How to Wash Silk Face Masks: Ensuring Durability and Hygiene

As we continue taking precautions against COVID-19, silk face masks have become a popular reusable option for their breathability and soft texture.

However, properly washing silk masks is essential to maintaining their integrity and ensuring hygiene.

This article will provide practical advice on caring for your silk masks, from preparing to wash them, recommended washing methods, drying and storage best practices, and establishing a routine.

Follow these tips to keep your silk masks in excellent condition!

silk face mask breathable

Preparing to Wash Your Silk Face Mask

When it comes to washing your silk face masks, preparation is key. Here are some things to keep in mind before washing:

Handle with Care

Silk is a delicate material that requires gentle handling. Avoid tugging or pulling too hard when removing your mask or rinsing it out.

Some examples of gentle handling:

  • Carefully remove masks by the ear loops rather than tugging on the fabric
  • Rinse in a basin of water rather than under high-pressure taps
  • Lay flat or hang to dry rather than wringing out excess moisture

Select the Right Products

Not all laundry detergents and water temperatures are suitable for silk.

Use a gentle, silk-safe detergent. Some recommendations:

  • Woolite Silk Handwash
  • The Laundress Silk Shampoo
  • Soak Wash Silk
  • Eucalan Delicate Wash

I’m really impressed with Heritage Park Laundry Detergent (link to Amazon) for silk care. It maintains the integrity of the silk while keeping it fresh and clean.

heritage park silk detergent silk clothes cleaning

Wash in cool or lukewarm water to avoid damaging the fabric. Hot water can cause silk to shrink or bleed color.

Other Pre-Wash Tips

  • Wash masks separately from other laundry to prevent snags.
  • Check for stains and treat them accordingly before washing (see next section).
  • Empty mask pockets completely so no items are accidentally washed.

Hand Washing Silk Face Masks

Hand washing is the most gentle method for cleaning your silk face masks. Follow these steps for the best results:

1. Fill a Sink/Basin with Cool Water

Use lukewarm water no hotter than 30°C/85°F. This helps prevent the silk fibers from getting damaged.

2. Add a Small Amount of Silk Detergent

Only need a teaspoon or two of detergent. Too much can leave behind residue.

3. Swirl and Soak the Mask

Gently swish the mask around and let it soak for 3-5 minutes so the detergent can lift dirt and oils.

4. Rinse Thoroughly

Rinse the mask until the water runs clear. This removes all soap residue that can dull silk over time.

5. Repeat if Needed for Stubborn Stains

For more stained masks, do a second gentle wash cycle with detergent. See the next section for treating stains.

6. Lay Flat or Hang to Dry

Avoid ringing excess water out. Simply lay masks flat on a towel or hang up with clothespins. TIP: Use sweater drying racks to maintain mask shape.

Hand Washing Tips

  • Wash masks inside-out to protect embellishments.
  • Use a wash basin dedicated to delicates like silk and wool.
  • Limit washing to 2-3 masks at a time for easier handling.
  • Wash after each use for hygiene.

By hand washing, you have full control to treat silk masks with care from start to finish.

luxury silk skin care mask

Treating Stains on Silk Masks

Silk masks worn daily can gather small stains around the mouth, nose, and chin areas. Treat these promptly to avoid setting them.

Food and Makeup Stains

  • For small stains, dab gently with a damp cloth and silk-safe soap.
  • For larger stains, pre-treat with a stain remover like before washing.

Discoloration or Sweat Stains

  • Mix a solution of white vinegar and water. Dab on stains and rinse thoroughly before washing.
  • Baking soda paste can also help lift discoloration. Mix with water into a paste, apply to stain for 5 minutes, then rinse.

Mouthwash or Toothpaste Stains

  • Dampen a cloth with hydrogen peroxide and dab on the stain before washing.
  • Rinse right after use to avoid setting in.

With prompt attention, you can keep silk face masks looking like new.

Machine Washing Silk Face Masks

While hand washing is ideal, machine washing silk masks is possible if done carefully:

  • Use a mesh laundry bag to prevent snags and pulling.
  • Wash on the delicates cycle with cool water and silk detergent.
  • If unsure, opt for hand wash and air dry settings.
  • Wash masks separately from other laundry.
  • Avoid the spin cycle to limit friction.
delicate cycle for silk in washing machine
silk washing technique using mesh bag in machine

However, machine drying should always be avoided. The high heat can damage silk fibers.

