If you want your clothes to last longer, then you should learn how to take care of them properly. If you have silk shirts in your closet, this is a must. Once you know how to wash a silk shirt, you won’t have to worry about ruining it every time you wear it.
Laundry Service: Washing Silk Shirts
Silk has a very rich history. It’s considered as one of the oldest fabrics. And since it’s a delicate fabric, you should give it extra tender loving care.
Before starting the washing process, there are a couple of things you can do to make sure you are doing things correctly.
Important: Read The Label
You have to check if the silk shirts you own are washable. Now, this is where it pays to read the clothing label. Too often than not, people disregard the washing instructions indicated on the label. It’s not there for decoration purposes only. One wrong move and you risk ruining your beautiful shirt.
Checking the shirt’s color fastness is important, especially if you are dealing with something made of silk. Before washing the silk shirt, you can check if the fabric bleeds. You just need water and a white cloth or cotton swab.
You can start testing for color fastness by taking your silk shirt and turning it inside out. On the inside seam, try wetting a small portion. Once you have dampened the fabric, take the cloth or swab and run it through. If there is color transfer, then washing it is out of the cards.
How Do You Hand Wash A Silk Shirt?
Don’t be nervous if it’s your first-time handwashing a silk shirt. As long as you know what to do, there’s nothing to be scared of.
Before hand washing the silk shirt, remember that you should use cold water. Exposing silk to hot temperatures will cause shrinkage. If you don’t want this to happen, better stick to using cold water.
Once the shirt is immersed in water, you can add silk detergent. If that is not available, you can opt for a gentle detergent. And also, never use chlorine or oxygen-based bleach. It will permanently damage the silk, particularly the natural fibers of the fabric. It can also result in discoloration.
During the washing process, you can soak the shirt and leave it for about three minutes. You can swish the shirt around or plunge it in and out of the basin. You should avoid rubbing the silk shirt aggressively.
As for rinsing the shirt, you should still use cold water. Do this a couple of times until there are no soap residues and the water clears. And there’s no need to wring the shirt if you want to get rid of the excess water. Wringing or twisting the shirt will cause wrinkles.
How Do You Machine Wash A Silk Shirt?
Another option for washing silk shirts is by using a washing machine. Now, this might be a little trickier compared to washing silk by hand. However, just like with handwashing this type of fabric, you have to know what you are doing.
To ensure that there will be no damage to the silk shirt whatsoever, it’s advisable that you put the garment in a laundry mesh bag. Using a mesh bag will help protect the delicate silk shirt.
Before starting the washing machine cycle, you have to check the settings. Start with filling the washing machine with cold water. And set the wash cycle to “delicate”. The wash temperature should not exceed 30 degrees.
And just like with handwashing, you should only use a gentle detergent. There are detergents formulated specifically for silk. If that’s something accessible to you, it’s better to use this type of detergent.
Once everything is ready, set the spin cycle to its shortest duration. As soon as the spin cycle ends, take the shirt out of the machine. This helps prevent wrinkles and other unnecessary folds.
Drying Silk Shirt After Washing
Regardless of whether you washed the silk shirt using your hands or a washing machine, there’s one thing you shouldn’t do after! And that is using a dryer. It doesn’t matter if it’s tumble or spin-drying.
The tossing and turning of the silk shirt inside the dryer might rip the fabric. If there are any tears, that would mean extra work. You might have to figure out how to repair that. In some cases, some silk shirts are beyond repair. Exposing the silk shirt to the dryer’s heat will also damage it.
Drying a silk shirt involves a little more manual labor from your end. Don’t worry. It’s not that hard. All you have to do is prepare a towel ahead of time. Before rinsing or taking the shirt out of the washing machine, lay the towel on a flat surface.
Take the shirt and put it on top of the towel. And then you can roll the shirt in the towel. The towel will absorb the excess water. Unroll the towel once you feel like moisture has been absorbed and prepare for air drying. You can lay the silk shirt on a clean flat surface. Or you can also hang it on a drying rack. It would probably take 30 to 60 minutes for the silk shirt to dry.
There might be moments when you are tempted to expedite the drying process. However, be patient. Whatever happens, do not dry your silk shirts under direct sunlight. The heat and the UV rays from the sun will contribute to the color degradation of the fabric.
Can You Dry Clean A Silk Shirt?
If you don’t think you risk hand washing or machine washing your silk shirts, the best option for you is to send them to the dry cleaners. Yes, this is, perhaps, the best thing you could do, especially if there is color transfer during your color fastness test.
There are also silk shirts that have “dry clean only” labels. If this is the case, don’t even think twice about what to do! Some people disregard this and end up with regrets and a ruined shirt. It is one of the cons of buying a silk shirt.
You have to spend a little bit more to have it dry cleaned. However, there’s something about wearing a high-quality silk shirt that leaves you feeling luxurious. It will be worth it at the end of the day!
How Do You Remove Stains
One of the challenges you might encounter when you love wearing silk shirts is staining it. If you see a stain, you will probably wonder what you can do to remove it ASAP. You can use a paper towel and dab on the affected area. You can also use a white cloth. If the stain remains though, you need to remove it before washing the shirt.
Make Your Own Stain Remover
Removing stains from a silk garment involves creating your stain remover or solution. You can find the things you need for this at home, specifically in your kitchen! You just need some lemon juice or white vinegar. You can use either of the two liquids. Just add a little water and then you have your stain solution. It’s that easy!
If you want to make sure that you are doing it right, you can do a colorfast test first. Once you are 100% sure that there is no color transfer whatsoever, proceed with the stain removal. Dip a clean white cloth in the stain solution and gently dab it on the stained portion of the shirt. If the stain is a little stubborn, you might opt for another solution.
You will need the help of some baking soda to get rid of this tough stain. You have to combine baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, with water, and it will produce your stain removal paste.
Leave some of the said paste on the stain for a little bit. Give it about 15 minutes. But if you feel that’s not enough to remove the smudge, leave it for up to 30 minutes. Don’t forget to remove the residues of the paste before rinsing the silk shirt in cool water.
Talcum Powder To The Rescue
If the stains on your silk shirt are caused by oil or grease, you need the help of another item you can find at home. All you need is some talcum powder this time around. Talcum powder, also known as baby powder to some, absorbs grease.
Start by pouring a generous amount of talcum powder on the stained area. Leave it for about two hours. It would give the powder time to absorb the grease or oil. If, after two hours, you see progress, leave it for a couple more hours. If you want to be sure, you can even leave it overnight. Once the stains are gone, you can wash the silk shirt as directed on the label.
Silk Shirt: Wash, Iron And Store
Exercise caution when you wear and wash your silk shirts. You might have to go the extra mile when it comes to knowing how to wash silk shirts. And of course, it doesn’t end there. Once the silk shirts are fresh from the wash, you should also know how to iron and store them in the best possible ways.