Having silk sheets, blankets or clothes means you pretty much know about the luxurious feel they give. Collecting a stain on the silk for most is the end of the world however; removing certain spots isn’t that difficult if you follow the right steps. Here’s how to wash silk and a few aftercare tips to calm your nerves!
- Test for colour fastness
Rich shades, especially those of silk tend to bleed so be sure to test them before throwing in the wash cycle. Dip a cotton swab in a solution of water and detergent, gently dab it on a hidden seam to see if any dye comes off on the swab. Silk fabrics with bright prints or bleeding shades should be dry-cleaned.
- A big “NO” to spot-treat silk
Just rubbing one area of the silk may dull it so for moderate stain removal especially those collected in the centre of a pattern, it’s better to wash the entire garment. For tough, dark or unsightly stains, better take the material to a dry cleaner.
- Handle with care
After rinsing, gently squeeze the excess water out of the garment but never twist or wring silk else you’d damage the material.
- Avoid dryer treatment
Never expose silk to machine dryer even after the wash. The best alternative is laying the fabric flat on a clean and absorbent towel, roll it up gently and excess water is likely to collect on the towel. Unroll and repeat the process on another dry towel, lay it flat again but this time on a drying rack or simply hang it straight, exposed to natural air.
- Citrus oil
Being a powerful natural cleaner, citrus oil may help in cleaning silk safely. One reason to prefer citrus oil as a silk cleansing medium is it being a natural product that won’t ruin the delicate fibres of the material. In fact, it can remove oil, grease, fat and even wax spots off the silk. Citrus oil in its natural form is available in almost every convenience store so buy a bottle today. Once treated with citrus oil, proceed washing silk as usual!
- Talcum powder or Baking soda
In case the oil stain is fresh, sprinkle talcum powder directly and enough of it to cover the stain but, be sure it’s unscented. Let the powder sit on the stain overnight and wash the fabric as normal next day. Baking soda can be used as an alternative to talcum powder! Same steps must be followed but it may take some time for stain to lift completely with baking soda.
- Kerosene or Gasoline
Use of kerosene or gasoline is the last resort when all other methods to clean the silk fail. This is because both of the fluids are highly combustible and not to mention pungent. If proper care isn’t taken, it may trigger fire! All you need is pouring a few drops, enough to soak the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Hand washthe silk in a solution of luke-warm water and detergent, scrub gently with a soft brush but only the stained area.
The above steps answer your question as how to wash silk and take good care of it!