How do I Clean Silk Ribbon?

by Jillian O'Keeffe

Silk ribbon can easily be handwashed

red ribbon v image by Mykola Velychko from

Silk is a delicate fabric and has to be treated carefully to remove stains without inflicting further damage. Ribbons are prone to collecting dust and stains in a drawer, but can easily be brightened up with the correct cleaning procedure. If cleaned improperly, silk ribbon can shrink in high heat, fade with too much sunlight, and lose softness when treated with harsh chemicals.

Items you will need

  • Lukewarm water
  • Non-alkaline soap
  • White vinegar
  • Conditioner
  • Small tub or mixing bowl
Step 1

Handwash the ribbon in lukewarm water using nonalkaline soap, such as Ivory Liquid Soap or baby shampoo. Do not soak in water for more than a few minutes.

Step 2

Drain the soapy water and refill your container or sink with clean water to rinse the ribbon. Add a few tablespoons of white vinegar to the rinse water to help wash soap residue from the silk.

Step 3

Empty the vinegar water and mix in a few drops of conditioner with a final rinse of water. This adds extra softness to the silk ribbon.

Step 4

Roll gently in a towel to dry. Do not wring.

Step 5

Silk can be ironed using a press cloth and low heat. Dryers are not recommended because high heat can shrink silk. Alternatively, hang silk ribbons in the bathroom and run the shower to remove creases.


  • Keep silk ribbon in dark containers to prevent fading from exposure to sunlight.


  • Excessive sunlight can fade silk. Do not hang ribbon outside to dry for long periods.


Photo Credits

  • red ribbon v image by Mykola Velychko from

About the Author

Jillian O'Keeffe has been a freelance writer since 2009. Her work appears in regional Irish newspapers including "The Connacht Tribune" and the "Sentinel." O'Keeffe has a Master of Arts in journalism from the National University of Ireland, Galway and a Bachelor of Science in microbiology from University College Cork.