Cleaning Silk: How to Wash Your Silk Scarf


Because of its delicate nature, a silk scarf can be trickier to launder than other scarves in your collection. Silk threads are more likely to snag and pull, and fabric’s dye is  more likely to bleed. The cleaning of silk thus requires more time and attention; a silk scarf should never be thrown into the washing machine.

Follow the guidelines below to ensure a long and healthy life for your silk scarf.

  • First, test a mild, non-alkaline liquid soap or baby shampoo on a small, inconspicuous section of the scarf to ensure that the substance won’t affect the scarf’s colors.
  • If the soap passed the test, soak the scarf in lukewarm water mixed with a few drops of the soap for no longer than five to seven minutes. You can rub the scarf gently at this time.
  • Rinse the scarf in cool, clean water.
  • Next, add distilled white vinegar to the rinse water. This will neutralize alkali traces, dissolve soap residue and ultimately keep the silk shiny.
  • Once the soap and vinegar is completely rinsed away, squeeze the fabric softly to remove excess water. Do not ring to the silk, as this can damage the fibers.
  • Lay the scarf flat between two towels to dry.
  • Iron the silk on a low setting while scarf is still slightly damp to smooth and add shine.

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