How to Wash Silk Polyester Blend: Step-by-Step Guide

Silk polyester blends are commonly found in clothing and home textiles.

With the breathability of silk and the durability of polyester, these fabrics provide comfort and ease of care.

However, silk polyester requires more delicate care than pure polyester to maintain its beauty and texture.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the proper washing techniques for silk polyester blends. 

Follow these simple steps and you’ll keep your silk polyester garments looking their best for years to come.

green and white silk fabric texture

Understanding Silk Polyester Blends

Silk polyester blends combine the best qualities of natural silk and synthetic polyester fibers. Here’s a quick look at the properties of these fabrics:

  • Silk – Lightweight, soft, breathable, and lustrous. Absorbs moisture well. Prone to wrinkling and shrinking.
  • Polyester – Strong, durable, and resistant to wrinkles and shrinkage. Quick drying and retains shape. Less breathable than silk.

Blending the two creates a fabric that drapes elegantly like silk but holds its shape and resists wrinkling. It’s ideal for flowy blouses, dresses, and nightwear.

Silk polyester is also used in bedding and furnishings.

However, the silk component requires gentle cleaning to prevent damage. Let’s look at how to care for these delicate fabrics.

elegant green white silk design

Preparation – Check Labels and Sort Properly

Before washing silk polyester, always check the garment’s care label for any special instructions. Many items will specify “Hand Wash” or “Dry Clean Only.”

Next, sort clothes by color and fabric type. Wash darks, lights, and bright colors in separate loads.

Group silk polyesters together away from rougher fabrics like denim that could abrade the delicate fibers.

Finally, pretreat any stains to prevent setting them during washing. Spot clean dirt and oils with a gentle cleaner or presoak heavily soiled areas.

silk fabric washing label

Hand Washing Silk Polyester

Hand washing allows the most control when cleaning silk polyester blends. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Fill a Sink with Lukewarm Water

Avoid hot water which can cause silk to shrink or fade. Lukewarm water around 75°F to 85°F is ideal.

filling basin with water

Step 2: Add a Mild Detergent

Choose a gentle liquid detergent, soap, or no-rinse wash designed for delicates. Check that it’s safe for silk fabrics.

I always recommend Heritage Park Laundry Detergent (link to Amazon) for silk items. It’s amazing how it preserves the fabric’s softness and color, making my silks look as good as new.

using heritage park detergent for silk washing

Step 3: Gently Agitate and Soak the Garment

Submerge and lightly swish the garment to dislodge dirt. Let it soak for up to 10 minutes so the detergent can work.

hand laundering beige silk cloth
hand washing process for beige silk

Step 4: Rinse Thoroughly

Drain wash water and refill the sink with cool fresh water. Lift and lower the garment to rinse evenly.

basin water draining

Step 5: Drain and Press Out Water

Don’t wring or twist silk polyester which can stress fibers. Simply drain then press between towels to absorb moisture.

drying silk textile using towel
towel wrap for drying silk material

Step 6: Dry Flat Away from Direct Sunlight

Lay garments flat on a drying rack or towel. Keep out of sunlight to avoid fading colors.

wet silk fabric drying naturally

Step 7: Lightly Iron on Low If Needed

Silk polyester resists wrinkles but can be touched up with an iron on a low silk setting if needed.

smoothing silk with iron

Here are some quick hand-washing tips for common silk polyester items:

  • Blouses: Close zippers and hooks. Avoid scrubbing.
  • Intimate apparel: Use a lingerie wash bag. Don’t soak elastic.
  • Ties and scarves: Roll loosely and squeeze gently when rinsing.

Machine Washing Silk Polyester

Many silk polyester garments can be machine-washed if you take precautions. Here are some best practices:

  • Use the delicate or hand-wash cycle on your machine. This has a slow agitator speed.
  • Wash in cool water around 20°C/ 68°F. Avoid hot waster.
  • Choose a gentle, bleach-free detergent for delicates. Liquid is best.
  • Place lingerie and delicates in a mesh laundry bag before washing. This prevents snags.
  • Skip the machine dryer – air dry only to prevent damage.
  • Turn garments inside out to limit abrasion and color transfer.
  • Avoid overloading the machine – give clothes room to move freely.
  • Use an extra rinse cycle to fully remove detergent residue.
delicate cycle for silk in washing machine
washing machine silk care with mesh bag

With the right settings, front-loading washing machines are generally safer for silk polyester than top-loaders which can be rough.

But take care – repeated machine washing can still shorten the life of silk blends. For favorite items, opt for hand washing instead when possible.

Explore the ideal methods for washing silk linen blends in this comprehensive article.

Drying and Ironing Tips

Silk polyester blends should always be air-dried naturally to prevent heat damage. Here are some drying guidelines:

  • Lay flat on a drying rack or towel away from direct sun. Direct sunlight can fade colors.
  • To speed drying, use a fan to circulate air. Position it a few feet away to prevent blowing garments around.
  • If hang drying, use wide padded hangers. Avoid wire hangers which can create creases.
  • Don’t tumble dry silk polyester – the heat degrades silk fibers causing brittleness.
  • Iron on a low silk setting if needed when fully dry. Test on an inconspicuous area first.
exclusive real silk selection

Is Dry Cleaning Best for Silk Polyester?

