How to Clean Silk Fabric

by Yvonne Van Damme

Silk is a natural fiber that has many different uses. It’s a fabric that is commonly used to make clothes. The most commonly used form of silk comes from the larvae of the mulberry silkworm. Other insects produce silk but it is not used in the production of clothing garments. Silk is a strong fabric in that clothing that is made up of silk is likely to be of a high quality. However, it is a delicate fabric and won’t withstand the wear and treatment that other fabrics are able to tolerate. Thus, it takes special care to clean silk fabric. Silk has to almost always be hand washed with a gentle cleaner.

Items you will need

  • Stain remover
  • Paper towels
  • Water
  • Woolite
  • Vinegar
  • Two towels
  • Iron
  • Dry Cleaner (optional)
Step 1

If you just need to spot treat a stain, do so using a paper towel and stain remover. Apply a small amount of stain remover to a dry paper towel. Apply a small amount of stain remover to the paper towel. Dab the stain gently with the paper towel. Let the garment sit for five minutes. Use a different paper towel, also dry, to dab the stain. Hang dry the garment.

Step 2

To do an overall cleaning of silk fabric, soak it in lukewarm water and Woolite for 10 minutes. Next, wash the fabric in cold water and make sure to wash out all of the Woolite.

Step 3

Soak the fabric in lukewarm water and one quarter of a cup of vinegar for 10 minutes. Next, rinse the fabric in cool water and make sure to wash out the vinegar. The vinegar works to restore luster to the silk.

Step 4

Roll the silk fabric in a dry towel. Do not twist or bunch it. Lay the garment on a dry towel on a flat surface.

Step 5

Iron the fabric while it is still damp. Make sure that the iron is on a low temperature.

Step 6

Take the silk fabric to a dry cleaner to get it cleaned. This can be expensive but they are trained to handle fabric such as silk. If you are at all hesitant about washing the silk fabric yourself, taking it to a dry cleaner is the best option. However, this option is considerably more expensive.

Tips

  • Avoid cleaning silk too often.

Warnings

  • Before hand washing silk fabric, first do a test on the fabric to ensure success. Do this by washing a small part of the garment that is not conspicuous.

Photo Credits

  • John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images

About the Author

Yvonne Van Damme is a freelance writer based in Seattle. She has been writing for several years with a focus on criminal justice and legal topics. In addition to various websites, she has been published in several academic journals. Van Damme holds a Bachelor of Arts in law, society and justice and sociology from the University of Washington.