How to care for silk bed linens
Caring for silk bed linens involves three main steps
Silk is considered a luxury fabric for more than its luxurious feel. Cleaning it may require more involvement than other types of fabric, but you can learn how to care for silk bed linens with a little time and patience.
As you learn how to care for silk bed linens, you will follow three main steps: washing/rinsing, removing water, and drying. The following sections describe each step in more detail.
Some washing machines now come with an extra-delicate cycle which can handle silk. If your machine doesn't, you should care for silk bed linens by hand-washing in a mild detergent. To hand-wash, fill a sink with cool water and a small amount of your detergent. Immerse the linens in the water and gently knead them. You don't need to use a lot of force on silk; in fact, too much force can have negative effects. Gentleness is key when you're learning how to care for silk bed linens.
Rinse the silk sheets when you finish kneading. Here's how you rinse: Drain the soapy water from the sink. Refill the sink with cool water and swish the silk around a little. Knead it some more to get detergent out of the fibers. Let out the water again and refill the sink. Repeat the swishing and kneading. If you see no more soap in the water at this point, you can probably move on. If you do still see soap, repeat the rinsing process as many times as necessary until you have removed all traces of detergent, as far as you can tell.
Removing Water from Silk Bed Linens
You don't want to wring silk in your attempt to remove water. The wringing action distorts the shape and causes more wrinkles after the sheets dry. Removing the water gently can make ironing unnecessary -- if you're even tempted to iron your bed linens.
Remember, gentleness is the key when you care for silk bed linens. To remove water gently, you will need to squeeze instead of wring. Although silk sheets are larger and thus more difficult to work with than silk garments, you will follow a similar procedure with them.
Try folding them a few times and then rolling them in a large bath towel. Press down on the towel to squeeze out water or absorb excess moisture from the sheets.
Drying Your Bed Linens
Next you need to dry your silk sheets. You can machine-dry them on a low- or-no-heat setting. You can also air-dry them on a clothesline or lay them flat over clean towels. For optimal care of silk bed linens, you should avoid drying them in direct sunlight. So if you want to use the clothesline, the best day is one that is breezy and overcast but not rainy.
Beware of wood or metal drying racks. Sometimes their finishes can affect or stain the silk. If you want to use one, cover the rack with a towel first and then lay the silk sheets on top of the towel.
You can wash other delicate bedding (such as silk comforters or bedspreads) in a similar fashion, as long as you have a sink or bathtub large enough to hold the bedding and you have an appropriate way to dry it.