A silk pillowcase is a luxurious product and is usually recommended for sound sleep and good skin and hair health. Since it is an expensive buy, you would definitely want your silk pillowcases to last for the longest time. If your luxurious pillowcase is 100% silk, you can easily wash it at home using your hands or a machine.
Turn the silk pillowcase inside out and submerge it in a clean bowl or sink filled with cold water and mild laundry detergent. Agitate delicately and leave it for a few minutes. Remove and gently squeeze out any excess water. Dip it again in cool water and repeat at least 3-4 times to ensure that the silk pillowcase is thoroughly cleaned.
While silk pillowcases have natural hypoallergenic properties, it can still attract a lot of dirt and germs, especially if you are using a dedicated night care beauty regimen every day. Silk should also be washed frequently if you have conditions like acne, suffering from a cold, or any other viral infections. For a rejuvenating night's sleep, here is a complete care guide on how to wash a silk pillowcase.
How Often To Wash Silk Pillowcase?
Silk is a durable material and is suitable for occasional machine or hand washing. Unlike other linen and cotton pillowcases, silk protein fibers do not easily absorb foriegn particles. However, they do come in close contact with your body and can attract dirt, grime, dead skin cells, and microorganisms, and thus should be washed regularly. Since silk pillowcases are more commonly used as a part of your skin, hair, and beauty care regimen, it becomes all the way more essential to wash them at least 1-2 times a week or whenever they become soiled.
To reduce frequent wear and tear, you can keep another set and use them alternatively.
Which Detergent Should You Use To Wash A Silk Pillowcase?
Always use a toxin-free, pH neutral, and a gentle laundry detergent to wash your silk pillowcase.
Harsh detergents contain ingredients that weaken the natural fibers. The detergent for silk pillowcases should be completely toxin-free, meaning it should have no dyes, no chlorine, no sulfates, no brighteners, no bleach, and no phosphates, whatsoever. Other things to look for on the label are – hypoallergenic, non-sensitizing, non-irritating, and dermatologically tested.
Some of the best liquid detergents to wash silk pillowcases are:
- Woolites Delicate Laundry Detergent
- Slip Gentle Silk Wash
- Perwoll Wool & Fine Fabric Care Liquid
- The Laundress New York Laundry Detergent
How To Hand Wash A Silk Pillowcase?
For better longevity, it is recommended to hand wash your silk pillowcase. The silk fibers have long fibers which can weaken with frequent stretching, wringing, or using wrong or harsh methods of washing. Handwashing helps in retaining the softness and silky traits of the pillowcase. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to hand wash a silk pillowcase:
- Fill a bowl or a clean sink with cool water.
- Add a spoonful of mild laundry detergent to the bowl/ sink and gently agitate the water.
- Turn the pillowcase inside out.
- Submerge the pillowcase completely into the water. Do not scrub the fabric. You can gently agitate the silk fabric to clean. Leave it for a few minutes.
- Remove the pillowcase and use your hand to gently squeeze out excess water and detergent.
- Take another bowl of cool water and dip the pillowcase into it. Repeat at least 3-4 times to ensure that the pillowcase is thoroughly cleaned and free from any traces of detergent.
- Remove it from the water and gently press the silk fabric between your hands.
How To Dry Silk Pillowcase?
After washing your pillowcase, the next important step is to dry it carefully. If the silk pillowcase has excess water, roll it up in a dry towel and blot any excess moisture.
Next, hang up the pillowcase and let it air dry. You can also lay it flat on a clean surface. When you do this, you are giving support to the silk fibers so that they retain their original shape and are not damaged. Always keep the pillowcase away from heat and direct sunlight to prevent discoloration and fading.
You are not recommended to put the pillowcases in the dryer as the high heat and temperature may damage the silk's fiber.
How To Wash Silk Pillowcase In A Machine
To wash your silk pillowcase in a washing machine, make sure to wash it separately (or in a mesh laundry bag) and run the machine only in the 'silk load' mode or the delicate cycle. Turn the pillowcase inside out before putting it in the machine and wash it in cold water with a gentle liquid detergent. You can also add a spoonful of white wine vinegar with the detergent for removing stains from your silk pillowcases.
How To Clean Stained Pillowcases?
If your silk pillowcase has been stained with coffee, wine, or other such ingredients, you should wash it promptly. To clean stains from your silk pillowcase, apply a few drops of the liquid detergent directly on the stain and use your fingers to massage the area. Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. Hand wash and dry as usual.
Pretreat the Stains – For difficult stains, you can even use a diluted solution of distilled white wine vinegar before carrying out the above-mentioned procedure. Skip chlorine beach or any other stain remover to prevent yellowing or damaging of the delicate silk fibers.
How To Wash Slip Silk Pillowcase?
Slip silk pillowcases should be hand washed at 86 degrees Fahrenheit (or 30°C). They can be dry cleaned or machine washed in the 'delicate' mode, preferably in a wash bag or separately.
How To Care For Your Silk Pillowcase?
The following are some tips that will help the silk pillowcase feel soft and shiny for the longest time:
- Always use cool water to wash silk as it helps the fabric retain its color. Never wash it above 80 degrees Fahrenheit (or 26.6℃). Hot water can distort the silk fibers.
- Never twist or wring the wet pillowcase as it will damage the fiber.
- Try keeping the pillowcase in a separate laundry bag to prevent it from tearing or pilling.
- Use only a small amount of detergent. Using excessive quantities can buildup on the pillowcase, which can make it stiff and give off a bad odor.
- Don't use any fabric softener for washing your silk pillowcases.
- Pillowcases of different colors should be washed separately.
- Do not tumble dry.
- Do not use clips to hang.
- If the silk pillowcase has wrinkles, you can gently steam the piece at the lowest setting.
- For long-term storage, make sure to clean the silk pillowcase thoroughly and dry it completely to avoid damage by moths. Store them preferably in a breathable garment bag.
- Do wash your silk when using it for the first time.
- You can use a wide-bar hanger to store pillowcases.
How To Iron A Silk Pillowcase?
After the silk pillowcase has naturally dried out, you can iron it at the lowest temperature setting. Turn the silk pillowcase inside out and place a clean piece of fabric above it. Run the iron over the fabric very gently. You can also use steam to remove any fine wrinkles. However, never create any sharp creases or folds while ironing as this could break the long filaments of the silk fabric. To maximize longevity, iron should be used sparingly.
Silk pillowcases can serve you for the longest time if you take proper care of them. The more you care for your silk pillowcases, the more they will keep its sheen and render their health and beauty benefits.
Feruza is a mom and a blogger. She had a neck pain for 15 years, which made her interested in everything about pillows.
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