How to Wash Silk Pillowcases in 8 Easy Steps

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If you want to learn how to wash silk pillowcases, this is the only guide you need to refer to! Silk pillowcases and sheets are easy to wash at home, both by hand and in the washing machine.

It’s not always required to dry clean. But you must know how to do it without destroying the fabric. Use these simple steps to properly clean and care for your luxurious silk bedding.

Washing time: 10 – 60 minutes

Drying time: 45 minutes to overnight

Skills: Beginner

Estimated cost: $50 to $75

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Step 1: Read the Washing Instructions

The pillowcase manufacturer will offer some instructions for washing. Referring to them will help with washing the pillowcases without damaging them. For example, these should be considered:

Detergent: mild or harsh?

Mild detergents are recommended for washing silk pillowcases. Put the silk pillowcase into a mesh laundry bag and wash it with a wash soap.

You can substitute a wash soap for a standard detergent (with a low pH). Heavy chemicals harden the silk (e.g., alkaline, bleach). Additionally, the market offers detergents made specifically for silk.

Water temperature: hot or cold? (usually cold for silk pillowcases)

Cold water is bestie for washing silk pillowcases. Use the delicate cycle to wash your pillowcase in water that is no hotter than 30°C.

Give the pillowcase a good thorough rinse in more cold water. It shouldn’t be cleaned with enzyme or bleach-containing laundry detergents because doing so will deteriorate them.

Washing type: hand-wash or machine-wash or dry clean only

Of course, silk pillowcases can be washed. But if you have the time and the drive, you could want to think of giving a wash silk pillowcase that is especially upscale or expensive.

In accordance with the directions on the detergent’s container, pour cool water into a clean sink or basin. Turn the inside of your silk pillowcase inside out and immerse it in water until it is completely submerged.

Once more, rub the fabric between your hands rather than wringing it out to dry. To carefully wring out excess water, place the pillowcase on a white, clean towel.

However Silk pillowcases can also be machine washed. The underlying steps can be helpful for you:

  • Put in the washing machine alongside other silk items of a similar color. To avoid fabric pulls, flip silk pillowcases inside out and put them in a mesh bag.
  • Follow the directions on the package and run the machine on a delicate cycle with cold water and light detergent.
  • The fabric softener dispenser should be filled with 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar to aid in the breakdown of any residue that has accumulated on the silk threads.

Drying cycle type: air-dry or tumble-dry?

Silk pillowcases should be air-dried. Lay the pillowcase on a clean, white towel when the cycle is over. Roll up the towel to remove excess water.

Hang up the pillowcase to air-dry. To avoid creases, take sheets out of the dryer as soon as you can. Then, hang them up to dry out of the sun’s direct rays, which might cause fading.

Put the silk pillowcase into a mesh laundry bag and wash it with mild detergent. We advise hand washing your silk pillowcase for the first few washes if you want to preserve the natural silky shine.

Special Care to be taken

  • Not to be washed with other clothes.
  • Never put silk in a hot water wash.
  • Never dry silk in the dryer.
  • On silk, avoid using iron as far as possible.
  • Silk should not be bleached.

Iron settings: cool, hot, very hot?

Due to the heat involved, ironing silk can be challenging. If one is careless, silk pillowcases can be completely damaged. When ironing silk, it is preferable to do so in a cool setting when it is still a little damp. The temperature at which most irons set silk is roughly 300°F.

Wash frequency: how often to wash?

Because they can be an essential component of your face and hair beauty routine, silk pillowcases should be washed just as frequently as linens.

A silk pillowcase naturally absorbs less of your beauty products while you sleep because silk’s protein fiber has a lower absorption rate than linen or cotton pillowcases.

You may want to wash silk pillowcases once or twice a week as a result of the possibility that those cosmetics will build up on the fabric and cause harm.

Step 2: Gather the Equipment and Materials

List down the things needed to start washing the silk pillowcases, eg, washing machine (if the pillowcase is machine washable), detergent, etc.

