How to Wash a Silk Pillowcase By Hand

How to Wash a Silk Pillowcase By Hand

A hand with bubbles on the palmMany deem silk pillowcases expensive and luxurious, although they certainly don’t have to be. Just the same, you ought to consider them an investment for self-care. In the long run, they offer significant benefits to the hair and skin, which goes beyond the luxury appeal we are all used to seeing.

With that said, regular and proper washing should be your priority to prolong the quality of your silk pillowcase and make the most of your one-time purchase. If cared for, your silk pillowcase could last significantly longer. After all, you would not want to go out of your way to splurge on more if you can take care of what you already have!


For first-time silk owners, silk pillowcases can be more tricky to maintain than your ordinary cotton pillowcase. What is the proper method of washing it? Should you use hot or cold water? Can you dry silk in a dryer machine? Wash it with your other garments? The list of questions can be endless, so we're here to help you. 

How to wash a silk pillowcase by hand? The best way to wash a silk pillowcase is by using a gentle detergent with cold water and avoiding bleach, conditioner, and other garment cleaners. Our 25 momme silk pillowcases are durable enough to be washed in the machine. For more delicate washing, you can clean by hand.

Keep reading to know more about the proper cleaning process for your silk pillowcase, whether by machine or hand. This blog post also contains the right products for your silk pillowcase laundering and those to avoid at all costs.

Step-by-Step to Launder Your Silk Pillowcase

Hand Laundering

Hand washing in a basin under running water

Silk is a delicate fabric in laundry; thus, cold water and clear, pH-balanced detergent is the best combination. Opt for a gentle detergent like a wool wash. Add one teaspoon per standard basin. Submerge the silk pillowcase in cold water and gently squish the silk repeatedly until you achieve the desired color that indicates its cleanness. You could rinse twice to remove excess detergent.


Remember to never wring out the water. Simply lay the pillowcase on a towel, blot out the excess water, or directly roll in a towel to wring. Line hang to dry, but don’t hang directly under the sunlight so you can avoid the silk from fading, especially when it comes to dark-colored pillowcases.


As an added measure, you could add distilled white vinegar to your basin of rinse water to remove detergent residue and maintain the smoothness of the silk.

Machine Instructions

A minimalist laundry area with white and rustic aestheticsThe trick to washing silk pillowcases in the machine without damaging the fabric is to put it in a “silk only” load and put all the silk items in a mesh laundry bag. This will prevent the machine from snagging on the silk, zippers, and other tiny attachments. 


Apply the same process with hand washing. Use cold water with clear, mild, and pH-balanced detergent in a delicate cycle. Use about two tablespoons of gentle detergent, depending on the laundry load. 


After washing, you can skip the drying and go straight to hanging the pillowcases. Just make sure to keep it away from direct sunlight. Silk doesn’t like heat, and the dryer will damage the silk fibers. If spinning is necessary to speed up the drying process of a big batch, choose the minimal amount of minutes and tumble dry only.

Avoid These Damaging Products to your Silk Pillowcases

Our silk pillowcases are made with 25 mm mulberry silk, so you will not have to worry about damaging them when washing them, either in the machine or by hand. Our pillowcases stay true to their quality, size, and material, provided you follow the care instructions properly.


However, some products are significantly damaging to any silk product. Take a look at this brief list below.


This is a well-known whitening product for laundering. However, this makes silk products yellow, including Mulberry silk pillowcases. Stir clear from this product to maintain the color quality of your silk pillowcase.

Fabric Conditioner or Softener

Silk is naturally non-absorbent, which makes them dry quicker. Consequently, fabric softeners will not be much of use for your pillowcases as this will only leave residue on the fabric. In addition, given the correct detergent and the natural scent-free finish of silk pillowcases, you do not need to go the extra mile to keep your pillowcase feeling and looking fresh and soft.

Detergent with Enzymes

These detergents break down proteins in liquids and fluids to release stains from garments and fabrics. Protein-based stains and ingredients include blood, egg, sweat, and dairy. Applying detergent with enzymes to silk can only destroy silk fibers and damage the integrity of its fiber.

Delicate Fabrics Deserve Delicate Care

Genuine silk pillowcases are made with 100% Mulberry silk, giving them natural fibers, hypoallergenic material, and resistance to mold and dust mites. They can be durable enough to wash in the machine or ideally washed with hands to prolong the quality of your pillowcases. 


At Celestial Silk, our silk pillowcases are made with pure silk so that you can be sure of the durability and quality even over years of washing. 


When washing silk pillowcases by hand, remember to wash both sides well. When washing in the machine, turn the pillowcases inside out first. Avoid throwing them in the dryer machine as this can destroy the quality of the silk. If needed, use only the “air” setting for gentle drying. 


To thoroughly dry, the best approach is to line dry or hang them on a rack, away from direct sunlight. Silk dries quickly since it’s non-absorbent, so you don’t have to stress over the drying part. 


Silk accessories and pillowcases are preferably washed regularly with the same frequency as bedsheets and linens – more or less once a week. You want to be diligent with washing your silk pillowcases since they touch your face every night.


Ideally, cold water should be used in washing to preserve the integrity of the silk. Avoid temperature exceeding 80º F (or 29ºC).  Always use a mild detergent with a neutral pH level and avoid detergents with high amounts of acid or alkaline. When using the machine, put it on a “cold delicate cycle” so as not to damage the fabrics. 


Gather all silk garments into a “silk only” load and remember to put them in a mesh bag before putting them in the machine. This is especially important when your washing machine has an agitator mechanism, which can catch and tear silk items.

Pretreating Stains

Silk pillowcases rarely stain, but on the occasions that they do, you can pretreat them before the wash. Use the same gentle detergent to spot clean stains. Leave it for about 15 mins before washing—no need for bleach or whiteners. Avoid them altogether as silk dissolves in chlorine bleach. Meanwhile, stain removers break silk fibers and can cause silk items to turn yellow.

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