Silk is delicate but it’s also strong and if you look after it properly, it’ll last you for a long time. Of course you can hand wash it, but it’s actually the strongest natural fibre you can buy, so as long as you follow some simple guidelines, you can machine wash it safely without damaging its quality or strength.
To machine wash:
- Turn it inside out and pop it into a mesh bag to prevent snagging
- Wash your silk at a low temperature (no higher than 30 degrees) and a delicate cycle
- Use a pH neutral, gentle detergent – it’s best to buy a silk-specific one
- Avoid fabric conditioner – it’s not necessary and can leave a coating
- Wash similar colours together
- No need to tumble dry as silk dries very quickly – dry it flat, or hang it away from direct sunlight.
To hand wash
- If you’re worried about putting your silk item in the washing machine, you can always hand wash it.
- Use lukewarm water and a mild detergent. Some people use baby shampoo because it’s nice and mild
- Don’t soak your silk – just wash it gently in the soapy water for a few minutes
- Rinse well and add a few tablespoons of white vinegar if you like as it neutralises alkaline
- Don’t wring it out. Roll it gently into a towel to pull off the excess water and then dry flat, or hang it away from direct sunlight.