To embrace silk is to embrace its delicacy and to care for It. If there was a care list, cleaning silk would be towards the top. Hand washing may appear to be "too much," but you will quickly discover that it is anything but, and more akin to a therapeutic ritual and self-care habit. Here's how to wash your mulberry silk pillowcases with your hands and the easiest way to do it!

how to hand wash silk pillowcases

How to Hand Wash Mulberry Silk Pillowcases in Seven Easy Steps

The first step in the hand washing process is to gather the necessary supplies for the wash day. 

Materials Needed:

1.      Mild detergent suitable for silk (such as a gentle silk or wool wash)

2.      Lukewarm water

3.      Clean basin or sink

4.      Towel

hand washing Mulberry silk


1. Check the Care Label

You should not put your silk pillowcase in water or a washing machine without first checking the care label on your silk pillowcase for any particular instructions or manufacturer suggestions. This would tell you whether you could machine wash your silk and any other important information about its preservation.

check the silk care label

2. Pre-treat Stains (if any)

If there are any visible stains on the pillowcase, spot-treat them before washing. Use a mild detergent and gently dab the stained area with a clean cloth or sponge. This would also let you know if this was the kind of pillowcases that removes color.

3. Fill Basin with Lukewarm Water

Fill a washbasin or basin halfway with lukewarm or cool water. Hot water should be avoided since it can cause damage to the silk fibres. Silk is a natural protein fibre made primarily of fibroin. Due to the sensitivity of the protein structure to heat, silk fibres can undergo structural changes and damage when exposed to hot water, such as denaturation of the protein component of the silk fibres, loss of strength and elasticity, colour fading, shrinking, and so on.

4.  Add Mild Detergent

Use a specifically formulated mild detergent made for silk and add a small amount to the basin containing water for the wash procedure. Regular detergent is not recommended for the washing process because it may be too harsh and damage the silk

The amount of detergent you use is determined by the volume of water used, not the size of the object being washed. Usually, half a cap suffices. To ensure fair distribution, pour the detergent into the basin first, followed by the water. Then, gently mix the detergent and water to create a soapy solution.

Then submerge the silk pillowcase completely in the soapy water.Gently stir the water without scrubbing or scraping the pillows to clean them. Avoid the trick of gripping the fabric in each hand and rubbing it against itself because too much strong friction can damage the silk strands.

always use a silk detergent

5.  Soak the Pillowcase

Allow the pillowcase to soak in the soapy water for about 20 to 30 minutes or more! This helps to loosen dirt and oils. Then drain the soapy water and refill the basin with clean lukewarm water. Rinse the pillowcase thoroughly to remove any detergent residue by gently pressing the pillowcase between your hands or the sink.

Squeeze the water out of your pillowcase. Wringing it out will stretch and warp the fabric; instead,'scrunching' will get the water out. Unfortunately, this generates wrinkles, so you may need to iron it on the silk setting after it's dried.

6. Press out Excess Water

Grab a clean towel and place on a flat surface. Lay the silk pillowcase in the clean white towel  and roll the towel and squeeze to remove excess water.

press out excess water from the pillowcase

7. Air Dry

You can dry your pillowcase by laying them on a clean white towel or hanging them to dry. If you hang it inside, be cautious of it leaking on the carpet, as the drips may contain dye depending on the color of the pillowcase or you could hang the silk pillowcase in a line outside that is away from the direct glare of the sunlight.

Find out more about wahing silk pillowcases here

air dry the pillowcases

Final Thoughts

Sleeping with a silk pillowcase or bedding is an investment; you should not be willing to spend all of that money while avoiding the duties of maintenance because results are found in the consistency of maintenance and care.

January 08, 2024 — Michelle Fletcher Smith