How to Wash Silk Pillowcases So They Last a Lifetime


Silk Pillowcases Add a Touch of Luxury to Your Bedroom

Silk pillowcases are a simple and affordable way to add a touch of luxury to your bedroom. Not only do they feel amazing on your skin, they’re good for your skin, too.

But to get the many benefits of silk pillowcases, you need to know how to care for them properly. As a natural material, mulberry silk pillowcases need special care to preserve their beauty, natural breathability, and moisture wicking properties. The good news is that when you wash and dry your silk pillowcases with care, they will last for years.

Read on to learn the best way to wash silk pillowcases to maintain their softness and durability. 


Should You Hand Wash or Machine Wash Silk Pillowcases?

You can skip the trip to the dry cleaners - your silk pillowcases are happier when washed at home with natural products. Caring for your silk pillowcases requires a gentle touch, whether you choose to machine wash or hand wash your silk. 

Hand washing your silk pillowcases can take a little more effort, but it is the preferred way to wash silk. Fill a large tub with cold water and a gentle soap made for silk. Submerge the silk pillowcases and gently agitate them with your hands. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing the silk - let the water, soap, and gentle agitation do the cleaning. Rinse with cold water. 

If using a machine, wash on a gentle cycle with cold water and avoid using bleach or chemical cleaners. 


What Detergent Should You Wash Silk Pillowcases With

What you wash your silk pillowcases with is as important as how you wash them. Harsh chemical detergents can damage silk, harden the fibers, and leave residue that affects your skin.

Instead, choose a natural detergent for your natural fibers. The best silk detergents will have a neutral pH and may even be formulated for silk or natural textiles. Opt for eco-friendly detergents made for “delicates” or “silk and wool.”

What to Avoid When Washing Your Silk Pillowcases

In most cases, the simplest washing method is best for silk. Avoid using fabric softener, bleach, brighteners, or other laundry additives when washing your silk. These products can damage and discolor your beautiful silk pillowcases or other silk bedding. Also avoid drying or storing your silk in areas that get direct sunlight.

How to Dry Silk Pillowcases

Just as silks need to be washed gently, they need to be dried gently, too. Don’t squeeze or wring out your silk pillowcases. Do not put your silk pillowcases in the dryer.

Instead, lay down a few white towels and roll your silk pillowcases in them to gently absorb the excess water. Then, hang your silk out to dry either inside or outside. If you choose to dry outdoors, make sure the silk is out of direct sunlight as this can damage the fibers and cause your silk to fade. 


If you are in a pinch and need your silk pillowcases to dry fast, you can put them in the dryer on “air” mode for 20 minutes. Do not use heat, dryer balls, or fabric sheets. 


Reminders for Cleaning and Caring for Your Silk Pillowcases


  • If you are machine washing your silk pillowcases, use the "Delicate" or "Hand Wash" setting on your washing machine. 

  • Use cool or cold water to wash silk. A temperature of 30° Celsius/85° Fahrenheit, or lower is recommended. 

  • Detergents used should be mild. Wash silk pillowcases and bedding separately from your other laundry items or use a mesh laundry bag when you machine wash your silk. 

  • You can machine dry your silk pillowcases using the "Air" setting only.  Remove them from the dryer after about 20 minutes and let them dry fully on their own. 

  • You can iron silk pillowcases, but make sure you use the silk setting on your iron. You can also steam pillowcases to remove wrinkles. 

  • Clean any spill or stain immediately. Do not allow dirt or liquid to set on your pillowcase as this could lead to permanent damage. Soak the pillowcase in cold water as soon as possible. 

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