Blood is one of the most common stains found on sheets and bedding. If you're sleeping on silk, you may be concerned about how to remove blood stains from your silk sheets and pillowcases. This article outlines simple steps for cleaning blood from silk bedding.
How to Clean Blood-Stained Silk Bedding, Sheets, and Pillowcases
If you're a silk bedding fan, you know nothing compares to the deep, luxurious, beauty rest you get from sleeping on silk. So, naturally, waking up to find blood on your silk pillowcase or sheets is definitely not your idea of a good time.
Trust us, we've been there. And as a leading retailer of fine silk bedding, Mulberry Park Silks has answers to this common problem. We're here to offer top tips and best practices for blood stain removal for sheets, pillowcases, and other silk items (including washable silk clothes). Read on to learn how to effectively tackle blood stains and get your silk sheets back on your bed ASAP.
Five Steps for Removing Blood from Silk Fabric:
- Act Quickly: The key to removing blood from silk fabric is not to let the stain set. The longer a stain sits, the harder it may be to remove.
- Soak the Silk Bedding in Cold Water : Your Mulberry Park Silks sheets can be easily laundered in your washing machine, so feel free to manually soak them in cold water in a bucket, sink, or even a clean tub for a bed sheet. This is most effective for a fresh blood stain that has not yet “set” into the fabric. Use very cold water (hot or warm water can cause the stain to set) and gentle rubbing motion to dissolve. Silk is a delicate fabric, so take care not to rub too vigorously.
- Rinse silk bedding from the “wrong” side of the fabric . Hold the dull side of the charmeuse silk fabric under a stream of cold water. The force of the water will help move the stain out of the silk from back to front (you may need to turn your silk pillowcase inside out to do this most effectively).
- Pre-soak or pre-treat with an enzyme detergent. For a stubborn stain or a dried blood stain, you can pre-treat or pre-soak the fabric with an enzyme-based laundry detergent. (Note: we typically suggest using an enzyme-free mild detergent to wash silk sheets on a regular basis. Removing a blood stain is one of the few exceptions where an enzyme cleaner formula is acceptable. See more below). Use a gentle, pH neutral formula and test first on an inconspicuous area.
- At minimum, blot the stain. If you are unable to rinse or soak, at minimum use a clean cloth or paper towel rinsed in cold or cool water and blot the stained area, ideally from the reverse side of the fabric. Using this damp cloth should prevent a dry blood stain from forming and make it easier to remove later on.
Blood and Silk: The Protein/Enzyme Connection
At Mulberry Park Silks, we frequently mention that silk is a protein-based fiber. Silk's natural protein structure is the source of its ability to moisturize skin and hair; regulate body temperature; and repel allergens so effectively. When regularly washing silk, we recommend using an enzyme-free detergent that is specially formulated for protein-based fibers such as silk, wool, and cashmere; this type of detergent will clean your silk sheets without degrading the fiber. Choosing the best detergent for your silk bedding is imperative to the long term health of your investment. For regular washing of silk sheets, pillowcases, and bedding we recommend Heritage Park Silk and Wool Laundry Detergent.
A blood stain, however, is also protein based and actually requires enzymes to effectively dissolve (similar to the way saliva enzymes aid in the digestion of food). But, as we mentioned above, enzymes can damage silk over time. With that said, an enzyme-based detergent may be used on an occasional basis to pre-treat and pre-soak a blood stain on silk bedding or a washable silk garment. In this case, use a gentle enzyme detergent like this one from Heritage Park Laundry Essentials for stains or pre-soak only.
What About a Commercial Stain Remover?
When it comes to a tough stain like blood, you may be tempted to try using commercial stain removers or even common household stain removers such as baking soda, white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide to remove blood from silk. While these may be safe and effective for removing stains from cotton sheets, we strongly recommend against using such products on silk . And NEVER use chlorine bleach or oxygen bleach on silk of any kind.
Routine Washing and Care of Your Silk Bedding
Silk bedding and sheets should be washed on the same schedule as any other bedding: whenever it needs it. Follow these simple steps for keeping your silk bedding looking and feeling beautiful and luxurious for a long time:
- Always launder silk separately in a 'silk-only' load
- Turn the silk pillowcases inside out
- Use mesh laundry bags when washing your silk bedding to prevent snags and tears inside the machine
- Wash on a gentle or "silk" cycle in cool water
- Never use fabric softener, which will leave residue on silk, or bleach, which will cause silk to yellow
- Don't wring your silk if it is still wet after the wash cycle; instead, blot it on a clean towel
- Don't put your silk sheets in the dryer. Hang your silk to dry indoors or out side away from direct sunlight (sun can cause silk to fade)
Ironing silk is not necessary. Once you make your bed, the wrinkles in the silk will naturally release after a day or so. If you choose to iron, proceed with extreme caution and follow these directions. To learn more about regular washing and care of your silk sheets,including how to hand wash silk, click here.
Mulberry Park Silks: Accessible and Affordable Luxury
At Mulberry Park Silks, we design and sell the highest quality silk items in the market at fair and affordable prices. We offer a full range of silk products made from 100% pure Grade 6A mulberry silk fabric. All the silk fabric used for our sheets and pillowcases are OEKO-TEX Certified (Standard 100) to be free of chemicals. Please connect with us by visiting our store or call us at (800) 860-1924 to learn more about our silk sheets, silk pillowcases , duvet covers and shams, and real silk accessories , including sleep masks, eye pillows, travel pillows, and cute scrunchies.