How to Whiten Silk

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Handwash your silk to prevent washing machine damage.

White silk can lose that famous shine with age. A slight yellow tinge starts to appear, making your once beautiful garments and clothing appear old and dingy. Fortunately, even though older silk pieces should not be placed in a washing machine since most cycles use too much force and can cause extensive damage.You can still wash your silk pieces by hand with a vinegar solution. Furthermore, a simple vinegar cleaning solution provides enough cleaning power to restore your silk's original coloring.


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Things You'll Need

  • Bowl

  • Water

  • White distilled vinegar

  • Salt

  • Stirring spoon

  • Soft sponge

  • Water softener

  • Clean towel

Step 1

Mix together 16 oz. of warm water, one tablespoon of white distilled vinegar, 1 tbsp. of salt and one tablespoon of water softener in a bowl or other large container. Stir until all the ingredients mix together.

Step 2

Dip your silk piece into the vinegar cleaning solution. Submerge the entire piece so all the stains make contact with the solution.


Step 3

Gently rub the stains with a soft sponge. Work in a circular motion and continue rubbing until the stain disappears.

Step 4

Run the silk piece under warm water to remove the vinegar cleaning solution. Do not squeeze or twist the silk to get the vinegar solution out. Let the running water do the work.


Step 5

Place the silk piece on a clean towel. Roll the towel with moderate force to squeeze the excess water from the silk.

Step 6

Hang the silk piece in your home to air dry.


Store silk in a fabric container for storage. Any fabric container, such as a pillow case, allows harmful moisture to escape. Prolonged exposure to moisture causes yellowing.