Luxury Fabric Profile: How to Clean Your Silk Scarves

As we mentioned in our article “6 Luxury Clothing Cleaning Hacks,” it is possible to wash your silk goods in the comfort of your own home. All you need is patience, efficiency, and the right household products. And, though this post will focus specifically on the care of silk scarves, you can use the washing and pressing processes described to also treat silk clothing.*


Cleaning Silk Scarves

The key to safely cleaning your Hermes or Chanel scarves is timing. You MUST complete every step in the cleaning process, from pretreating the stain to washing and rinsing it, in under 10 minutes. This prevents the dye from loosening up in the silk and bleeding. Pretreat stains using a cotton ball soaked with your cleaning product of choice. Make sure to DAB onto the stain, never rub, otherwise the motion will damage the silk and ruin its signature soft texture. Next, soak the scarf in tepid water with a drop of “The Laundress,” a luxury fabric detergent, and a “Shout Color Catcher” if the silk in question is multicolored.

Drying Silk Scarves

Place the wet, washed scarf open on an old, clean bath towel and roll it up gently, squeezing off the excess water. Then, lay it open on a drying rack. A silk scarf should dry in under half an hour. If the stain remains on the item, repeat the whole cleaning process again. Always start with a dry scarf, until the stain is gone.

Pressing Silk Scarves

Before beginning, make sure the iron is clean of any residue that may scratch the fabric surface. Layer a clean, white thin piece of fabric, such as a flat-ironed bed sheet, over the silk scarf on the ironing board. Keep both items as flat as possible. Turn the iron to the silk setting, or a setting slightly higher if available, to ensure that the heat penetrates the sheet. You may need to slowly increase the heat if the wrinkles are not coming out. Never press down on a hand-rolled hem, only iron up to the roll.

After the scarf is as smooth as possible, spray it with a “sizing” spray to ensure it recovers its glossy, silky feel. (Sizing spray can be found near the spray starch in stores or online and looks almost the same.) Test the spray in your shower or sink to observe how strong it comes out before spraying it back and forth over the back of the scarf. Do not spray directly onto the front, printed side of the scarf. Continue to iron the scarf, using the fabric sheet between the iron and silk item, until it regains its original luster.

We hope these steps help you remove old stains and refresh your favorite silk scarves just in time for fall!

*Please note: we do not take responsibility for at-home cleaning processes that do not work out. Implement at your own risk.*