How to Machine Wash Silk: Step-by-Step Guide

To machine wash silk, first check the item's care label to ensure it can be machine washed. Sort your laundry and wash silk only with other delicate fabrics. Turn the garment inside out and place it inside of a mesh laundry bag. Place the garment in the washing machine and add silk laundry detergent. Adjust the settings to delicate and wash with cold water. Run the cycle and hang or lay flat to air dry once completed. 

This is: How to Machine Wash Silk

how to wash mulberry silk banner image with a picture of a man washing a mulberry silk shirt in the tub full of soapy water

This article will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to machine wash silk


Read our silk care guides, below, to ensure that you are using the proper methods when caring for your silk garments, fabrics, bedding, or upholstery. 

How to Machine Wash Silk

Although silk should primarily be dry cleaned or hand washed, some silk garments may be machine washable as well.

Before attempting to wash any items made from 100% silk, it is imperative that you first check the garment's care label. Check the care label to see if the garment has special care requirements, if it is meant to be dry cleaned only, hand washed, or if it is allowed to be machine washed. The high majority of items made from silk are prohibited from being machine washed. If you are looking to machine wash your silk garment, be sure to double check the care instructions first, as it is likely that machine washing is prohibited. 

Carefully follow the 7 steps below to learn how to machine wash silk. 

Things You'll Need:

  • a washing machine
  • a mesh laundry bag
  • silk detergent or detergent for delicates
  • mulberry silk cloth

1. Check the Care Instructions

Before you attempt to machine wash any garment made from mulberry silk, you must first check the care label and read the required care instructions. If the care label on your garment says to dry clean or hand wash only, then do attempt to use the washing machine. 

2. Separate the Laundry

Wash your silk only with other silk or delicate fabrics. Do not place silk into the washing machine with heavy clothes such as jeans, jackets, or sweaters. 

3. Use a Mesh Laundry Bag

Turn your silk garment inside out and place it into a mesh laundry bag so that it is protected while in the wash.

4. Add pH Neutral Silk Laundry Detergent

Place the laundry bag into the washing machine and add pH neutral silk laundry detergent. Do not use regular detergent or bleach to wash silk.

5. Delicate Wash Cycle

Adjust the settings on the washing machine to the delicate/gentle setting as well as the shortest rinse duration possible.

6. Wash With Cold Water

Use the cold water setting on the washing machine. Never wash silk in hot water.

7. Air Dry

Once the spin cycle has finished, hang or lay flat to air dry. Dry the garment in a cool, dim area, out of contact with direct sunlight. Never put silk in the dryer

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How to Machine Wash Silk FAQ

What is the best way to wash silk?

Most silk garments need to be dry cleaned. If you cannot dry clean your silk, the next best option would be to hand wash the garment. The high majority of silk clothing cannot be machine washed. 

What happens when you wash 100% silk?

Dry cleaning 100% silk will have no negative effects. Hand washing 100% silk may cause the color to bleed and transfer. Machine washing 100% silk may damage and even ruin your garment. 

How do you wash silk without ruining it?

Take your silk to the dry cleaner or hand wash your silk using lukewarm water and silk laundry detergent at home. 

Can you wash silk with regular detergent?

Silk cannot be washed with regular detergent or bleach. Use silk laundry detergent or detergent for delicates to wash silk. The detergent should be pH neutral.