How to Wash a Silk Comforter: Longevity & Quality Guide

Taking proper care of your silk comforter is essential for preserving its beauty and longevity. 

Silk is a delicate material that requires special handling when it comes to cleaning and maintenance.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through the entire process of washing a silk comforter, from start to finish.

Follow these tips and techniques, and your silk comforter will remain soft, lustrous, and vibrant for years to come.

silk comforter

Pre-Wash Silk Comforter Care

Before wetting your silk comforter, there are a few preparatory steps to take:

  • Check the comforter’s tag – Look for specific washing instructions from the manufacturer. This will tell you if it’s machine washable or must be dry cleaned. Also, check content details like “100% silk” or “silk filling”.
  • Air out the comforter – If stored away, lay the comforter out flat and allow it to air out. This will let any built-up moisture evaporate before washing.
  • Hand wash any decorative trim – If your comforter has trim like silk tassels or embroidery, hand wash these decorative elements separately before machine washing the comforter. This prevents potential damage.
  • Inspect for stains – Look over both sides of the comforter for any visible stains or soiled areas. This will determine your spot-cleaning needs before washing.
visible stain on silk textile

Thoroughly checking over your silk comforter allows you to identify any special cleaning needs before starting the wash process.

Now let’s look at choosing the right washing method.

Choosing the Right Washing Method

When it comes to cleaning silk comforters, you have three main options:

Can You Wash a Silk Comforter in the Washing Machine?

Machine washing 100% silk comforters is possible, but there are some caveats:

  • Only use a front-loading washing machine, not top-loading. The agitation of a top-loader can damage silk fibers.
  • Wash on a gentle cycle using cold water and mild detergent. Never use hot water.
  • Use a mesh wash bag to protect the comforter in the wash. Zippered laundry bags prevent the silk from twisting or bunching.
  • Lay flat to dry after the wash cycle. Never machine-dry silk as the heat will damage it.
delicate cycle for silk in washing machine

So machine washing is an option if your silk comforter specifically states “machine washable” on its tag.

However, hand washing is the recommended method for most silk comforters, especially antique or delicate styles.

Hand Washing a 100% Silk Comforter

For many silk comforters, hand washing is the best and most gentle cleaning method. Here are step-by-step instructions:

  1. Fill a large bathtub with lukewarm water and a mild, bleach-free detergent. Liquid castile soaps or wool detergents work well. The water should cover the entire comforter.
  2. Fully submerge the comforter in the water and let it soak for 15-20 minutes. This allows the detergent to penetrate the fibers. Move it gently around and avoid vigorous rubbing.
  3. Drain the dirty water, then refill the tub with fresh lukewarm water for rinsing. Avoid hot water as it can damage silk.
  4. Gently press and move the comforter around in the clean rinse water. Rinse until the water runs clear.
  5. Drain the rinse water then gently squeeze out excess. Don’t wring or twist the silk.
  6. Roll the comforter in a clean towel to remove the remaining moisture.
  7. Lay flat to air dry. Place on top of towels or a drying rack. Turn periodically while drying.
silk duvet

The gentle agitation of hand washing prevents damage while thoroughly cleaning your silk comforter. Just take care to keep water temperatures cool.

Now let’s look at the third method: professional dry cleaning.

Dry Cleaning Silk-Filled Comforters

For comforters filled with silk but not made of 100% silk fabric, dry cleaning is recommended. 

The chemicals and processes used by professional cleaners are better suited for silk filling than home washing.

Consider dry cleaning if your comforter has:

  • A cotton, linen, or polyester cover with silk filling inside.
  • Intricate embroidery, beading, or other embellishments.
  • An older or more delicate style that requires a professional touch.

When dropping off your silk comforter for dry cleaning:

  • Inform cleaners it contains silk and requires delicate handling.
  • Request light steam pressing without creases.
  • Ensure they don’t use spot-cleaning chemicals directly on silk fabric.

With dry cleaners’ specialized equipment and expertise, they can thoroughly clean silk-filled comforters while protecting the quality of the inner silk filling.

Now that we’ve covered the pre-wash steps and weighed the best washing options, let’s look at techniques for specific silk comforter types.

beige silk bedding

Washing Techniques for Different Types of Silk Comforters

Washing methods may vary slightly depending on the style of your silk comforter. Here are some considerations:

How to Wash Silk Comforters from China

Many high-quality silk comforters are manufactured in China from domestic cultivated silks. When washing Chinese silk comforters:

  • Opt for hand washing instead of machine washing to prevent roughness.
  • Use cool or lukewarm water and limit soaking time to preserve dyes.
  • Add a few drops of white vinegar to the rinse water – this helps brighten colors.
  • Roll up the comforter tightly in a towel to absorb maximum moisture.

These steps will keep Chinese silk comforters soft, vivid, and lustrous.