For machine washing tips, see the next section on establishing a washing routine.

While hand washing is most recommended, the occasional machine wash can be done safely with the right precautions.

Drying and Storing Silk Face Masks

Proper drying and storage are also key to silk mask longevity. Here are some do’s and don’ts:


  • Lay flat or hang gently with clothespins to dry. This maintains the shape.
  • Allow to air dry fully before storing.
  • Fold along crease lines and store in breathable containers like cloth bags or boxes.


  • Hang masks by the ear loops or pull sharply when wet.
  • Wring out excess water which strains fibers.
  • Dry in direct sunlight which can fade colors.
  • Fold wet masks which can breed bacteria.
  • Use plastic bags or airtight containers which prevent airflow.

With care, your silk masks can maintain their shape, color, and durability season after season.

Special Considerations for Different Types of Silk Masks

Not all silk masks have the same washing requirements. Here are some variances:

Slip Silk Masks

  • More delicate and prone to snagging than typical silk
  • Hand wash only in extremely cool water
  • Lay flat on a towel – do not hang slip silk when wet
  • Take extra care not to tug or wring out excess water

Silk Eye Masks

  • Avoid washing as much as possible and spot clean when needed
  • Turn inside out and hand wash in cold water if washing fully
  • Lay perfectly flat to dry to avoid distortion of eye chambers
  • Store off-face in breathable dust bag
soft silk eye mask for comfort

Learn how to clean a silk eye mask effectively for long-term use.

Adjust your approach accordingly for different silk mask fabrics and constructions. Follow specialty care instructions closely.

Establishing a Washing Routine for Your Silk Masks

To keep your silk masks fresh, develop a consistent washing routine. Here are some guidelines:

  • Wash after daily use – both for hygiene and to prevent stain-setting
  • Rotate masks between wears and washes to minimize washing frequency
  • Machine wash delicates bag 1-2x per week max
  • Hand wash the remainder of weekly washes
  • Wash separately from regular loads
  • Follow up with proper drying and storage

Other tips for your routine:

  • Designate special laundry day(s) just for silk items
  • Store masks in breathable bags or boxes between wears
  • Bring gentle soap on trips to wash masks in sinks
  • Pack extra masks to rotate on extended trips
  • Monitor for wearing out and regularly replace old masks

Adjust your routine based on the frequency of mask use. But aim to wash at least 2-3 times per week for health. With the right habits, keeping silk masks fresh and functional is easy.

soft silk face covering

Can I Put Silk Masks in the Dryer?

No, silk should never be machine-dried as the high heat can damage the fibers. Always air-dry silk masks lying flat or hanging up.

How Do I Wash Printed or Embellished Silk Masks?

Turn printed or embellished masks inside-out when washing by hand to prevent fading and protect decorations. Use cool water and delicate detergent.

What Temperature Kills Germs in Silk Masks?

Hot water above 140°F for at least 10 minutes is needed to kill germs and viruses.

However, silk cannot withstand such high temperatures – wash in the coolest water possible up to 85°F at most.

Can I Wash Silk if I’m Travelling Without Detergent?

Yes, use a very mild soap or shampoo in cool water for hand washing on trips. Rinse thoroughly. Bring silk-safe detergent from home when possible.

How Do I Wash Silk Masks if I Have Sensitive Skin?

If you have sensitive skin, it’s important to choose an extremely mild detergent when washing silk masks.

Opt for a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic formula specifically designed for delicates and sensitive skin.

Brands like The Laundress, Soak, and Kookaburra make sensitive skin silk washes. Avoid regular or scented detergents which can contain irritants.

Learn how to wash silk curtains to keep them looking fresh and elegant.

hypoallergenic silk face mask


With the proper care, silk face masks can be washed repeatedly while maintaining their soft texture and shape.

By using cooler water, delicate detergents, and gentle handling, you can easily hand wash silk masks at home. Drying and storing them correctly also preserves their quality.

Establish a consistent washing routine based on use, and your silk masks will last you through season after season.

Follow these tips carefully, and your silk masks will remain in great condition for longer-lasting use.

Gentle handling and the right techniques make all the difference in extending the lifespan of your silk face coverings.

So inspect masks regularly and wash frequently, because an ounce of silk prevention is worth a pound of mask replacement!

With some TLC, your silk masks will stay comfortable, breathable, and beautiful for years of wear.

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