How to Wash Silk Duvet: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Silk duvets are luxuriously soft and comfortable, but they require special care when it comes to washing. As a delicate fabric, silk can easily be damaged if cleaned improperly.

In this beginner’s guide, I’ll walk you through the entire process of washing a silk duvet at home, from start to finish.

With these simple step-by-step instructions, you can keep your silk bedding fresh and clean while preserving its quality.

silk duvet

Preparing to Wash Your Silk Duvet

Before washing your silk duvet, there are a few key things you need to do to get it ready:

  • Check the care label – Silk duvet fabrics can vary, so always refer to the manufacturer’s washing instructions first. This will tell you if it’s safe for machine washing or dry cleaning only.
  • Remove the duvet cover – Zip off any duvet cover so only the inner silk duvet will be washed. Covers can be washed separately.
  • Inspect for stains – Look over the duvet carefully and pretreat any visible stains by dabbing gently with a damp cloth. This prevents stains from setting during washing.
  • Brush off dust and lint – Use a soft brush to remove any dry particles and pet hair. This prevents debris from getting caught in the delicate silk fibers.
  • Select a mild detergent – Choose a gentle, enzyme-free detergent made specifically for washing silk. Avoid regular laundry detergents as they can damage the fibers.

By pretreating stains and removing excess debris, you allow the silk fibers to get fully clean while minimizing wear and tear during washing.

silk fabric stain blotting method

Choosing the Right Washing Method

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

  • Hand washing
  • Machine washing
  • Professional dry-cleaning

Hand washing is the most gentle method, ideal for delicate silk items. But it can be time-consuming.

Machine washing works well for many washable silk duvets, provided you use the right settings. This offers convenience.

Getting it professionally dry cleaned ensures a deep, specialized clean. But it can get pricey.

So which is best for your silk duvet? Here are a few key factors to consider:

  • Fiber type – Mulberry silk is very durable, while wild silk tends to be more delicate. Mulberry can withstand occasional machine washing.
  • Weave – Looser weaves like charmeuse and tighter weaves like satin are both delicate. It’s safer to hand wash both, but they can be machine-washed in a mesh bag on a gentle cycle if necessary.
  • Manufacturer’s instructions – Care labels indicate which methods are safe for that specific duvet. Always follow the recommended guidelines.
beige silk cloth spread on table

Checking these details for your particular silk duvet will determine the ideal washing method. Now let’s go through each process.

Hand Washing Your Silk Duvet

Though more time-consuming, hand washing is the safest bet for keeping silk duvets in top condition. Follow these steps:

Supplies Needed

  • Large basin or tub
  • Mild silk detergent
  • Vinegar (for rinsing)
  • Soft towels

You’ve got to try Heritage Park Laundry Detergent (link to Amazon) for your silk pieces! It cleans effectively without stripping away the natural sheen and texture of the silk.

using heritage park detergent for silk washing

Step 1: Fill Tub with Lukewarm Water

Avoid hot water as it can cause silk fibers to stretch and shrink. Lukewarm water helps dissolve detergent without damaging the fabric.

filling basin with water

Step 2: Add a Small Amount of Silk Detergent

Check the detergent label for the exact amount. Gently swish the water to dissolve and create suds.

Step 3: Submerge the Silk Duvet

Place the duvet into the tub, gently pressing down to soak it entirely. Let it soak for 15-30 minutes so the detergent penetrates.

hand laundering beige silk cloth

Step 4: Rinse Thoroughly

Drain the tub then refill with clean, lukewarm water. Rinse by gently lifting and lowering the duvet. Repeat until the water runs clear.

Step 5: Add Vinegar to Final Rinse

This helps remove any detergent residue and maintains silk sheen. About 1/4 cup of white vinegar per rinse is sufficient.

silk fabric care with vinegar wash

Step 6: Drain and Roll in Towels

Once fully rinsed, drain the tub then roll the duvet in towels to absorb excess moisture. Avoid wringing or twisting silk.

silk garment drying with absorbent towel
towel wrap for drying silk material

Hand washing with care keeps silk duvets supple and lustrous for years to come. Now let’s look at the machine washing technique.

Machine Washing Your Silk Duvet

Many silk duvets today are machine washable, provided you use the proper settings. Here’s how to wash a silk duvet in the washing machine:

  • Washing Machine Type: Front-loading is ideal, as top-loading machines can be too harsh even on gentle settings. Choose one with a gentle cycle option.
  • Water Temperature: Select the coolest setting or “cold/cold” if possible. Lukewarm if needed.
  • Wash Cycle: Opt for the gentle or delicate cycle, which uses lower agitation.
  • Drying: Always air-dry silk duvets. Never put them in the dryer, even on low heat.
  • Mesh Bag: Use a mesh laundry bag to protect the duvet from friction damage during the wash cycle.
  • Detergent: Use a mild silk wash formulated for delicate fabrics.
  • Amount: Follow the detergent label for dosage in soft water. Use less detergent for hard water.
  • Vinegar Rinse: Add 1/4 cup of white vinegar during the final cold rinse cycle.

