You probably know that a silk pillowcase can help keep your hair smooth and frizz-free overnight. You might even own some lovely clothing items made from the luxurious fabric. Fashion designer Michelle Smith told Harper’s Bazaar why she enjoys using and wearing silk. “I gravitate toward silk, because it is effortlessly sensual and so comfortable,” said Smith.
Because the material is so delicate, you might think the only way to clean it is by dropping it off at your favorite local dry cleaner. However, according to Martha Stewart, you don’t need to take a trip to the cleaners or shell out money per item to clean everything you own made from silk. What can you do, though, when your favorite silk blouse has stains from sweat and deodorant or when you dropped some red sauce on your favorite silk jacket, but you’re unable to get to a dry cleaner or it’s not in your budget? Read on for some tried and true methods of cleaning silk at home.
Here are the dos and don'ts of washing silk at home
If you need to wash your silk items at home, you should keep a few dos and don’ts in mind. First of all, Martha Stewart recommends that you treat your delicate silk with “kid gloves.” If you have a stain, create a gentle stain remover using two cups of lukewarm water and two tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar and put it in a spray bottle. Test for colorfastness, and then spray the mixture on the stain and gently rub with a clean sponge. After treating stains, you should hand wash the item in a sink. Do not use harsh detergents. Instead, try something for delicates like Ivory or Woolite, and always use cold water instead of hot when cleaning this fragile fabric. David Whitehurst, owner of Champion Cleaners in Birmingham, Alabama, told the publication, “Silk releases dirt quickly, so the process doesn’t take long,” which means you won’t have to leave it in the water very long.
Usually, after you wash clothes, you throw them into the dryer. However, with silk, Harper’s Bazaar reported that this isn’t a good idea. Fashion designer Lisa Kes told the outlet that instead, you should “Carefully squeeze the garment of any excess water and shake it to remove any creases and even out the surface.” Don’t think of hanging your silk out to dry, either. With a fabric this delicate, laying it flat to dry is your best bet.
If you’re careful, you can clean your silk at home. If still worry you can’t do it, though, then consider taking your items to a dry cleaner.
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