How to Wash Mulberry Silk Comforters

Mulberry silk is the highest grade of silk, prized for its refined texture. To wash mulberry silk:

  • Be extremely gentle during soaking and rinsing – never scrub or twist.
  • Use a mild soap like baby shampoo instead of detergent.
  • Limit soak time to 10 minutes to avoid discoloration.
  • Dry flat away from direct sunlight to prevent yellowing.

Take extra care when washing premium mulberry silk to maintain its supple hand and delicate sheen.

Follow the garment tag’s guidelines if your silk comforter is a blend or special weave like tussah or dupioni silk.

With some adjustments, all silk comforters can be kept clean and lustrous.

blot removal technique on silk

Post-Wash Care and Maintenance

After washing your silk comforter, proper drying and storage will keep it feeling fresh and prevent mildew or mold:

  • Dry flat on towels or a rack. Avoid hanging silk comforters to dry – the weight can stretch and distort the shape.
  • Flip periodically while drying. This allows even drying on both sides.
  • Use fans to speed drying. Circulating air evaporation prevents mustiness. Point fans above, not directly at the comforter.
  • Dry in the shade. Sunlight can fade dyes. Dry indoors or in a shady spot outside.
  • Store in breathable fabric when not in use. Avoid plastic bins or bags. Use a large cotton pillowcase or muslin cover.
  • Refold along existing creases. This maintains the comforter’s shape.
  • Fluff periodically. If stored long-term, take your comforter out and fluff up the silk fibers to re-loft.

Proper drying and storage habits will extend your silk comforter’s lifespan and prevent deterioration.

Understand how to wash silk blouses without losing their color and shape.

Special Care Considerations

In addition to general washing methods, there are some extra silk comforter care tips to be aware of:

How Often to Wash Silk Comforters

  • Wash silk comforters 2-3 times per year at maximum. Frequent washing can damage silk fibers.
  • Spot clean minor stains between washes instead of full washing.
  • Use a washable silk comforter cover to minimize washing needs.

How to Clean Stains Out of Silk Comforters

  • Blot spills immediately with a clean, absorbent cloth. Avoid rubbing.
  • For water-based stains like wine or coffee, use warm water applied with a sponge. Avoid scrubbing.
  • For oil-based stains, apply a small amount of mild soap and rinse thoroughly.
  • For tougher protein stains, use an enzyme presoak cleaner before washing. Test on an inconspicuous area first.
  • Avoid using bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or harsh spot removers directly on silk fabric. This can discolor or damage the fibers.
  • For stubborn set-in stains, consult a professional cleaner. Harsh handling can worsen staining.
silk fabric stain blotting method
spritz technique for silk stain removal

Prompt attention and gentle, targeted spot cleaning preserves your silk comforter.

Additional Care Tips

  • Keep pets off silk comforters to avoid paw prints or fur. Use a washable cover.
  • Avoid exposing silk to direct sunlight which can fade colors over time.
  • For extra softness, use a silk comforter conditioner after washing.
  • Steam or gently iron on low heat if wrinkles become set in. Avoid over-pressing.
  • Do not fold sharply or store under heavy objects which can stress seams.

With some basic care and precaution, your silk comforter will maintain its outstanding qualities and remain beautiful for years of soothing comfort.

Washing Silk Comforters vs. Regular Silk Blankets

While both silk comforters and blankets require delicate care, there are some key differences in how to wash each type of silk bedding:

Silk ComforterRegular Silk Blanket
Size and WeightUsually larger/heavier with more fillTypically smaller and more lightweight
Washing MethodHand wash or professional dry clean onlySome can be gently machine washed
Washing ProcessRequire soaking in tub; takes longer to dryCan be washed in a sink; dries faster
DurabilityAgitation risks damage to baffled sectionsLess risk of bunching/damage without filled compartments
Drying MethodLay completely flat while dryingCan be draped over a drying rack
Shape MaintenanceLoft and shape more prone to distortionEasier to retain original shape
Cleaning FrequencySpot clean only between washesMore frequent overall washing is usually okay

The main distinctions come down to size, construction, and amount of fill.

Silk comforters require extra delicate handling to clean while maintaining their loft and preventing internal shifting.

Smaller silk blankets generally involve less risk of mechanical damage during washing and drying.

Learn effective cleaning methods for silk blankets to keep them in pristine condition.


I hope this comprehensive guide has provided you with the knowledge to properly care for your treasured silk comforter.

While silk requires delicate handling, the results of conscientious upkeep are well worth the effort.

Follow these instructions for pre-wash inspection, gentle hand or machine washing, specialized drying, and storage.

Tailor your methods to the specific type of silk comforter you own.

With some simple maintenance, your silk comforter will retain its luminous sheen and unparalleled softness for a lifetime of comfort and luxury.

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