This guide shows how to care for silk sheets in your daily laundry routine.

delicate cycle for silk in washing machine
using laundry mesh bag for machine washing silk
washing machine silk care with mesh bag

Washing silk duvets in the machine is convenient as long as you mind the temperature, use a gentle cycle, and air dry. Now let’s explore the dry cleaning option.

Dry Cleaning Your Silk Duvet

For silk duvets with “dry clean only” labels, professional dry cleaning is recommended to safely deep clean without risk of shrinking or water damage. Here’s an overview:

  • Find a reputable dry cleaner experienced specifically with silk. Avoid general cleaners without silk expertise.
  • Ask about their cleaning process. Ensure they use gentle solvents and avoid excessive heat, wringing, or high-speed drying.
  • Request light steam or touch-ups on wrinkles to avoid pressure. Silk is prone to water spotting so steam may need to be limited.
  • Discuss any visible stains and how they’ll be pretreated and removed.
  • Schedule periodic deep cleaning every 1-2 years for heavily used silk duvets, or as needed. Annual light steaming can refresh in between.
  • Consider hand washing for light cleaning between dry cleanings, if the duvet allows.

With proper dry cleaning by silk specialists, your duvet will stay clean and vibrant in between washes.

Drying and Caring for Your Silk Duvet

Once washed, it’s essential to dry your silk duvet with care. Here are some key dos and don’ts:


  • Lay flat or hang to air dry out of direct sunlight
  • Use fans to speed drying if needed
  • Fluff and rotate periodically as it dries


  • Machine or tumble dry, even on low heat
  • Wring, twist, or scrub the silk
  • Expose to direct sunlight for long periods
  • Leave sitting wet for a prolonged time

Other care tips for preserving your silk duvet:

  • For storage, avoid plastic bags or tight vacuuming. Allow air circulation.
  • Use a silk duvet cover for daily protection from body oils and other stains.
  • Fluff and rotate the inner duvet regularly to avoid bunching.
  • Spot clean stains promptly with cold water and mild detergent.
visible stain on silk textile

With proper drying and care methods, your silk duvet will remain soft, fluffy, and lustrous for many years of comfort and luxury.

Maintaining Your Silk Duvet

Once you’ve invested in a silk duvet, you’ll want to keep it in pristine condition. Here are some maintenance tips:

  • Dry clean silk duvets every 1-2 years for a thorough, deep cleaning. Annual light steaming also helps.
  • Hand or machine wash 1-2 times per year depending on use. Wash less often if using a duvet cover.
  • Spot clean stains right away with cold water and a soft cloth. Avoid rubbing.
  • Use a silk duvet cover and change/wash it weekly to protect the inner duvet.
  • Fluff and rotate the inner duvet regularly to prevent bunching and yellowing in spots.
  • Air out the duvet outside when possible. Sunlight helps remove odors and discourages dust mites.
  • Store properly when not in use. Allow air circulation and avoid tight packing.

With frequent airing, proper washing, and duvet cover use, a quality silk duvet can last over a decade. But it’s important not to cut corners in care and cleaning.

Explore how to wash silk blankets while maintaining their soft and delicate texture.

silk comforter

Common Washing Mistakes to Avoid

To keep your silk duvet in the best shape, there are a few key mistakes to avoid when washing:

  • Using hot water can cause silk to shrink, warp, and fade. Always use cold or lukewarm water.
  • Overloading the machine or wringing silk vigorously leads to rips, tears, and misshapen duvets. Handle with care.
  • Harsh detergents strip the natural silk oils leading to dryness and breakage over time. Use mild silk-specific formulas.
  • Putting silk duvets in the dryer, even on low heat, can bake in wrinkles and damage the fibers. Always line dry.
  • Exposing silk to direct sunlight for an extended time can damage, yellow, and fade the fabric. Dry in the shade.
  • Forgetting to use a mesh bag leads to excess friction damage from the machine agitation. Protect it!
  • Neglecting to pre-treat stains can set them permanently into the fabric. Always pretreat.
  • Skipping the vinegar rinse leaves soap residue on the silk, resulting in dullness and stiff texture.

With some caution, common washing mistakes can be avoided. By following these silk duvet cleaning guidelines, you’ll be rewarded with luxurious bedding that lasts.


Here are some key takeaways:

  • Check the care label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Hand wash for the most gentle clean
  • Use proper machine or dry cleaning methods if the label allows
  • Avoid high heat, wringing, and harsh detergents
  • Pretreat stains and use a mesh bag for machine washing
  • Always air dry out of direct sunlight
  • Regularly maintain silk duvets for longevity

Caring for silk takes a gentle touch. But a little extra care goes a long way in preserving the quality and extending the lifespan of your silk bedding.

With these tips, you can wash silk duvets like a pro. Sweet dreams!

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