Secrets of caring for delicate fabrics, or how to wash silk correctly

foto13731-1The main substance contained in silk is fibroin protein. Therefore, the properties of silk differ from those of fabrics of plant origin.

One of these differences is sensitivity to mechanical stress and high temperature. Because of this, silk needs proper care, of which washing is a part.

If you disregard it, silk fabric will not last long. Let's talk in more detail whether silk can be washed and how to do it correctly.

Is it possible in the washing machine at what temperature?

Depending on the production technique, there are 3 types of silk fabrics:

  • natural;
  • artificial;
  • synthetic.
You do not have to go dry cleaning to wash any of these types of silk. Subject to simple rules, everyone can do this at home.


foto13731-2Silk is made from the fiber produced by the silkworm larva. It is very thin and delicate, so it easily breaks down during washing. However, you can still wash silk fabrics.

During washing, it is important to strictly observe the temperature regime (water should not be hotter than 30 degrees) and use aids to avoid damaging the fabric.

Silk fabrics can only be washed by hand. Machine wash is not allowed. After the first session, the canvas loses its original shape due to deformation or rupture of microscopic fibers. Damage becomes visible on it, which looks like small stretch marks or damage to the texture.


Artificial silk is obtained from vegetable protein or cellulose. These substances are exposed to acid. As a result, a chemical compound is obtained that is very close in structure and properties to fibroin.

Therefore, it is also possible to wash products made of artificial silk, as is the case with natural fabric. The same rules must be followed.


foto13731-3Synthetic silk is understood as a material that is close in properties to natural, but obtained by a chemical reaction using plastics, waste of the oil refining industry. This fabric can also be washed.

Washing rules are close to those of natural material... The only difference is a slightly higher water temperature, which is necessary because synthetic silk fabric absorbs sweat and other impurities better, but it is a little more difficult to clean them.

Despite the fact that artificial or synthetic silk is somewhat stronger than natural and artificial, it is undesirable to wash them in a machine. However, in case of heavy dirt, machine wash is still acceptable.

Step by step instructions for washing

Let's take a look at the step-by-step process of washing various types of silk fabrics.

How to wash natural?

To wash a natural silk item, you will need the following:

  • a container for washing (a plastic or metal basin is suitable);
  • water with a temperature not exceeding 30 degrees Celsius;
  • a special detergent designed exclusively for silk items (for example, Luxus Professional powder);
  • table vinegar with a strength of 9%.

You need to do the following:

  1. foto13731-4Fill the basin with cool water, the temperature of which should not exceed 30 degrees Celsius.
  2. Dissolve in it a detergent intended for hand washing silk fabrics.
  3. Dip the item in water and wash it with light movements without applying undue pressure.
  4. Remove the item and wring it out very carefully (without twisting).
  5. Pour out the soapy water and fill the basin with clean water instead, which should be about 5 degrees Celsius colder.
  6. Rinse the item gently.
  7. Drain the water, fill the basin with a clean one.
  8. Add table vinegar with a strength of 9% to the water at the rate of 5 tablespoons per 10 liters.
  9. Rinse the silk product in the resulting solution.
  10. Let the liquid drain from the item without spinning.
  11. Place the washed item in a terry towel to remove excess moisture.
  12. When the towel absorbs the liquid as much as possible, remove the thing from it.
Silk items should not be hung on the clothesline to dry. As a result of such drying, microfibers can be damaged, after which the fabric will lose its original appearance and become ugly.

Artificial processing

The algorithm of actions when washing products made of artificial silk does not differ from that for washing things made of natural material. However, the procedure can be simplified by eliminating rinsing in a vinegar solution.

Also, artificial fabric with heavy dirt can be machine washed. In this case, you must adhere to the following rules:

  • foto13731-5use the lowest possible washing temperature (on most models of washing machines it is 40 degrees Celsius);
  • set the minimum possible drum revolutions (usually 300-400 revolutions per minute);
  • choose the modes of the most delicate wash (usually they are called "Silk", "Hand wash" and the like);
  • before washing, the item is placed in a mesh bag (this prevents friction against the metal walls of the drum);
  • do not turn on the spin and extra rinse modes.

When washing with a machine, it is imperative to add special agents to the powder, which help to avoid mechanical damage to the thing. Examples include CRYSTAL and Nikwax Down Wash.

If possible, do not machine wash even rayon fabrics. This is done only because, due to the lower cost, it is not so sorry to lose them as natural ones.

Cleansing Synthetic Silk Cloth

The procedure for washing synthetic silk is the same. The difference is that if it is washed by hand, you can increase the water temperature to 40 degrees Celsius.

How to keep the color of the thing?

To avoid discoloration, rinse the washed item in a vinegar solution, as mentioned above. However, there are other ways to preserve color.The simplest of these is the addition of starch to the water.

