How Do I Care for Silk Pillow Covers?

Silk pillow covers add a luxurious, elegant look to pillows, but improper care may stain or otherwise damage their luscious good looks.

Washing Delicate Silk Covers

Read the care tag before washing a silk pillow cover.Read the care tag before washing a silk pillow cover.
Consult the care tag to determine if the covers are machine washable, or wash untagged covers by hand or on the delicate cycle in the washing machine.

Whether you're washing by hand or by machine, silk requires a delicate soap. By hand, choose a gentle soap designed for delicates, or a mild shampoo such as baby shampoo. In a washing machine, use the gentlest laundry soap available, or a soap designed for delicates. Select the delicate or "hand wash" cycle on the washing machine. You can wash the silk cases with other delicates of similar colors, as long as the items do not contain snaps, zippers or decorations that may rub up against the silk and damage it. Add 1/4 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to keep the silk looking its best. Gently press the water out of the pillow covers after the final rinse, rather than wringing them out. Air dry them in an area away from direct sunlight without using clothespins, which may mark the silk. If you wish to iron the pillow covers, turn them inside out and cover them with a lint-free white cloth, and iron on a silk setting. Avoid using hot or steam settings, which may discolor the pillow covers.

About the Author

Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies.