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Can You Get the Fishy Smell Out of Raw Silk?

Helen Jain

Fish smells in silk come from the materials produced by the silk worm. According to the HeartStrings FiberArts website, the fishy smell comes from sericin in the silk worm gum, and it remains on the fabric if the fabric is not degummed thoroughly. You can remove the fish odor from raw silk materials, but it takes time to get the smell out.

Silk materials can often carry fishy odors from the silk worms.
  1. Place the silk in a washer. Set the washer to cold water options and then change the setting to "Delicate." Never wash silk with the regular settings or hot water, as these can damage the material.

  2. Add a mild detergent to the wash. Cleaning silk requires mild detergents that will not dry out or damage the material. Start the wash.

  3. Hang the silk item to dry in the shade, or place it in a dryer on a delicate cycle without heat.

  4. Smell the silk when it is dry. Repeat the cleaning process as many times a necessary to remove the smell. According to the HeartStrings FiberArts website, the only way to remove the fishy odor of silk is to wash it until the gum still clinging to the silk is removed.