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Laundry How To

How to Wash Silk Sheets, Pillowcases & Bedding (3 Methods)

Having silk bedding gives you a luxurious feel. Silk pieces also have many benefits, from temperature regulation and moisture retention to being easy on your hair.

Caring for such material can be tricky. So, it’s essential to know how to wash silk sheets properly.

Generally, silk is a delicate fabric that requires special treatment. You need to pay attention to the detergent you use and the water temperature. With regular and appropriate care, your silk sheets can last long.

In this article, we give you a comprehensive guide on washing your silk sheets, along with a list of dos and don’ts to ensure satisfactory results. So, keep on reading!

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What You Need to Wash Your Silk Sheets

Mainly, washing any kind of fabric requires the use of suitable detergent. For washing silk sheets, you need a mild detergent specially formulated for silk (like this one). Such a type of formula should be free of harsh chemicals that might ruin your precious sheets.

In addition, you should have the following:

  • Washing machine, a large sink/tub, or a suitable container
  • A drying rack or an automatic dryer
  • An iron and ironing board (optional)

How To Wash Silk Sheets

Some people like to get involved in the cleaning process, while others prefer leaving it to professionals. When it comes to cleaning your silk sheets on laundry day, you can hand wash them, use the washing machine, or send them to the dry cleaners.

Whatever washing method you use to clean your silk sheets, you should be aware of the following top tips:

1. Steps for Hand-Washing Silk Bed Sheets

Although hand washing requires a bit of effort, it should be your first option when washing your silk sheets. This way, you avoid the sheets getting caught on the inside of the washing machine, which may cause tears.

Here are the steps you need to follow to wash your silk sheets:

  1. Fill your sink, bathtub, or container with cool water (or lukewarm).
  2. Add a bit of gentle detergent to the water (about two tablespoons).
  3. Put the silk sheets in the water and let them soak.
  4. Agitate the water by gently moving the sheets around the tub or container.
  5. Avoid twisting the sheets or performing any kind of scrubbing.
  6. Leave the sheets to soak for a few minutes.
  7. Drain the tub and refill it with cold water (preferably less than 86°F).
  8. Put the sheets in the cold water and move them around to remove the remaining detergent (you may have to do this a few times until the sheets become soap-free).
  9. Add some drops of distilled white vinegar to the water to help remove the soap residue.
  10. Rinse your sheets for the last time to get rid of the vinegar scent.
  11. Squeeze out excess water by pressing the sheets between your hands or against the tub’s sides.
  12. Avoid any twisting or wringing actions.
  13. Hang the sheets to dry indoors or outdoors (away from direct sunlight).

2. Steps for Machine-Washing Silk Sheets

Using the washing machine to clean your silk sheets can be risky. Yet, if you can’t hand wash them, machine washing is your next best option.

Follow these step-by-step instructions to ensure safe cleaning:

  1. Try using a front-loading machine instead of the top-loading kind (they’re much gentler on fabrics).
  2. Place your silk items inside a mesh laundry bag before putting them inside the washer.
  3. Use a mild silk detergent suitable for silk (avoid laundry detergents with brighteners or enzymes).
  4. Set your washing machine on the hand wash, silk, or delicate cycle.
  5. Avoid washing cycles with excessive spinning, as they can damage your silk sheets. Instead choose the lowest possible spin setting available.
  6. Take the sheets out immediately after the cycle is complete.
  7. Hang the sheets away from direct sunlight to dry.

Try these fine mesh laundry bags if you plan to wash silk bedding in a washing machine. 

Tips for Using the Dryer

Using a dryer to dry your silk sheets is possible. However, you need to be aware of the following tips:

  • Use the “air dry” setting on your dryer (heatless).
  • High temperatures can damage your silk sheets, causing them to dull in color, shrink, and weaken.
  • Remove the sheets from the dryer once they become almost 80% dry.

3. Dry Cleaning Silk Sheets

If you don’t feel like washing your silk sheets yourself, you can always send them to the dry cleaners. However, it’s important to make sure they have the proper experience dealing with and cleaning silk fabric.

