How To Wash Silk Pillowcases At Home Like A Pro

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There is nothing like the feel of a silk pillowcase against your skin – the soft, cool, and super smooth texture is like no other fabric! While silk pillowcases may seem like a modern indulgence and something which needs to be treated with great care, that’s not the case. In fact, silk pillowcases are not only durable but also easy to care for.

Many people assume Silk Pillowcases need to be dry cleaned, but that’s not true. You can wash Silk Pillowcases at home with a bit of extra care, and we’re here to show you how!

How to wash silk pillowcases at home

How Often Should You Wash Silk Pillowcases?

Silk pillowcases are no different than any other pillowcase – you should wash them frequently! We recommend washing Silk pillowcases every 1-2 weeks or earlier if you use nighttime beauty products regularly.

This may seem like a lot, but remember that your face rests on your pillowcase every single night. Over time, body oils, skin cells and sweat will build up on the fabric, so it’s important to keep them clean.

If you sleep with beauty products on, be aware that silk absorbs less than cotton and linen. That means your products could build up on the fabric over time which can be challenging to clean later. If this is the case, you may want to wash your silk pillowcases more often than the rest of your bedding.

How to Wash Silk Pillowcases

Silk is a durable fabric, but it needs to be handled delicately to avoid damage. Here are a few basic rules to keep in mind when laundering a silk pillowcase:

  • Rule #1: It’s better to hand wash than to machine wash.
  • Rule #2: Use only cold or lukewarm water for washing.
  • Rule #3: Do not squeeze or wring while washing.
  • Rule #4: Do not tumble dry.
  • Rule #5: Do not bleach.

Can you wash silk pillowcases in the washing machine?

While most manufacturers suggest machine washing on a delicate cycle, we recommend hand washing your silk pillowcase instead. Handwashing is gentle, safer and will prolong the smoothness and lifespan of your pillowcase. Yes, it takes a bit longer, but your pillowcase will thank you for it!

If you plan to use a washing machine, set the lowest spin cycle and put your pillowcase in a mesh bag to avoid snagging or tangling.

hand washing silk pillowcase

A Step By Step Guide to Washing Silk Pillowcases

Follow these steps for an effective and gentle clean:

1) As a safety measure, check the care label first and check for any specific instructions.

Some manufacturers may recommend a specific detergent or ask you to do a colour fastness patch test first.

Silk Pillowcase Label

2) Fill the tub or sink with cool (or tap) water. 

Cold water is less likely to shrink or fade silk fabric. On the other hand, silk does not respond well to hot water and may weaken the fabric.

3) Add a small amount of delicate detergent. 

Add a few drops of a delicate detergent and stir gently to create suds. Too much detergent can leave a residue on the fabric, which is difficult to remove. We recommend Laundress and Ecover Delicate Wash.

4) Soak and gently agitate the silk pillowcase in water.

Plunge the silk pillowcase up and down in the water for two to three minutes. Avoid rubbing or wringing as this could damage the fibres. Let the pillowcase soak in the water for another 10 minutes.

If there are any stain spots, rub the detergent directly onto the spot and let it sit for a few minutes before agitating.

5) Rinse the pillowcase thoroughly in cold water.

Run the silk pillowcase under cold water until all the soap suds are gone. Avoid wringing or twisting as this could damage the fabric. Make sure all the detergent is rinsed out thoroughly. If there is any detergent residue, the pillowcase may feel stiff after drying.

Pro tip: Adding couple of sugar cubes in the tub while rinsing the silk pillowcases gives the fabric more body and luster.

Drying the Silk Pillowcase

So now comes the most crucial part – drying your silk pillowcase. While tossing it in the dryer may be tempting, this is a huge no-no! The high heat can cause the fabric to shrink or lose its shine. Further silk fabric easily wrinkles, so in the dryer, it may end up in a crumpled mess.

So how do you dry a silk pillowcase then? Here are a few tips to get the job done.

6) Spread the silk pillowcase over a towel and roll it up.

Instead of wringing, use a clean towel to soak the water. Simply lay the pillowcase over a towel and roll it up. Press down to remove any excess water.

7) Lay flat or hang the silk pillowcase to dry in the shade.

Lay flat (preferable) or hang the silk pillowcase in a shaded area to air dry. Avoid hanging in direct sunlight, which could cause the fabric to fade.

How to Care For a Silk Pillowcase After Washing

Once your pillowcase is dry, take a few minutes to follow these tips for long-lasting results:

1) Iron the silk pillowcase to restore natural lustre and smoothness.

Silk often becomes wrinkled after washing. You can iron it on a low setting (preferably using a silk setting) to remove any wrinkles. Make sure you turn the silk pillowcase inside out and only iron it when the fabric is completely dried. To be safer, put a cotton cloth between the pillowcase and the iron.

2) Store in a cool, dry place.

To keep your silk pillowcase looking new for longer, store it in a cool, dry place when not in use.

If you plan on storing it for an extended period, wrap the pillowcase in a breathable plastic bag with a couple of mothballs to prevent any critters. Try not to keep anything over the pillowcase to avoid crushing the fabric.

iron silk pillowcase

How Long Do Silk Pillowcases Last, and When To Replace Them?

Silk pillowcases can last anywhere from one to two years, depending on how often you use and wash them. While most manufacturers offer a one-year warranty, you may be able to get more use out of your pillowcase if you take care of it properly. To reduce wear and tear, keeping one extra set for rotation is a good idea.

Signs that it’s time to replace your silk pillowcase include:

  • Fraying along the seams or the surface.
  • Pilling of silk fabric.
  • Holes or tears in the fabric.
  • Fabric losing its shine or smoothness.

Closing Thoughts

A silk pillowcase may seem like something that requires constant care. However, it becomes second nature once you get into the washing and care routine. Plus, the benefits might just justify the added effort! Not only do silk pillowcases look luxurious, but they’re known to help keep your hair and skin healthy.

If you’ve decided to add silk pillowcases to your life, there are plenty of options. Click here to see our top picks of silk pillowcases in Australia, including silk types, prices, and momme count. With all the benefits and the added luxury, it’s worth considering.

Do you have any tips for washing silk pillowcases? Share them in the comments.

Emma Bethany

Emma Bethany

Emma is a wellness writer who has shared her knowledge for over three years. Her Masters in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes means Emma approaches each topic with compassion and gentle curiosity. She wants everyone to be as passionate about taking care of their body as she is. That’s why Emma believes investing in your sleep is an investment in yourself. She wants to create a loving space to learn self-care and build a beautiful bedtime routine to soothe the soul. She loves to discover new ways to enhance sleep and embraces a holistic lifestyle. She enjoys settling down in the evening with a good book and a cup of chamomile tea.

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