How to Wash a Silk Shirt: Step-by-Step Guide

Fill a basin with lukewarm water and mix in a few drops of silk detergent. Submerge the silk shirt and let it soak for 3 minutes. Use your hands to gently agitate and wash the shirt in the water until all the dirt and stains have been removed. Rinse the silk shirt under cold water and roll in an absorbent towel to remove excess water. Hang or lay flat on a drying rack to air dry. 

This is How to Wash a Silk Shirt: Step-by-Step Guide.

how to wash a silk shirt banner image with a picture of a man hand washing a purple silk shirt in a tub of soapy water

This article will give you step-by-step instructions on how to wash a silk shirt

This guide explains how to wash a silk shirt by hand, as well as how to wash a silk shirt in the washing machine


Learn all the best practices for caring for your silk shirt, by reading through our step-by-step care guides below. 

How to Wash a Silk Shirt

Before washing your silk shirt, you must first check the garment's care label. If your silk shirt is dry clean only, then please take it to the dry cleaners and do not attempt to wash at home

If a stain has occurred on your silk shirt please read How to Get Stains Out of a Silk Shirt for step-by-step instructions. 

For new outfit ideas, take a look at our guide on How to Wear a Silk Shirt.

Follow the step-by-step instructions below to hand wash your silk shirt. 

Things You'll Need:

  • A basin, container, sink, or tub
  • Silk detergent or detergent for delicates 
  • An absorbent towel
  • A silk shirt

1. Fill a Basin With Water

Fill a basin, container, sink or tub with lukewarm water not exceeding 77°F/25°C.
photo of a basin being filled with lukewarm water

2. Add Silk Detergent

Add silk detergent or detergent for delicates. Refer to the instructions on the label to find the correct amount to add.

photo of a hand pouring silk laundry detergent into a basin filled with water

3. Submerge the Shirt

Submerge the silk shirt in the water and let soak for 3 minutes.

photo of a main submerging a silk shirt in water

4. Agitate the Silk

Use your hands to agitate the shirt in the water.

picture of a man agitating a silk shirt in water in a basin

5. Rinse in Cold Water

Once finished, remove the silk shirt from the basin and rinse it under cold water until all the soap is removed and the water runs clear.

photo of a man rinsing a purple silk shirt under cold water in the sink

6. Towel Roll

Lay your shirt evenly on an absorbent towel and roll the towel (sushi roll style) to remove any excess water from the silk fabric. Apply pressure to the top of the roll to gently remove water and moisture. 

picture of a main towel rolling a silk shirt to remove moisture

7. Air Dry

Hang or lay flat to air dry in a cool, dim place out of contact with direct sunlight. Never use a dryer to dry your silk shirt.
picture of a purple silk shirt air drying outside in the shade

Complete Video Tutorial

How to Iron a Silk Shirt

After your freshly washed silk shirt air dries, you may find that there are some wrinkles in the silk. If this is the case, ironing the shirt will be the best way to remove the wrinkles. 

To iron a silk shirt, first turn the first inside out and lay it flat on an ironing board. Use a spray bottle to add moisture to the silk fabric, and cover the area you wish to iron with a thin cotton press cloth

Turn the iron on to the lowest heat setting possible and hand press the wrinkles out of the silk shirt. Continue pressing until your shirt is completely wrinkle free

Read our step-by-step guide on How to Iron a Silk Shirt or learn How to Get Wrinkles Out of a Silk Shirt.

How to Wash a Silk Shirt FAQ

What happens when you wash 100% silk?

If you wash 100% silk correctly there will be no negative effects, only positive ones! Wash your silk in cool to lukewarm water and use specialized silk detergent to properly clean all your silk garments. 

How do you wash a silk shirt?

Wash your silk shirt by first filling a basin with lukewarm water. Add a few drops of silk detergent to the water and then submerge your shirt and let soak for 3 minutes. Use your hands to agitate the shirt and then run under cold water until all the soap has been removed.

Can you machine wash silk shirts?

If the care label allows for it, you may machine wash your silk shirt. Before you attempt to care for your silk shirt, you must always first check the care label. If the care instructions allow for it, then you may machine wash your silk shirt. Use the delicate setting with cool water and specialized silk laundry detergent. 

Is silk ruined in the washing machine?

Silk is not ruined in the washing machine as long as you use the delicate setting with cold water, as well as pH neutral silk laundry detergent. You should also put your silk into a mesh laundry bag before you place it into the washing machine.