Silk fabric, made from natural, protein-based threads, can turn yellow for various reasons, such as exposure to perspiration, improper cleaning methods and extended storage time. Almost most silk garments are labeled “dry clean only,” but you are able to wash 100 percent silk fabric at home as long as you take the following tips.
Steps to Clean Yellowed Silk
- Fill a laundry tube with warm water, add 1 tablespoon of plain soap sheet per gallon of water, and then dissolve the soap sheet by hand.
- Soak the item in the soapy water and gently wipe it until the yellow areas begin to fade.
- Rinse the item until all the soap is removed.
- Refill the tube with cool water, and then add 1/4 cup of white vinegar.
- Rinse the item in the vinegar water, and then rinse it with cool water.
- Lay the garment between two thick towels and roll to squeeze out excess water.
- Use iron of medium temperature to iron silk items. Dampen the silk with a wet cloth before the silk begins to dry on its own before ironing. Do not let the silk to air-dry to prevent yellowing.
- Test the color fastness of hidden areas before washing.
- Do not use ordinary detergent, enzyme-based cleaners or chlorine bleach.
- Do not let the silk to air-dry to prevent yellowing.
- Do not spot-clean silk, for it can change the fabric’s color and leave permanent marks.