Few fabrics feel as luxurious as silk, and you might be surprised to find that dry cleaning doesn’t have to be your only option for washing them. However, being one of the most expensive and delicate pieces of fabric in your wardrobe, your treasured silk sarees will definitely require special care. If you want to know how to safely wash your favourite silk sarees, check out our silk basics guide below!
Ariel’s tips on caring for silk before the wash
As one of the most delicate materials found in your household, silk requires extra care when it comes to cleaning, otherwise, you risk issues like colour bleeding and damaging the fibres.
Read the wash care instructions. When a label says “Dry Clean,” that is the manufacturers’ recommended cleaning method, but it may not be the only method available—hand washing silk clothing is often an acceptable alternative. “Dry Clean Only,” however, should be strictly adhered to.
Test for colour fastness. The rich colours of silk can often bleed, so be sure to test before washing anything: Dip a cotton swab in mild laundry detergent and water, then dab it on a hidden seam to see if any dye comes off on the swab. Bright prints or colours that bleed should be dry-cleaned.
Never spot-treat silk. Rubbing one area of silk can cause the fabric to lighten in just that spot. For moderate stain removal, especially ones in the middle of a pattern, wash the entire garment. Dark or unsightly stains should be taken to a dry cleaner.
How to wash silk sarees at home
To master the art of washing silk sarees at home, read our quick and easy step-by-step guide!
Soak Fill your sink with cold water, turn your silk saree inside out, and submerge it.
Dose detergent When it comes to washing your silk saree, your best bet is to use a high-quality liquid detergent, like Ariel Matic Front Load Liquid Detergent. Add a few detergent drops into the water and stir it well, then leave your item in the solution for three minutes.
Agitate the water Gently pull your garment up and down for three to five minutes to remove any dirt.
Remove clothes Take your garment out from the sink, drain off the water, and rinse under cold water until the detergent has been completely washed out.
Soak up the moisture Use a towel to absorb any excess water from the garment. Never twist or wring out silk garments; doing so can damage the fabric.
Dry Hang your silk saree on a clothesline or a drying rack, ensuring that it’s not in direct sunlight.
Whether you’re dealing with silk blouses, silk suits, silk pajamas, silk sheets or silk pillows, you can safely use the above steps to effectively clean them at home. If you’d give the machine wash a try, move on to our FAQ section and learn how to safely wash your delicate garments in a washer!
How to care for silk after the wash
Caring for your silk saree doesn’t end with your wash cycle. Here’s how you can increase the longevity of your premium silk sarees:
Avoid the dryer. Lay wet silk clothing flat onto a clean, absorbent towel and roll it up in the towel to rid excess moisture. Unroll and repeat using a second dry towel, then lay flat on a drying rack or dry towel.
Turn your silk item inside out and iron over it on a low setting. Only iron your garment when your silk is dry, and don’t forget to put a cloth between the fabric and the iron.
What about storing? If you’re planning on putting your silk item away for a long time, place it in a breathable plastic, and make sure to use a moth repellant.
Frequently Asked Questions about washing silk clothes
If the above guide didn’t answer all your silk-related questions, our FAQ section will most definitely will!
Some silk garments can be safely washed in a washing machine, but only if their fabric care label allows, and only in case your washer has a “Delicates” or “Hand wash” setting. Just make sure you have a mesh bag at home to protect your delicate items within the wash, and then simply follow the below steps:
Load the machine Put your delicate silk items inside a mesh bag and place it inside your washing machine.
Dose detergent Add Ariel Matic Liquid Detergent to your washing machine. Always make sure to carefully read the instructions on the bottle.
Wash Set your machine to the “Delicate” or “Hand wash” cycle, and choose the highest water temperature recommended by the fabric care label. Start the wash.
Unload Take your silk items out from the machine immediately after the cycle has finished, then use a towel to soak up excess moisture from the clothes.
Dry Hang your silk items on a clothesline or lay them on a flat surface to dry while keeping them out from direct sunlight.
If your garment’s fabric care labels say “Dry clean only”, the safest option is to hand wash it in cold water and a gentle body soap or a high-quality laundry detergent such as Ariel.
Yes, you can. The safest way to clean your 100% silk item is to turn the garment inside out, and hand wash it with a few drops of Ariel Matic Liquid Detergent in a sink or washbasin filled with cold water. Next, gently agitate the item using your hands, then let it soak for a little while. Remove the garment and rinse it under cold water. Use a towel to soak up what little moisture remains in the fabric, then hang it to dry.
For washing a delicate fabric such as silk, you’ll want to use a gentle laundry detergent like Ariel Matic Liquid.
One of the most popular DIY silk-washing methods is using baby shampoo instead of a laundry detergent. Simply place your silk item into a washbasin filled with cool water, add a small amount of gentle baby shampoo, stir the water well, and leave the garment to soak for a few minutes. Next, rinse it under cold water, remove and let it dry.
More washing tips from Ariel
Now that you’ve learned the ins-and-outs of how to wash silk clothes at home, maybe you’re interested in other laundry topics, such as how to keep your white garments white or what to do if you’ve spilled some red wine onto your clothes.
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