If you love what your silk pillowcase has done for your beauty routine (ahem, way less damage, frizzing, and overall way better hair days) then you’ll want to make it last as long as possible! It’s not super dissimilar to your old cotton pillowcase, but you should learn the subtle differences in how to wash silk that will make your ‘case last longer, but also look better!
Silk, a natural fiber, contain silk protein which give your hair those amazing benefits. For this reason, you’ll want to avoid alkalinity when washing (such as harsh detergents). You can kind of think of your silk pillowcase like your own hair: it doesn’t want anything too chemical-y, too hot, or too abrasive.
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Use Cool or Cold Water
A high quality silk pillowcase will use 100% pure and natural silk so it’s important to care for its delicate proteins and amino acid coating that naturally occurs in its fibers. In fact, those are what give your hair all the silk pillowcase benefits! Keep water temperatures, whether in hand washing or machine washing, at a cool or cold temperature; anything below 30℃ is ideal here.
To give your pillowcase extra care, we recommend hand washing when possible. But, definitely not a must as a gentle cycle is kind enough to silk too!
Swap in a Mild Detergent
Once again, the key to learning how to wash a silk pillowcase is preserving all the goodness that naturally occurs in silk fiber. Silk, or more specifically silk protein, can easily be deteriorated by harsh chemicals, especially soaps, because of the alkaline solution.. Use a mild detergent that don’t contain ingredients like fragrance or brighteners when washing your case.
Hang to Dry
Give your luxurious silk pillowcase the dry cycle it deserves, not a forgotten tumble dry in a high heat machine. After washing, it’s best to let your pillowcase air dry because heat can damage the benefits of silk found in its fibers. Use a clipped pants hanger, a drying rack, or lay your ‘case flat on a non-wood surface. This will allow your pillowcase to last a looooot longer (as well as your other clothes BTW).
As well, never twist to dry or dry in direct sunlight. Basically: the best way on how to wash a silk pillowcase is to treat it like your own hair–a similarly delicate fiber that requires TLC.
You can probably guess this one: do not use bleach on your silk pillowcase! Even if you buy the whitest shade of silk, bleach is severely alkaline (which is what makes it corrosive) so it can actually dissolve the silk protein. If you care about your pillowcase, skip any bleaching ingredients!
Rinse With a Few Drops of Vinegar
A lesser known fact about how to wash a silk pillowcase: vinegar can greatly restore your pillowcase’s shine, softness, and lustre! If you’re washing in a machine, add about 2 tablespoons or so of vinegar. You can eye this out and it doesn’t have to be exact, but know a little goes a long way with vinegar.
If you’re handwashing, you can use even less: a few drops to 1 tablespoons of vinegar will do. Add this to water and once the pillowcase is submerged fully, let it sit for no more than 5 minutes. Swish around to let it completely soak, and rinse with cool water.