When hand washing a silk garment, make a wash test on an inconspicuous part of the garment, the inside back of a hem, for example. Nothing in this document should be considered a recommendation or guarantee of success. Always read the label and follow the manufactures instructions. Some silks should be dry cleaned especially Dupioni but most should be hand washed, silk begins to look dingy and dull after just a few trips to the dry cleaners. Many silks look better and last longer when hand washed.
Hand washing silk : Soak the garment in lukewarm water and a mild soap solution. Rinse in clear, cool water until all the soap is gone. then fill the sink again and add a quarter cup of white vinegar to the final rinse. Vinegar neutralizes any remaining soap, and allows it to rinse out completely restoring the fabric's natural sheen, it can make a dramatic difference. Give the fabric a final rinse in clear, cool water to remove the vinegar smell. Iron with a low-medium temp iron while still slightly damp use an all cotton ironing board cover. Alway use a mild detergent or a small amount of soap. note: if your silk garment has not been pre-washed some silks may shrink. also, note that garments made with a combination of fabrics or that are highly detailed probably should not be machine washed. check with the store where your purchased the item.
Dry cleaning silk : Always tell the dry cleaner that your garment is made from silk so that it will not be placed in a vat with jeans and other garments that could harm your silk garment. some dry cleaners use solutions that are not best for silks. inquire first
Silk cleaning tip : To keep white silk white, add peroxide and ammonia to the wash. do not use bleach or products that contain bleach. to remove yellowing, add 3 or 4 tablespoons of white vinegar to a basin of cool water. perspiration and sticky deodorant stains can be a problem with any fabric. they are not removable. use small shields or a silk undershirt.
Machine wash silk : Check the manufacturer actually claims silks may be washed by machine. Wash on gentle cycle in a clean washing machine some people put their delicate silks in a machine wash bag, this will minimize any damage caused thru machine washing.