How to Wash Silk Blankets: A Complete Beginner’s Guide

As a new silk blanket owner, you probably have questions about the best washing methods

Can I just throw it in with my regular laundry? Should I take it to the dry cleaner? The good news is you can wash silk blankets at home with the proper precautions.

Caring for silk may seem daunting, but once you learn a few key things to avoid, washing your silk blanket is simple.

With the right techniques, you can keep your silk blanket looking fabulous for years to come!

In this beginner’s guide, you’ll learn:

  • How to prep your silk blanket for washing
  • Step-by-step instructions for hand washing
  • Tips for machine washing silk safely
  • Proper drying and ironing methods
  • What to avoid to prevent damage
  • How to store silk blankets after washing

Let’s start with the basics of prepping your silk blanket for its first wash.

elegant beige silk fabric on wooden table

Preparing to Wash Your Silk Blanket

Before just tossing your silk blanket in the washing machine, there are a couple of key steps:

Check the Care Label

The first thing to look for is the care label. This will tell you if the manufacturer recommends dry cleaning only or if washing is allowed.

If the label says “Dry Clean Only”, take it to a professional. Attempting to wash a dry clean only silk at home risks shrinkage or dye bleeding.

Spot Test for Colorfastness

If the blanket is washable, do a colorfastness test:

  • Mix a mild detergent with water in a cup. Use a detergent made for delicates or silk.
  • Dip a clean white cloth in the solution.
  • Rub it gently on a hidden area of your blanket, like an inside corner.
  • Check the cloth for any dye transfer, which means the colors could run.
  • If you see dye on the cloth, take it to the dry cleaner.
blotting out stains on silk

Once you’ve prepped your silk blanket for washing, it’s time to learn how to hand wash it properly.

Hand Washing Your Silk Blanket

Hand washing is the safest method for washing silk blankets yourself. Follow these steps:

1. Fill Your Sink/Tub with Lukewarm Water

Avoid hot water, as it can damage silk. Lukewarm water around 30°C (86°F) is ideal.

Pro Tip: Measure the water temperature with a thermometer if you don’t trust your wrist!

filling basin with water

2. Add a Mild Laundry Detergent

Choose a delicate wash detergent, wool wash, or soap made for silk. Regular detergents can be too harsh.

Heritage Park Laundry Detergent (link to Amazon) is my go-to for silk items. It’s incredibly gentle on the delicate fabric, ensuring that my silks last longer and stay gorgeous.

using heritage park detergent for silk washing

3. Allow the Blanket to Soak

Let your silk blanket soak for 3-5 minutes so the detergent can penetrate the fibers. Gentle agitation can help loosen dirt.

delicate hand wash for beige silk

4. Gently Wash the Blanket

Never wring, twist, or scrub silk! This can cause tears.

Gently move the blanket back and forth in the water to clean. Use your hands to press water through any dirty spots.

beige silk care hand washing

5. Rinse Thoroughly

Rinse the blanket until the water runs clear. This removes all soap residue which can degrade silk over time.

6. Roll in a Towel to Remove Water

Don’t wring out silk from washing! Carefully roll it in a clean cotton towel to absorb excess moisture.

gently patting silk with towel to dry
silk garment drying with absorbent towel
towel wrap for drying silk material

7. Lay Flat to Dry

Lay your silk blanket flat on top of the towel to air dry. Make sure it keeps its shape while drying.

Once you’ve mastered hand washing, how about cleaning your silk blanket in the washing machine?

laying wet silk out for air drying

Machine Washing Silk Blankets: Is It Safe?

Many people wonder if you can put silk blankets in the washing machine. The answer is yes, with caution! Follow these tips for machine washing:

  • Use the Gentle/Delicate Cycle: This has a slow spin speed and low agitation to protect silk.
  • Wash on Cold: Hot water can shrink or damage silk. Stick to cold water settings.
  • Use a Laundry Bag: Place your silk inside a mesh bag before washing it to prevent snagging.
  • Minimize Detergent: Only need 1-2 tbsp for a load since too many suds are hard to rinse out.
  • Add a Towel: Throw a cotton towel in the load to help cushion the silk during agitation.
  • Inspect Before Drying: Check for stains, loose threads, or damage before drying. Air dry if needed.

Check out this article for tips on how to maintain and wash your silk duvet effectively.

delicate cycle for silk in washing machine

While the machine is okay for washing, always air dry silk blankets as explained next.

Drying and Ironing Silk Blankets

Drying and ironing are critical steps in keeping silk blankets looking their best. Use extreme care with these tasks:

Can I Put 100% Silk in the Dryer?

  • Never machine-dry silk blankets, clothing, or accessories.
  • The heat from dryers causes major damage to delicate silk fibers.
  • Drying can shrink silk fabric and dull the colors.

