How to clean silk drapes

Written by melissa schack
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How to clean silk drapes
Silk drapes need to be cleaned occasionally to remove dust build-up. (hanging curtain image by GeoM from

Most people only hand wash or dry clean their silk, but with something as large as drapes, it can be overwhelming. It is possible to wash silk drapes in a machine if you are careful and keep the properties of silk in mind. Silk is easily ripped or otherwise damaged, and the intense heat from a dryer can put your silk out of shape or ruin the texture.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Delicate bag
  • Mild detergent

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  1. 1

    Create a separate load of laundry to wash your silk drapes. This can prevent bleeding and rips associated with the other laundry, such as the drapes being caught in a zipper.

  2. 2

    Place the silk drapes in a delicate bag. This should help protect the silk from the machine’s twisting motion.

  3. 3

    Wash the drapes in cold water to prevent fading as well as shrinkage brought on by high temperatures.

  4. 4

    Use a mild detergent. Harsh detergents will damage, if not ruin, the silk. Never use bleach.

  5. 5

    Use the delicate cycle on your washing machine and the lowest spin cycle; the less twisting and tugging, the better.

  6. 6

    Hang your silk to dry, but avoid sunny spots that can fade the silk. You may also use a dryer if you use a low or no heat setting, but do not overdry.

Tips and warnings

  • Steam clean your drapes to remove wrinkles.
  • Read the care instructions for any special needs for your drapes.

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