How to Properly Wash and Care for Silks and Faux Silks

Do you have silk and faux silk garments, sheets, or curtains but are afraid to ruin them during cleaning? Washing and caring for silk and faux silk can seem intimidating. Still, with a little knowledge, it’s easy to keep your fabrics looking beautiful. Here are some tips on properly cleaning and taking care of your silks and faux silks.

Silk Vs. Faux Silk

Silk is a truly unique material, and its properties set it apart from other textiles. Unlike most fabrics, silk is incredibly smooth, soft, and silky to the touch. Made primarily from proteins called fibroin, silk is also extremely strong and flexible. It is often said that a single strand of silk could hold up a fully grown person! 

This makes silk an ideal choice for clothing items like lingerie and nightgowns and decorative fabrics like curtains or tablecloths. Silk has been used in various ways, including paper or medicine. 

Faux silk, also called artificial silk, is a fabric made using man-made materials rather than natural fibers like cotton or wool. Usually composed of rayon or polyester, faux silk has a soft, shiny texture and lustrous look that mimics the qualities of real silk. 

While it may be more difficult to find and more expensive than other types of fabric, faux silk has become very popular in recent years due to its eye-catching appearance and durability. Whether used for clothing, upholstery, home décor, or other purposes, faux silk is a versatile material with many attractive properties. 

There are several key differences between silk and faux silk.

SilkFaux Silk
Made from the fibers of silkwormsTypically a man-made fabric that copies the look and feel of real silk without all the environmental impacts
More stain-resistant and easier to clean.More difficult to clean. 
Luxurious look and feel.More suited for casual everyday wear or linen-like materials.

How to Wash Silk

Silk can be tricky to wash, as it is prone to stretching, shrinking, or other damage if not properly handled. Here are some tips on how to wash silk correctly.

Always read the care label on your silk garment thoroughly before washing it. Different types of silk may require different care methods or detergents.

When possible, hand-wash your silk item in lukewarm water with a gentle detergent designed for silk. Never use hot water or harsh detergents, as these can damage the fibers and cause shrinkage or discoloration.

To dry your silk garment after washing, lay it flat on a towel and gently press out any excess moisture with another towel. Never wring or twist your silk, as this can cause permanent stretching and damage to the fabric.

Lastly, always store your silk clothing carefully when not in use, so it doesn’t become wrinkled or damaged over time. This means using airtight containers or protective sheets between the layers of folded clothing so that they do not snag or tear against each other.

How to Wash Faux Silk

Washing faux silk is important to keep your clothes looking and feeling their best. Because this fabric tends to be delicate, it is important to be gentle when washing your items and follow a few key steps. 

  • First, you will want to check the label on your item to make sure it is machine-washable, as some faux silk fabrics are not designed for this. 
  • Next, you will want to use a mild detergent that doesn’t contain harsh chemicals or additives. 
  • Then, fill a washing tub or basin with cold water and add enough detergent to lightly coat the fabrics. 
  • Once you have agitated the fabric gently in this water, rinse it well in cool water until all soapy residue has been removed. 
  • Finally, lay your items flat or hang them up to dry in an area with good ventilation.

How to Care for Silks 

Caring and maintaining your silk fabrics will prolong their life and overall appearance.


Depending on their thickness and condition, there are a few different ways to store silk fabrics. One option is to wrap them in acid-free tissue paper or cotton muslin before placing them in an airtight plastic storage container. 

Another method is to hang the silk garments on padded hangers, which helps to keep out any dust that might otherwise cling to the fabric. Additionally, storing silks in climate-controlled environments can help retain their color and quality over time.


To iron silk fabrics, it’s important to start with a cool iron and move slowly and steadily over the fabric. Be sure to work on a flat, smooth surface and start pressing along one edge of the fabric, working your way steadily across the length. 

As you move, be sure to apply even pressure on the iron: try not to leave any spots where the garment is more or less pressed than the rest. When you reach an end or corner, carefully lift and reposition the iron without moving it on top of previously-pressed areas.

 And when you’re finished, I always recommend giving your silk a gentle shake to release any remaining wrinkles before hanging or folding.