Instead, always air-dry silk items.

Air Drying Methods

  • Lay flat – Smooth your silk blanket out on a flat, clean surface. Make sure it retains its shape as it dries.
  • Hang to dry – Use rust-proof hangers designed for delicates. Space hangers every few inches to evenly distribute the blanket’s weight.
  • Block to shape – Lay your silk out on a blocking mat or towel and use pins to pull it taut into the proper shape. Great for scarves or clothing.
  • Always allow the silk to air dry fully before touching or folding. Placing it away damp can encourage mold or mildew.
silk textile air dry method

Ironing Silk Fabric

  • Iron silk only when slightly damp from washing. Never iron silk completely dry.
  • Use the lowest heat setting compatible with your iron. Silk scorches easily!
  • Place a cotton cloth over the silk before ironing to prevent shine marks.
  • Iron the silk item inside-out to protect the outer fibers.
  • Use the steam function on your iron to hydrate the fabric rather than direct dry heat.
  • Only apply light pressure with the iron in smooth, straight motions. Do not leave the iron in one place too long.
  • Check the temperature by testing on an inside seam first before ironing visible areas.
ironing method for silk textile

Warning: Allowing silk to become too dry before ironing can cause irreparable damage from scorching!

Now that you know how to properly dry and iron silk after washing, let’s discuss common mistakes to avoid.

What to Avoid When Washing Silk

To keep your silk blanket in good condition, never:

  • Wash with hot water
  • Use regular detergent or bleach
  • Agitate or wring out silk fabric
  • Machine dry silk items
  • Iron silk when completely dry

These mistakes can cause:

  • Shrinking or distortion
  • Dye transfer or faded colors
  • Snags, tears, or rips
  • Loss of sheen and luster

That’s why dry cleaners often recommend only professional cleaning for silk. But by following the right home washing methods, you can safely launder your silk blankets.

silk fabric stain removed

After washing, proper storage helps silk last. Here’s what to do:

Storing Your Silk Blanket Post-Wash

To store a silk blanket after washing:

  • Fold loosely instead of creasing.
  • Place in a breathable cotton or silk storage bag.
  • Avoid plastic containers that trap moisture.
  • Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Refold the blanket every few months to avoid permanent creases.

Proper storage keeps silk blankets feeling soft and supple in between washes. Improper storage can lead to moisture damage and creasing.

showcasing beige silk on table

Finally, what if you notice issues after washing your silk blanket? Check the troubleshooting tips below:

Troubleshooting Common Silk Washing Issues

Color bleedingUse color catcher sheets in future washes.
ShrinkingNever machine dry or use hot water. Wash by hand in cold.
Snags or tearsUse a laundry bag and inspect before drying. Hand wash gently.
WrinklesFold loosely and store properly to avoid permanent creases.
Dull, stiff fabricDo not overwash silk. Use proper soaps and air dry.

Washing Silk Blankets vs. Silk Comforters

While silk blankets and comforters require gentle care, there are some notable differences between laundering these two items.

This table outlines the key variations to be aware of when washing silk blankets compared to silk comforters:

Silk BlanketsSilk Comforters
SizeTend to be smaller in size like throws or twin/full blanketsMuch larger item like a duvet for a queen or king bed
WeightLightweight, made from thinner silk materialHeavier and thicker, can be up to 15 lbs
Washing MethodCan be hand-washed fairly easilyThe bulkier size makes hand washing difficult, machine wash recommended
Drying TimeThinner material dries relatively quicklyThick, dense filling retains more water so requires a longer drying time
Shape RetentionEasier to lay flat to air dry and retain shapeMay require blocking on a flat surface while drying to avoid clumping
Stain RemovalSmaller size makes spot-treating stains straightforwardThe large size and white color make stain treatment more intensive
SoftnessVery supple and soft after washingDense filling may compress slightly during washing, and needs fluffing
WrinklingLess prone to wrinkling due to smaller sizeMore likely to wrinkle during washing and drying due to size

As you can see, the main differences come down to the larger size and thickness of silk comforters compared to blankets. Adjust your washing techniques accordingly!

Get insights on washing silk comforters to keep them fluffy and fresh.

silk comforter


Caring for silk doesn’t have to be a scary challenge for beginners.

By following the proper hand or machine washing techniques, gentle drying methods, and storage tips, you can keep your silk blankets looking beautiful and lustrous for years.

Just remember to:

  • Always check care labels and do a colorfastness test first
  • Use mild soaps and cool water temperatures
  • Avoid agitation, wringing, and machine drying
  • Air dry flat and store properly

Treat your silk blankets with care, and they will last you a lifetime. Soon you’ll be a pro at washing and caring for your silk!

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