How To Wash Your Silk Pillowcases

Hand washing your silk pillowcase will help prevent damage and preserve its lustrous look and feel. This article delivers simple instructions for washing your silk pillowcase by hand.

Can You Hand Wash Your Silk Pillowcase?

Absolutely! Although all the silk sheets and pillowcases we sell at Mulberry Park Silks can be machine washed, hand washing your silk pillowcase is actually a great idea. It is quick and easy to do and will protect your pillowcase from any type of damage in the washing machine (pro tip: if you are going to machine wash silk pillowcases or silk bedding, always place the silk item in a mesh laundry bag and use a delicate cycle. Also, you never need to dry clean our silk).

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How Often Should You Hand Wash a Silk Pillowcase? 

Because silk is a relatively delicate fabric, you don’t want to wash it too frequently. However, your silk pillowcase can be washed at roughly the same intervals that you would launder your regular cotton pillowcase or any other sheets. We do always recommend washing our silk products prior to first use.


What Do You Need to Hand Wash a Silk Pillowcase?

Woman handwashing pillowcase

To wash your silk pillowcase you will need the following items:

  •     A sink, utility sink, or basin 
  •     Cool to lukewarm running water
  •     Two clean towels, or one clean towel and a drying rack
  •     A gentle detergent formulated for washing silk like Heritage Park Silk andWool Laundry Detergent (read more about why you should use a special detergent for washing silk fabric below). When you are hand washing or machine washing silk, never use bleach or fabric softener.


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How to Hand Wash a Silk Pillowcase

Follow these step-by-step guidelines for successfully hand washing your silk pillowcase:

    Fill a clean basin or sink with lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water, as it can damage the silk fibers.
Place the silk pillowcase in the water and gently submerge it. Avoid agitating or rubbing the fabric vigorously, as this can cause damage.
    Add a small amount of gentle silk-friendly detergent to the water and swirl the water gently with your hand to ensure the detergent is evenly distributed.
    Allow the pillowcase to soak in the soapy water for a few minutes. This will help loosen any dirt or oils trapped in the fabric.
    Gently swish the pillowcase in the water, moving it around to clean it. Avoid any rough scrubbing or twisting motions.
    Drain the soapy water from the basin or sink and refill with clean, lukewarm water to rinse. Submerge the pillowcase in the clean water and gently swish to remove any remaining detergent.  Run the pillowcase under cool water for a final rinse to remove any remaining detergent.  
    Gently squeeze excess water from the pillowcase (do not wring as this can stretch or pull the fabric) Lay a clean, dry towel flat on a clean surface. Place the pillowcase on top of the towel. Roll up the towel with the pillowcase inside, applying gentle pressure to absorb more moisture
   Unroll the towel and remove the pillowcase. Allow the pillowcase to air dry on a new clean, dry towel or drying rack. Always dry silk pillowcases away from direct sunlight which can cause them to fade.

Lastly, remember to never put your silk pillowcase in the dryer. If necessary, you can iron a silk pillowcase following these directions . You can also put your pillowcase on your pillow while slightly damp and smooth out the wrinkles by hand. Any remaining creases should be released in a day or two.

More About Enzyme-Free Detergent and Silk

We always recommend using a mild detergent made for washing pure mulberry silk (harsh detergents are never a good idea for any fine bedding, particularly a silk sheet or pillowcase). When it comes to silk, however, you also need to choose a detergent that is free from enzymes. Silk—along with wool, cashmere, and alpaca—are natural, protein-based fibers. A laundry detergent with enzymes is made to break down protein-based stains; over time, regular washing of silk with an enzyme enzyme detergent will degrade the quality of the fibers. This is why we recommend a silk detergent like Heritage Park Silk and Wool, which is enzyme-free and formulated for protein-based fabric.

Woman doing laundry

How to Remove Blood Stains from Silk

One of the most common stains found on a silk pillowcase is blood. We recommend acting as soon as possible and rinsing the stain in very cold water from the “wrong” side of the fabric to force it out. You can also soak the pillowcase in cold water and/or pre-treat with an enzyme detergent (note: occasionally using an enzyme detergent to remove a stain from your silk pillowcase is usually okay. Test first on an inconspicuous area). Learn more about removing blood stains from silk here.

Mulberry Park: Accessible and Affordable Luxury Silk

We founded Mulberry Park with one simple mission: to design the highest quality silk items in the market and offer them at an affordable price. And we've done just that, with a full range of silk products made from 100% pure mulberry long strand silk fabric. The silk fabric used for our silk sheets and silk pillowcases has also been OEKO-TEX® Certified (Standard 100) to be free of chemicals.

Visit us online 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, travel pillows, and silk hair scrunchies.