  • A bowl/sink filled with water
  • A mild detergent
  • Washing machine (if machine washed)
  • A mesh laundry bag
  • Alcohol-based white vinegar
  • A spotless white towel
  • Steam iron or steamer (optional)
  • Drying rack

Step 3: Spot-Clean Stains

Accidents do occur but these step-by-step guides will help you treat your stains better

  • Directly on the stain, apply a few drops of mild laundry detergent. Gently rub the detergent into the fabric with your finger. On a silk pillowcase, avoid using bleach since the powerful chemicals will ruin the fibers.
  • Give the detergent at least 15 minutes to work on the stain. If you’re worried about detergent buildup, soak the fabric in a bowl of cool water with a spoonful of white vinegar for five minutes before hand washing and drying the pillowcase as usual.
  • Bring your pillowcase to a dry cleaner if the stain is really stubborn. In order for the cleaners to decide what to do next, be careful to identify the stains and describe any at-home solutions you’ve attempted.
  • Also keep in mind that the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to get a stain out of a silk pillowcase. By soaking a silk pillowcase for about five minutes in a bowl of cool water and one tablespoon of white vinegar, you may clean it, get rid of the yellowish discoloration, and restore the color. When the pillowcase has completed soaking, hand wash it and then dry it as usual.

Step 4: Prepare to Wash the Pillowcases

Silk pillowcases are extremely delicate hence people typically advise hand washing or dry cleaning silk. But because so few people have the time, they choose to machine wash their clothes instead.

  • Delicate handling is appropriate for delicate fabrics. Never use hot water to wash your pillows or bedding to prevent fibers from wearing out. Especially for silk, which is very delicate. Maintain a machine’s temperature at 30 degrees Celsius or less while using it. 
  • Invert the silk pillowcase, put it inside a mesh laundry bag, and use a light detergent to wash it. Use a simple detergent, such as washing soap, that has a low pH. Heavy chemicals just make the silk more durable (e.g., alkaline, bleach). Additionally, the market offers mild detergents designed specifically for silk.
  • Only wash silk with your other delicates, and be cautious when using laundry accessories like hooks or zippers that could be sharp. To avoid any harm, try to run in the shortest feasible rotation.

Step 5: Wash the Pillowcases

Hand washing takes a lot of time, which is why washing machines were created. However, it is strongly encouraged that you hand-wash silks in cool water instead of using the laundry facility.

Pillowcases should soak for around three minutes in tepid water in a sink if you’re washing them (using a gentle silk-specific detergent). To assist in cleaning the cloth, gently agitate it; however, avoid aggressive scrubbing as this will damage the fibers.

However silk pillowcases can also be machine washed. Here are a few steps to know before using the washing machine for cleaning your soft pillowcases:

  • When using a washing machine for the silk pillowcases, run the machine on a delicate cycle with cold water and light detergent.
  • The fabric softener dispenser should be filled with 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar to aid in the breakdown of any residue that has accumulated on the silk threads. 
  • After the cycle is over, gently shake out the pillowcase and place it on a fresh, white towel. To dry the towel completely just roll it. To let the pillowcase air dry, hang it up.

Step 6: Rinse the Pillowcases

Run cool water over your item to thoroughly rinse off any remaining soap. To help break down any stain that has collected on the silk threads, add 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser. Push the water out of your things with care.

Never wring them out.  Lay your silk items flat on a surface or air them on a drying rack. The use of hangers with metal clips should be avoided as they may harm the cloth. The best hangers are padded or flocked.

Step 7: Dry the Pillowcases

It is very important to know that silk pillowcases should never be dried under direct sunlight. Although it may seem to save you a lot of time, this might actually cause serious problems. You should keep your clothing flat or hung up in a dry location.

Make sure to check on it to make sure it is drying properly. It is advisable not to dry your silk pillowcase in the dryer. High temps and silk don’t mix well together! Don’t create a habit of drying things in the dryer; if you must, put them in the dryer at the lowest heat setting.

Step 8: Iron the Pillowcases

Use the coolest temperature because silk might melt and you might end up burning the pillowcase. 

To reduce the impact of the iron’s heat, silk works best when ironed moist. We advise ironing immediately following a wash.

