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How to Wash and Care for Silk Pillowcases?

There are many benefits to silk pillowcases, including reduced wrinkles, split ends, and frizzy hair. However, they can be expensive, so you should take care of them appropriately to ensure they will last. In your bedding, especially your pillowcase, sweat, germs, oils, hair products, and makeup can accumulate quickly. 

What is the best way to wash silk pillowcases?

To ensure you are taking proper care of your product, always check its care label or the manufacturer's label. Follow any guidelines if there are any. 

Silk pillowcases can be washed either on a gentle cycle in the washing machine or by hand. As long as steps are taken to ensure a gentle wash, silk pillowcases can be washed in the washing machine. When washing silk pillowcases, hand washing is the most gentle way to wash and allows you to take extreme care. You can wash your pillowcase by hand using the same basic steps as washing clothing; just make sure to use a gentle touch and don't wring or twist it.

Here's what you'll need

  • Mesh laundry bag
  • Gentle laundry detergent
  • Clean white bath towel

Washing a silk pillowcase in the washing machine

  • If the care instructions differ from those on the care label, follow them. Silk pillowcases typically come with instructions for washing in the washing machine, so make sure to follow those instructions.
  • Turn the pillowcases inside out and place them in a mesh laundry bag.
  • Use a gentle laundry detergent and a delicates cycle with cold water. Be careful if you have a machine with a center agitator; if it is not set properly, it can damage the fabric.
  • Depending on the brand, you may be able to tumble dry on an air-only or low-heat cycle, but others recommend you leave the clothes out of the dryer. Avoid the dryer when in doubt. It is best to squeeze (don't wring!) the excess water from the pillowcase before laying it flat to dry.


How to hand wash a silk pillowcase?

  • It is quite simple to hand wash your silk pillowcase, and hand washing helps keep the fibers soft and lustrous for a long time.
  • Add about a teaspoon of gentle laundry detergent to a clean sink or tub filled with cool water. Using your fingertips, gently rub a few drops of detergent into any visible stains on your pillowcase.
  • Then, gently swish the pillowcase around in the water in order to help the water penetrate the fibers of the pillowcase as you create suds in the water.
  • Avoid twisting, wringing, or rubbing the fabric against itself, as this can damage it. The best way to clean the fabric is to gently agitate it (i.e., move it around in the water) with your hand.
  • The water should be drained from the basin and replaced with cold water. If any soapy residue remains on the pillowcase, submerge it again and agitate gently to remove it. Rinse gently until the residue is gone, repeating as necessary.
  • Avoid twisting or wringing the fabric by gently squeezing out any excess water. Lay the pillowcase on a clean, white towel and roll it up, gently squeezing it to dry further. Avoid direct sunlight to prevent fading and discoloration by laying flat to dry.
  • If the pillowcase has wrinkles after drying, steam it gently or iron it on the lowest setting. The pillowcase should be flipped inside out and a pressing cloth or clean piece of fabric should be placed between the iron and pillowcase for maximum results.

What is the recommended frequency of washing silk pillowcases?

As with cotton pillowcases, silk pillowcases should be washed once per week. In order to prevent tearing of the fibers, make sure you place them in a mesh laundry bag and avoid spinning them. If you have cotton sheets but silk pillowcases, make sure you do not spin them. The same guide can be followed for sheets if all your bedding is silk.

How to treat stains on silk pillowcases?

The longer a stain sits, the more difficult it can be to remove, so if you find a stain on your silk pillowcase act fast. Stains can be treated by massaging a small amount of mild detergent directly onto them with your fingers, then allowing them to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Afterwards, wash the pillowcase according to the instructions above.

How to remove wrinkles from silk pillowcases?

Heat can damage silk fibers, so be very careful when handling heat around silk. Try ironing your pillowcases or sheets on the lowest setting with a pressing cloth, or use a steamer for a gentler touch.