To do this, perform the following actions:

  • foto13731-6potato starch is added to water with a temperature not higher than 30 degrees Celsius at the rate of 3-4 tablespoons per 10 liters of liquid;
  • put a silk thing there;
  • cover the container with a lid and leave it for 2-3 hours;
  • the item is taken out and washed using detergents, and then rinsed;
  • after the first rinse, a water-alcohol solution is prepared at the rate of 1-2 tablespoons of ethyl alcohol per 10 liters of water;
  • the thing is rinsed in the resulting solution.

You can use vodka instead of alcohol. In this case, add 3-4 tablespoons of alcohol to the water.

Also, to preserve or refresh the color, special formulations are widely used, which can be purchased in household chemicals stores.

They are often more effective than using vinegar or starch and alcohol. An example of such formulations is the Woolite line of gels.

How to whiten?

Bleach silk product in three ways:

  1. Using sea salt.
  2. By raising the temperature.
  3. With the use of special tools.

Let's consider each of them.

Sea salt

foto13731-7To bleach with sea salt you will need:

  • sea ​​salt;
  • washing powder for silk fabric;
  • ammonia;
  • hydrogen peroxide.

You need to do the following:

  1. Wash and rinse silk items as described above.
  2. Dilute 8 tablespoons of sea salt, 15 ml of ammonia and 30 ml of hydrogen peroxide in 10 liters of water.
  3. Place a silk product in the resulting solution and leave it for 5 hours, covered with a lid.
  4. Remove the item and rinse it twice in cool water.

Temperature increase

To bleach with an increase in temperature, you will need laundry soap and bulky metal dishes. To carry out the procedure, you must perform the following steps:

  • dissolve 1 bar of laundry soap in 10 liters of water;
  • place a silk thing in the resulting solution;
  • put the container with the product on the stove and heat up to 90 degrees Celsius;
  • cool the thing slowly;
  • after cooling, remove it and rinse twice in cold water.
This method can seriously damage silk and should only be used when there is a significant change in color. In relation to natural silk fabrics, it is better not to use it at all.

Special means

The easiest, most affordable and safest way to whiten is to use special products that can be purchased at household chemicals stores.

It is usually necessary to soak the item in their solution for a while. or add them while washing. The popular Vanish bleach is an example of this.

How to remove stains?

Usually, stains from silk fabric are removed using special stain removers. But if they are not at hand, you can use other methods. Consider ways to remove stains of various origins.

Sweat, perfume ink

foto13731-8Ethyl alcohol is used to remove sweat, perfume or ink stains.

To remove a stain, follow these steps:

  • the thing is placed on a flat surface and smoothed;
  • pour 1 tablespoon of ethyl alcohol or vodka onto the stain and wait 3-5 minutes.

Then the silk product is washed.

Fat and oil

Grease and oil stains can be removed with turpentine. It dissolves these substances, but does not harm the canvas. To remove the stain, you need to do the following:

  • place the thing on a flat surface;
  • moisten a piece of cotton with 2 tablespoons of turpentine;
  • blot the stain with a cloth several times until it disappears.

After that, the thing needs to be washed.

You do not need to use more turpentine as it can stain the fabric itself.

Drinks and low-fat foods

Glycerin helps with stains from drinks (tea, coffee, alcohol) and low-fat food. The substance can be purchased at a pharmacy. It is released without a prescription.

To remove a stain with glycerin, follow these steps:

  • place the thing on a flat surface;
  • Wipe the stain with a piece of cotton or a cotton pad moistened with glycerin.

foto13731-9If the stain is heavily eaten in, proceed as follows:

  • 10-15 drops of glycerin are applied to the stain;
  • sprinkle the contaminated area with ½ teaspoon of table salt;
  • leave for 10 minutes;
  • wash off the salt and glycerin with cool water.

Upon completion of both versions of the procedure, the silk product is washed.


Blood stains are removed with starch. To do this, perform the following actions:

  • add 2-3 tablespoons of starch to 100 ml of warm water and let the mixture brew for 30-40 minutes;
  • place the thing on a flat surface;
  • 1-2 teaspoons of the resulting paste are applied in a thin layer to the stain;
  • leave the thing for 20-30 minutes;
  • wash off the paste with cool water.

After the procedure, the silk item must be washed.

Household chemicals

Special products also effectively remove stains.which can be purchased at household chemical stores.

An example is Laska Delicate Wash. It is dissolved in water at the rate of 50 ml of gel per 10 liters of water. No powder is added.

The tool removes not only dirt, but also stains.

How to dry?

foto13731-10Since silk fibers are very sensitive to physical stress, they can even deteriorate when suspended from a clothesline by the weight of the wet fabric. Therefore, drying silk items requires a special approach.

To dry the product, lay it out on a flat surface and wait for the moisture to evaporate completely... It is undesirable for the fabric to be exposed to direct sunlight.

Related videos

For tips on how to care, wash and dry silk items, see the video:


Silk is a very delicate material. From improper washing, it can quickly lose its original appearance. It should never be machine washed (with the exception of artificial and synthetic silk).

When washing, do not use water hotter than 30 degrees... It is permissible to use only detergents that are specially designed for silk. If these conditions are met, the item will last a long time and will look beautiful.

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