Silk sheets are luxurious and comfortable for sleeping. The natural fibers adjust well to fluctuations in body temperature, absorb moisture but dry quickly, and are non-abrasive to skin and hair. It's been a generational beauty secret that a silk pillowcase helps prevent hair from tangling and skin from getting sleep wrinkles because your head glides across the fabric.
Since a set of silk sheets can be expensive, you'll want to care for them properly. With some attention to water temperature and detergent selection, your silk sheets can last for many years.
How Often to Wash Silk Sheets
As with any bedding, silk sheets should be washed at least weekly. If someone is ill or the weather is hot and humid, more frequent washing is needed.
Before You Begin
Take time to read the care label stitched along the hem of the sheets by the manufacturer. It will include instructions on water temperature, bleaching, drying, and ironing.
Silk sheets can be machine-or hand-washed. If you decide to hand-wash the sheets, wash one sheet at a time in a large laundry sink, plastic tub, or the bathtub. Use plenty of water and a small amount of detergent to avoid too many suds that are difficult to rinse away. Use a gentle touch with no twisting or wringing; gently squeeze out the water. While silk fabric is strong when it's dry, the fibers are weaker when wet.
Equipment / Tools
- Washer, Large Sink, or Tub
- Automatic Dryer or Drying Rack
- Ironing Board
- Gentle detergent
- Distilled white vinegar
|How to Wash Silk Sheets|
|Detergent||Mild or gentle detergent|
|Drying Cycle||Low heat|
|Special Treatments||Use a pressing cloth when ironing|
|Iron Settings||Lowest setting|
For any difficult-to-remove stains like blood, mascara, or makeup, work a tiny dab of detergent (though hydrogen peroxide also works!) into the stained area with your fingers. Let the detergent work for at least 15 minutes to begin lifting the stain before washing.
Set the Washer Cycles
Add the Right Type of Detergent
To keep the silky feel you desire, silk should be cleaned with a mild, gentle detergent. Choose one recommended for silk or wool (wool wash or Castile soap).
Follow the label directions for dosage but for a full load of silk bedding, about two tablespoons to one-fourth cup should be enough.
Add Distilled White Vinegar to the Fabric Softener Dispenser
Skip a commercial fabric softener and add distilled white vinegar to the rinse cycle. Vinegar helps remove any soapy residue left in the silk fibers and leave them silky.
Load the Sheets
You'll have the best results if you wash silk sheets alone or with other silk fabrics. This will prevent snags and abrasion from stiffer fabrics. Don't overload the washer, the sheets should be able to "swim" in the water.
Use a Low-Heat Drying Cycle
Hot temperatures in an automatic dryer are not compatible. Tumble dry silk sheets on the lowest heat setting of your dryer. Remove the sheets while still slightly damp and allow them to finish drying on a drying rack.
A Cool Iron Is Best
If you leave the sheets in the dryer too long and feel they are overly wrinkled, use the coolest temperature setting on your iron to press hems and pillowcases. You should always use a pressing cloth or a clean, white cotton cloth between the iron and the silk to prevent scorching. Burned fibers cannot be restored.
Storing Silk Sheets
Silk sheets should be folded or rolled without sharp creases that can weaken the fibers. Do not store in a plastic bag which can trap moisture and choose a cool, dry closet. Silk fibers can attract moths, so use a small amount of natural moth repellent, such as lavender or cedar balls, if you have trouble with insect infestations.
Repairing Silk Sheets
Silk fabrics can fray or rip at the seams. Unless the damage is along a hem, most repairs to silk are noticeable due to the delicate nature of the fabric. If you choose to repair holes, hand-stitch the rip, and apply an anti-fraying product found at fabric stores. There are also no-sew fabric adhesive products that can repair a rip.