How to Hand Wash Silk

Silk is a luxurious and delicate fabric that requires special care when washing. While some silk garments may be labeled as “dry clean only,” hand washing is often the best option to maintain the fabric’s quality and integrity. In this article, we’ll go through the steps to properly hand wash silk to keep it looking its best.

Gather Materials

Before beginning the hand-washing process, it’s important to gather all the necessary materials. You’ll need a basin or sink, mild detergent, a clean towel, and access to cool water.


Start by checking the care label on your silk garment to ensure that it’s safe to hand wash. If the label indicates that it’s dry clean only, do not attempt to wash it at home. If it’s safe to hand wash, fill your basin or sink with cool water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Swirl the water gently to mix the detergent.


Place your silk garment into the basin or sink and gently agitate the water with your hands to distribute the detergent. Be sure not to rub or twist the fabric, as this can damage the delicate fibers. Let the garment soak in the soapy water for a few minutes.


After soaking, drain the soapy water and refill the basin or sink with cool, clean water. Gently agitate the garment in the water to remove any remaining detergent. Repeat this process with fresh water until all soap residue is gone.


To dry your silk garment, lay it flat on a clean towel and roll the towel up, pressing gently to remove excess water. Do not wring or twist the fabric, as this can cause damage. Unroll the towel and lay the garment flat to air dry. Avoid hanging silk garments to dry, as this can cause stretching and distortion.

Related Questions

Can I use a washing machine to wash silk?

While many washing machines have a delicate cycle that may be suitable for silk, it’s generally not recommended. The agitation of the machine can damage the delicate fibers of the fabric. Hand washing is the best way to ensure the longevity of your silk garments.

Can I use regular detergent to wash silk?

No, regular detergents are often too harsh for silk and can cause damage. Use a mild detergent specifically formulated for delicate fabrics.

Can I use hot water to wash silk?

No, hot water can cause silk to shrink and lose its luster. Always use cool water when washing silk.

Related VideoHow to Hand Wash Silk