  • Make sure your iron’s surface is clean before you begin ironing. Applying a baking soda solution will help you clean any metal stains from your iron. If your iron is unclean or has metal stains, DO NOT IRON because doing so could irreversibly damage the silk.
  • If there are no options for silk, set the iron to the lowest setting or the delicate or silk setting. If the setting is on silk, you can iron the silk directly, but to avoid potential harm, we usually suggest covering the area you want to iron with a press cloth. The press cloth in this situation should be a little piece of delicate cotton fabric.
  • Silk fabrics frequently have weaves that result in a lustrous front and a matte, dull back. You’ll iron the silk piece by piece. Make sure the area you are ironing is wrinkle-free and smooth.
  • To begin ironing, press the iron against the silk (or press cloth) surface. Keep the iron moving to prevent localized overheating, which can distort silk fibers.
  • After you’ve finished pressing one section of the silk, move the press cloth to the next section, smooth out the fabric, and continue ironing until you’re done.

Additional Tips to Care for Your Silk Pillowcases

Avoid using chlorine bleach. This substance will destroy silk fibers permanently and can be quite destructive to them. In fact, chlorine bleach can degrade silk.

As much as possible, stay away from stain removers that might contain bleach or that function by enzyme activity. Use could promote fabric deterioration and discoloration.

  • Before washing, flip the pillowcases inside out to protect the fibers and maybe lengthen the fabric’s lifespan.
  • Avoid wringing or twisting silk; instead, wipe it with a white cloth.
  • Hang dry the silk sheets.
  • Avoid direct sunlight both inside and outside.

Cost Break-Up:

The cost of the materials mentioned in this guide in the US is approximately $50 to $75. Here’s the cost break-up:

  • Bowl/sink filled with water: $10 to $20
  • Mild detergent: $5 to $10
  • Washing machine (if machine washed): Not included in the cost
  • Mesh laundry bag: $5 to $10
  • Alcohol-based white vinegar: $3 to $5
  • Spotless white towel: $10 to $15
  • Steam iron or steamer (optional): $30 to $50
  • Drying rack: $15 to $25

What is a Silk Pillowcase?

Everyone wants their skin and hair to be flawless and silky. Silk Pillowcases are undoubtedly the nicest natural cloth that has ever touched your skin and hair. Silk is a natural protein fiber produced by silkworms that is soft and permeable, allowing air to pass through.

Silk is what silk pillowcases are composed of. Silk pillowcases are more expensive than other types of pillowcases because silk is more expensive than cotton and other types of textiles.

Also, silk pillowcases are a great product for people experiencing significant postpartum hair loss. Silk contains sericin, which effectively hinders the entry of dust and mites. Silk also has a structure that is similar to that of human skin, making silk bed linens incredibly soft and anti-static.

What are the Benefits of Sleeping on Pillows Covered with Silk Pillowcases?

Healthy Hair

Most people have wacky hair when they wake up, which might be disappointing if you spend a lot of effort styling it the night before.

This is due to the friction caused when your hair brushes against your pillowcase while you move about while you sleep, which can cause tangles and even damage.

Hairstylists claim that silk pillowcases, which produce less friction on your hair than conventional cotton pillowcases, can help you maintain your style and keep your hair softer.

Anti-Aging Solution

Silk can help retain your skin’s hydration. Your face will be more hydrated when you awaken after sleeping on a silk pillowcase. Skin cells that are hydrated show fewer creases and wrinkles.

Sleep wrinkles are the result of friction between your skin and the pillow while using a cotton pillowcase. These lines from sleeping develop into wrinkles over time.

However, there are no crease lines on a silk pillowcase. Your beautiful face can glide over the pillow with ease all night since silk causes no friction, tugging, or pulling.

No Frizzy Hair

Due to silk’s incredibly soft texture, hair slides over it without creating friction like cotton does, which can lead to hair breakage and bed hair when using cotton as a pillowcase.

This indicates that you have a significantly lower chance of waking up with a bedhead of frizz, knots, and tangles, regardless of how much you toss and turn.