Moreover, you should look for a place that offers organic dry cleaning services for best results. Such dry cleaners use green, non-toxic materials that are much safer for your silk sheets.

How To Care for Silk Sheets

Aside from regular washing, some sheets require additional care. Whether stain treatment or after-wash ironing, you need to be extra careful. Check out how to care for silk sheets when:

Stain Treatment

Before you wash your silk sheets, it’s important to pretreat any kind of stains. Whether it’s a blood stain, makeup, sweat, or a food stain, you should follow these steps:

  1. Dab the affected area gently with a paper towel or a piece of cotton to draw as much moisture as possible (for fresh stains).
  2. Prepare a suitable stain-removing solution using white vinegar or lemon juice mixed with lukewarm water (a mild detergent solution may also work).
  3. Rub the stain using a soft sponge gently.
  4. Rinse with cool water.
  5. Reapply the detergent to the stain and rinse again if necessary.
  6. Wash your silk sheets as usual.


Putting your silk sheets over the bed usually smoothens it out and removes any wrinkles. Yet, sometimes you leave them in the dryer for too long, which makes them wrinkly. In this case, can you can iron silk sheets? Yes you can!

Take a look at these important tips before you use the iron on your silk sheets.

  • Turn the sheets inside out and keep the shiny side down when ironing.
  • Use the lowest setting (silk) on your iron.
  • You can use the iron’s steam to remove wrinkles without having to place the iron directly on your silk sheets.
  • Always use a pressing cloth between the iron and the silk sheets.
  • Use a spray bottle to dampen your silk sheets while ironing them.
  • Allow the silk sheets to cool down completely before folding them.

Storing Silk Products

Once you’ve washed and ironed your sheets, you need to store them in the correct way. Here are some tips on how to do it: 

  • Store silk products away from direct sunlight and other sources of heat. 
  • Hang or fold your silk products. Avoid folding them too tightly as this can cause creasing.  
  • Make sure the storage space is well ventilated and dust free. 
  • Place cedar chips or lavender bags in the storage container to keep moths away. 
  • If you are planning to store silk products for a long time, wrap them in acid-free tissue paper before storing them away.  

Silk clothing and bedsheets can be expensive, so taking good care of them is essential. Following these tips can help you keep your silk looking new for a longer time. 

Dos and Don’ts When Washing Silk Sheets

Now that you know how to care for and wash your silk sheets properly, you shouldn’t worry about ruining them. That said, here’s a few extra dos and don’ts to review before turning the cleaning mood on.

  • Don’t wash your silk sheets with any other items.
  • Add a spoonful of Borax to the cleaning water before washing your silk sheets if you have hard water at home.
  • Turn silk pillowcases inside out before washing.
  • Add a few drops of hair conditioner to the washing water to make your silk sheets softer, and avoid fabric softeners.
  • Don’t hang your silk sheets to dry under direct sunlight, as it causes discoloration.
  • Separate your silk sheets by color and wash them in separate loads, as they may release the dye.


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Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I wash silk sheets?

Silk sheets don’t require any special treatment in terms of the frequency of washing. You should wash your silk sheets as often as you wash any other types of bedding or whenever they get dirty.

How long do silk sheets take to air dry?

Silk dries rather quickly. To dry silk sheets, hang them over a rack – you should expect them to dry within no longer than two hours. You just need to keep them away from direct sunlight to avoid discoloration.

Can I use bleach to make white silk sheets brighter?

Absolutely not. Bleach doesn’t help restore the bright white color of silk sheets. Contrarily, it can cause your sheets to turn yellow. Additionally, it can damage delicate silk fibers.

Final Thoughts

Silk sheets may be overly expensive, but the feeling they give is like no other. It’s important to know how to wash silk sheets before you decide to go through the luxurious experience and purchase a new set.

Although you can use the washing machine, it’s better to hand wash your silk sheets. This way, you ensure to avoid any damage and keep their excellent condition for a longer period.

In all cases, following the instructions on the care label of any type of fabric and using the right detergent is always the best way to go.

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