How to clean 100 percent silk clothing

Written by richard bonilla
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How to clean 100 percent silk clothing
Hand wash 100-percent silk fabric to prevent any damage. (pink silk image by Roslen Mack from

Silk fabric contains protein fibres that create the smooth texture synonymous with silk. However, 100-percent silk is very delicate, and any wash, detergent-based soap or sunlight can damage the fabric and the clothing permanently. Hand wash 100-percent silk clothing to ensure the fabric is not damaged. More importantly, wash silk clothing with neutral-based pH-level soaps to avoid staining the fabric.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Water bucket
  • Neutral- or alkaline-based soap

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  1. 1

    Fill a water bucket with lukewarm water. Placing silk in warm water will prevent shrinkage.

  2. 2

    Add neutral- or alkaline-based soap. These soaps are not highly acidic, and they do not contain harmful detergents or bleaches, which can damage silk.

  3. 3

    Soak the clothing in the soapy water for less than 10 minutes. Any longer, and it can damage the silk's protein-based fibres.

  4. 4

    Scrub the clothing to remove odours and stains. Avoid placing silk clothing inside a washing machine or dryer, as they may damage the fabric. If you must do so, wash and dry using the delicate cycle and mild soap.

  5. 5

    Hang the clothing to dry. Avoid drying silk in direct sunlight, as sunlight may fade the colour of wet silk. Also avoid using wooden drying racks, as they can stain the fabric.

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