Silk polyester labeled “Dry Clean Only” should be professionally cleaned though it’s not mandatory.

The exception is structured garments like jackets that require specialized pressing equipment.

Advantages of dry cleaning silk polyester include:

  • Gentler than home washing for delicate fabrics.
  • Specialized solvents remove oily stains like makeup or lotion.
  • Garments are pressed professionally after cleaning.

When taking silk polyester for dry cleaning:

  • Find a reputable cleaner experienced with delicates. Ask about their methods.
  • Alert them to any beads, sequins, or embellishments requiring special care.
  • Specify no starch or sizing that could leave residues.
  • Request light steam or press if needed vs. harsher methods.
  • Remove detachable belts, buttons, and accessories first.
  • Point out any stains needing extra attention.
real silk fabric patterns

Does Silk Polyester Shrink?

Like 100% silk, silk blended with polyester can shrink if exposed to high heat or agitation. Here are some tips to minimize shrinkage:

  • Wash in cool water – heat causes silk fibers to tighten.
  • Limit machine washing – frequent agitation tears silk fibers over time.
  • Air dry only – dryers can expose silk polyester to excess heat.
  • Steam garments lightly – high heat from ironing on the wrong settings can shrink silk.
  • Dry clean when possible – professionals take steps to avoid shrinkage.

With proper care, quality silk polyester blends should experience minimal shrinkage over time. But delicate handling is key, especially when wet.

Special Care for Silk Polyester Items

Let’s look at care tips for specific silk polyester clothing and home textiles:

Silk Polyester Blouses:

  • Close buttons, zippers, and hooks before washing to prevent snagging.
  • Wash by hand or use a lingerie bag on the delicate cycle.
  • Dry flat on a towel then reshape while still slightly damp.
  • Lightly iron inside seams only since the fabric resists wrinkling.
silk fabric weave close up

Silk Polyester Sheets:

  • Wash bedding separately from everyday laundry.
  • Use a gentle soap or no-rinse wash formulated for silk.
  • Don’t use fabric softener which can leave residue.
  • Dry away from direct sunlight to avoid fading.

Silk Polyester Pillowcases:

  • Turn pillowcases inside out before washing to minimize wear.
  • Use cool water and limit detergent to help retain softness.
  • Lay flat to dry, shaping back into a pillowcase form.
  • Use a silk setting on your iron to touch up wrinkles after drying.
elegant silk material texture

Tips for Washing “Dry Clean Only” Silk Polyester

Many silk polyester garments are labeled “Dry Clean Only” including dresses, suits, and coats. However, you can still hand wash these at home if needed. Here are some tips:

  • Fill the sink or tub with cool water and use a tiny amount of mild detergent, swishing gently.
  • Support heavy wet garments like dresses to avoid stretching the fabric.
  • Roll in a towel and press to remove moisture. Avoid wringing or twisting.
  • Dry flat away from direct heat or sun then lightly steam or press when needed.
  • Start by hand washing a small hidden area first to test colorfastness and shrink

Additional Tips:

  • Hand wash one garment at a time to prevent tangling and damage.
  • For button-front dresses and blouses, close all buttons to prevent straining the fabric around the openings.
  • Lay a towel in the bottom of the sink or tub for padding before submerging a silk dress. This prevents abrasion.
  • After rolling in a towel, reshape garments on a flat surface before final drying. This prevents wrinkles from setting in unevenly.
  • Test ironing settings on the inside seams first before touching the outer fabric. Start with medium-low heat.

The bottom line – with care and gentleness, you can hand wash delicate dry-clean-only silk polyester right at home.

But always test on hidden areas first to ensure the fabric reacts well. And when in doubt, go to the professionals!

Discover how to wash silk chiffon to keep it delicate and graceful.

detailed silk fabric zoom in


Caring for silk polyester blend clothing and fabrics requires gentle handling, especially when wet. To summarize, be sure to:

  • Check clothing labels and sort carefully before washing.
  • Pretreat stains to avoid setting them during washing.
  • Use lukewarm water and mild detergent when hand washing.
  • Select the delicate cycle on your washing machine and wash in cool water if machine washing.
  • Lay flat or hang to air dry only – never machine-dry silk polyester.
  • Iron on low heat if needed when fully dry.
  • Dry clean specialty garments like dresses and suits whenever possible.
  • Take precautions to prevent shrinkage like limiting heat and agitation.

With the proper care techniques, your silk polyester clothes can maintain their elegant drape, soft feel, and vibrant colors for many years of wear.

Handle them gently, follow fabric care labels, and apply these tips when washing silk polyester blends at home. Your wardrobe will continue looking beautiful wash after wash.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *