyone, and if you have any questions, let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading,


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