You will need a steam iron and a small bowl or container of distilled water to steam silk fabrics. First, fill the bowl with about two inches of distilled water and place it on your ironing board. 

Then, set your steam iron to its highest heat setting, and press the steam trigger to let off some steam. Keep the iron moving as you slowly lower it onto the fabric to prevent scorching or singeing. 

Carefully hover the iron over the fabric until it is slightly damp but not soaking wet. Repeat this a few times until your fabric has reached the desired steaming level. Once you are done steaming, let your fabric cool completely before handling or wearing it.

Dos and Dont’s

When caring for silk fabrics, there are a few dos and don’ts that you should keep in mind. 

First and foremost, you should always ensure that your silk items are properly cleaned before storing them. This means that stains and dirt must be dealt with as soon as they occur rather than letting them sit or wash the piece too aggressively.

 It is also important to avoid exposing your silk items to harsh chemicals or temperatures, as these can damage the material. 

Other important factors include using the right detergent. 

How to Care for Faux Silks 

A little easier than real silk, but still require a level of care and maintenance to keep that gorgeous look.


Depending on your needs and preferences, there are several different approaches to storing faux silk. Some people prefer to keep their faux silk rolled up, while others opt to hang it or store it folded. 

You may also want to choose a storage option based on your available space and whether or not you will be using the material frequently. For example, if you need your faux silk for a special event, it might make sense to hang it up and take it out when needed. 

On the other hand, if you only use your faux silk for basic decorating purposes, you may want to invest in high-quality storage containers that protect your material from dust and moisture.


To iron faux silk, you will need an ironing board, hair dryer, spray bottle, and a sturdy piece of parchment paper. First, place the item to be ironed on your ironing board and use your hair dryer to lightly blow hot air over any wrinkles or creases. 

Next, dampen your piece of parchment paper with water from a spray bottle and lay it over the fabric. Press the iron gently against the parchment paper for several seconds using a low-heat setting. 

You may need to repeat this process several times to achieve smooth results. Finally, take care not to move or drag the iron over the fabric as you remove it from your item – this can cause distortion or unwanted marks on the fabric surface.


To steam faux silk, you will need a steamer or steam iron and some clean white clothes. Start by heating your steamer or steam iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Then, lay a piece of faux silk flat on your working surface, ensuring that it is free of any wrinkles or creases. Once your steamer or steam iron is hot, hold it about an inch above the fabric and slowly move it along the silk surface while applying gentle pressure to help smooth out any stubborn folds or wrinkles. 

After you have gone over the entire piece of fabric, use your clean white cloths to blot away any excess moisture, then allow the fabric to dry completely before folding or hanging it as desired.

Dos and Dont’s

There are important dos and don’ts to consider when caring for faux silk. The first is to never use harsh chemicals or cleaning products on your faux silk, as these can cause staining or damage to the fabric. Instead, it is best to stick with mild or specialized silk detergents, which are easy on faux silk fibers and help preserve their natural sheen.

You should also be selective about where you hang your faux silk, as exposing it to direct sunlight can cause fading and discoloration. 

Finally, suppose you have a particularly tricky stain or dirty spot on your faux silk. Reaching out to a professional cleaner with experience with this type of fabric may be helpful.


Is silk ruined if you wash it?

Silk doesn’t have to get ruined if you wash it. You can even clean it in your washing machine if you put the fabric in a mesh bag to prevent snagging. 

How do you preserve silk after washing?

There are two important things to remember when trying to preserve washed silk. Always make sure the items are laid flat or hung to dry. Steaming is a great way to remove wrinkles and gives silk that nice post-wash sheen. 

How do you keep silk in good condition?

The best way to store fabrics made from silk is in cool, dark, and dry places. Do not put silk in a tightly sealed plastic bag, as this fabric needs to breathe. 

Can silk be washed in the washing machine?

Yes, you can wash silk in the washing machine. If you wash silk with other clothing pieces and materials, place your silk in a mesh bag to avoid snagging. 

Bottom Line

So, now that you know how to wash and care for faux silk and real silk items, it’s time to go shopping! We’ve got an amazing selection of silks and faux silks right here. Keep the tips we shared in mind when caring for your new silks and enjoy the luxurious feel of this timeless fabric.

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