Keep this indulgent bedding pristine for as long as possible.

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You've finally made the upgrade to a silk pillowcase, and thanks to the splurgy price tag, you want to keep it looking and feeling new for as long as possible. Great news, this investment piece is worth it, keeping skin and hair healthier, but its benefits get nixed if you're not washing your silk pillowcase regularly. But, if washing anything silk instantly makes you anxious, fear not, you don't need to dry clean it every time you change your sheets. Here's how to wash silk pillowcases and sheets, whether by hand or using the washing machine.

What You'll Need:

  • Gentle detergent formulated for silk
  • Mesh laundry bag
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Clean white towel
  • Steamer or steam iron (optional)

Decide whether or not you have the time and resources to hand- or machine-wash your silk pillowcases and sheets. Wash silk with like colors to avoid discoloration in case the dyes run. You can also test an inconspicuous spot with cool water and a tiny amount of detergent before washing the entire item.

How to Hand-Wash Silk Pillowcases and Sheets:

  1. Fill a clean sink or basin with cool water and detergent according to package instructions. Turn your silk pillowcase inside-out and submerge until it's fully saturated with water.
  2. Don't scrub the fabric against itself or wring out the pillowcase. Instead, gently agitate the fabric to clean.
  3. Rinse the pillowcase thoroughly with more cold water. Again, don't wring to dry, but press the fabric gently between your hands. Lay the pillowcase on a clean, white towel and gently roll up the towel to remove excess water. Hang up the pillowcase to air-dry.
  4. The same process above can be used to wash silk sheets in a clean bathtub.

How to Machine-Wash Silk Pillowcases and Sheets:

  1. Place in the washer with other silk items in similar colors. Turn silk pillowcases inside-out and place them in a mesh bag to prevent pulls in the fabric.
  2. Run the machine on a delicate cycle, with cold water, and use mild detergent according to package instructions.
  3. Add ½ cup of distilled white vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser—it will help break down any residue collected on the silk fibers.
  4. When the cycle is over, gently shake out and lay the pillowcase on a clean, white towel. Roll up the towel to remove excess water. Hang up the pillowcase to air-dry.
  5. For sheets, remove them from the machine as quickly as possible to prevent wrinkles, then hang them to dry away from direct sunlight, which can cause fading.

The Do's and Don'ts for How to Wash Silk Bedding

DON'T use bleach or fabric softener when washing silk.

DO wash your silk pillowcase at least once a week and if you're machine-washing, add it to an all-silk delicate load.

DO wash your silk pillowcase before using it for the first time.

DON'T dry a silk pillowcase in direct sunlight or in a heated dryer cycle. If you absolutely must use the dryer, use it on the air/no-heat cycle.

DO steam silk bedding if you'd like to eliminate wrinkles.