The sericin in silk effectively thwarts the entry of dust and mites. Additionally, silk shares structural similarities with human skin, making silk bed linens incredibly soft and anti-static.

The only pillowcases that can keep your skin and hair beautiful and supple are made of silk. In the morning, there is no longer a “sleep crease” or “sleep line.”

For How Long Do These Pillowcases Last?

Your silk pillowcase might not necessarily have an expiration date, unlike any other traditional goods. These pillowcases have been thoroughly tested for durability, and it is assumed that with proper care, they will last you between nine and twelve months.

Possibly for a little bit longer if you follow the wash care instructions. However, you can notice a loss in the sheen of the pillowcase as a result of how much use it has received over time. The silk pillowcase’s loss of luster indicates how long it has been in use.

How to Store a Silk Pillowcase?

Since silk is an extremely absorbent material, you should take extra precautions when preserving your silk pillowcase. Keep items in a cool, dry environment when not in use.

Use a permeable plastic bag for longer-term storage and make sure to keep it out of direct sunlight. Since clips leave marks on the fabric, use a wide-bar hanger to store silk pillowcases.

Silk pillowcases should first be thoroughly cleaned and dried before being placed in long-term storage to prevent moth attraction. Store pieces of silk pillowcases in a breathable garment bag to prolong the fabric’s life and use cedar balls or lavender sachets to protect it from insects.

How to Remove Wrinkles from a Pillowcase Made of Silk?

Hand-press your damp silk clothing from the dull backside while using your iron on the lowest heat setting feasible. Keep a cotton press cloth between the silk fabric and the hot iron at all times. You can iron silk if you do wish to remove some stubborn wrinkles. Listed below are a few short suggestions for ironing silk sheets.

  • Use a lower heat setting at first. If necessary, start with a silk setting and then gradually increase the heat if needed.
  • The iron should not be placed in one spot for a long time. Swiftly pass over the silk.
  • Start ironing the pillowcase from the back. This will lessen the possibility of damaging the silk. Silk sheets can be ironed for a clean appearance if you are patient and careful. As always, test out these methods on a tiny portion of your silk bedding before continuing.

How to Whiten a Yellowed Silk Pillowcase?

You can soak your silk items in mild white vinegar to help them regain part of the luster and softness that have been lost. White vinegar not only helps restore the luster and softness in silk but also assists in the removal of any residual soap particles from the fibers.

The steps listed below are meant to be used with silk pillowcases, but they can also be used with silk sheets, crib sleeves, etc.

  • Combine 1 gallon of water and 1/4 cup of white vinegar in a clean sink. Use only cold to lukewarm water for washing and rinsing silk because it dislikes heat.
  • Put your silk pillowcase into the water and gently agitate it for a few minutes to ensure that the vinegar mixture gets all the way into the fabric.
  • After draining the vinegar mixture, repeatedly rinse your silk pillowcase in cool water to get rid of the vinegar smell. Instead of twisting or wringing the silk a gentle squeeze will help to remove the water in between rinses.
  • Again, don’t twist or wring. Simply gently squeeze out any remaining water, and then dry your silk pillowcase out of direct sunlight by hanging it up or laying it flat.
  • Never hang it on a wooden hanger or place it on a wooden surface that can stain the silk. Placing your silk pillowcase on top of a soft, thick towel on a flat surface will help it dry even more quickly. Then, start rolling the cloth while softly pressing down.
  • Your pillowcase will dry considerably more quickly if the extra water is pushed into the towel or when it is flat-dried.

Should you Wash Silk Pillow Cases with Enzyme-Based Detergents?

Enzyme-Based Detergents should never be used for washing delicate fabric like silk. The fibers will break down and the fabric’s integrity will be compromised if you wash it with an enzyme-based detergent.

This is why you should never wash silk or other protein-based textiles like wool, cashmere, alpaca, furs, or feathers using an enzyme or biological detergent. Silk is a delicate fabric made of proteins. Enzyme-containing detergents work wonders in removing stains.

However, employing detergent enzymes on materials made of protein, like silk or wool, can eventually break their natural fibers.

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