How to Wash Silk Pajamas: Easy Care Guide

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By Wildr Editor

girl in orange and red silk pajamas

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Silk, a natural protein fiber, is considered one of the world’s most luxurious fabrics with its smooth, soft touch and beautiful aesthetic. It’s no wonder it’s the material of choice by many for pajamas. But they can be tricky to maintain and wash without special care. Follow this easy guide to wash silk PJs for the best results!

Why Silk Items Need Special Care

Silk is a delicate material made from natural fibers which requires more specific care than synthetic fabrics. Over time, natural body oils and dead skin cells can accumulate on your silk sleepwear, and then there are the other unwanted pesky water stains, and wear and tear leading to weaker silk fibers. But with a little extra love, it’s not so daunting to keep them fresh and luxurious.

Why Silk Garments Can't Just Be Thrown in the Wash

The delicate nature of silk fabric means it needs to be treated gently. The motion of a washing machine can cause damage and erode the silk clothing. This is especially true for silk PJs or satin pajamas which are often layered or have delicate trims.

Why Sustainability Matters in Silk

Silk is a biodegradable, natural protein fiber, produced by silkworms in the process of making their cocoons. Unlike synthetic fibers, which are made from petroleum and other non-renewable resources, silk is renewable. Silkworms feed on mulberry leaves, a fast-growing tree that can be cultivated.

The gross factor about traditional silk production is that it involves boiling the cocoons to obtain the silk fibers, which kills the silkworms inside. Just imagining that gives me goosebumps. Not only does it take 3,000 cocoons to make 1 yard of silk, but it there’s controversy around the chemicals and amount of energy used to produce silk, and unethical labor practices in many facilities around the world.

Proper Care for Your Silk Pajamas: Hand Wash or Machine Wash?

The best way to care for your silk pajamas involves delicate washing methods - usually hand washing. But read the care label, because some pieces are machine washable!

Hand-Wash Silk: The Preferred Method for Delicate Items

For delicate silk pieces, the best results for preserving your silk pajamas are from hand washing. Here's how:

  1. Fill a basin with cool water and a gentle detergent. Avoid regular laundry detergent as it can be too harsh. A mild soap or special silk-friendly detergent works best.
  2. Soak your silk garments in the soapy water for a long time - ideally 15-30 minutes.
  3. Rub stains gently with a clean white cloth. Don't wring or twist the fabric to remove excess water.
  4. Rinse with clean water until no soap remains. For a final rinse, you can add a little white vinegar or lemon juice to neutralize soap residue.
  5. Pat dry using a clean towel to absorb excess moisture. Avoid direct sunlight exposure which can cause fading or weaken the fibers.

Machine Washing Silk: Proceed with Caution

While hand washing is recommended, some silk items can be machine washed. Make sure you check the fabric care label on your silk garments beforehand. If the clothing is machine washable, use the delicate cycle with cool or lukewarm water and a gentle detergent. Use a protective mesh bag or delicates mesh bag to minimize damage.

Special Care for Washable Silk

The introduction of washable silk has been a game-changer (much like washable rugs….so convenient!) This new type of silk fabric has been treated to withstand the rigors of machine washing. Still, we recommend using low heat to ensure that your silk lasts longer and resists wear and tear.

Sustainable Silk Care: Ethical Detergents

We like to embrace gentle detergents that are non-toxic and eco-friendly as often as possible - not only for the environment, but they tend to be better for our skin. Here are a few of our favorite laundry products that are plant-based, biodegradable, and (mostly) free from harmful chemicals:


Brand: Blissy is an OEKO-TEX certified brand that ensures their sustainable fabrics doesn’t include toxic chemicals in the production process.

Editor’s Pick: Blissy Wash Laundry Detergent is a plant-derived, hypoallergenic laundry detergent made specifically for silk, cashmere, and other delicate clothing.

Price: $29.95

Earth Breeze

Brand: Earth Breeze had tens of thousands of raving reviews for its efficiency in cleaning clothing as well as for its lower carbon footprint. They speak for themselves.

Editor’s Pick: Laundry Detergent Eco Sheets

Price: $20 for One-Time Purchase


Brand: Ecover is a Leaping Bunny certified brand that’s transparent in everything from their materials, sourcing, and manufacturing processes, with an aim for zero-carbon footprint.

Editor’s Pick: Zero Wool & Silk Sensitive Laundry Detergent features plant-based ingredients for sensitive skin and the bottle is made of 100% recycled plastic.

Price: £5.20

Silk Alternatives and Responsible Brands

Since traditional silk production raises ethical concerns, we did our research for sustainable alternatives.

Sustainable Silk Alternatives

For those of us who love silk but want better and eco-friendly alternatives, we can still wear our favorite luxurious silk pieces without sacrificing animal rights.

One example is Peace silk, or Ahimsa silk, which is produced without harming the silkworms. The process allows the silk moth to naturally leave the cocoon before the material is harvested. This ethical silk has a unique texture but still feels just as good as traditional silk.

Brands Championing Sustainable Silk

These brands offer the same heavenly comfort on our skin without compromising on ethics. Although they're cruelty-free brands, keep in mind that authentic silk (non-vegan) still requires the farming of silkworms to produce the fabric.

With that said, here are 3 top ethical brands and gorgeous pajama sets to consider for your next silk PJs:

1. The Ethical Silk Company

Brand: The Ethical Silk Company is a Fairtrade business that uses ethical tailoring in Jaipur, India. 10% of profits from their products are donated to an AIDS center in India and Focus Ireland, a charity that works with the homeless.

Editor’s Pick: Mulberry Silk Pyjamas - Leh Scarlet

Made from mulberry silk from the cocoon after the moth has left the cocoon, resulting in a fine linen feel and featuring a traditional block print design.

Price: $295

2. Maylyn and Co.

Brand: Maylyn and Co prides itself on being a slow fashion brand that uses sustainable materials like Modal, made from renewable fiber of beech trees and lotus silk, which is cruelty-free.

Editor’s Pick: Pact Orchid Vegan silk Pyjamas Set

Made from Persian Lotus Silk and recycled polyester, this gorgeous floral set helps reduce sweating at night. Added bonus? It comes with an eco-friendly laundry bag.

Price: $145

3. Luna and Noon

Brand: Luna and Noon offers a range of organic and biodegradable products like vegan silk pajamas made from cotton waste which is then treated and spun into a silk-like fabric.

Editor’s Pick: Ivy Vegan Silk

Inspired by the lush English woodlands, this luxurious pajama set is cruelty-free, super soft, & highly breathable.

Price: £160.00

By supporting these brands and choosing more ethical alternatives, we can enjoy the luxury of silk in a more mindful way.

Protecting Your Silk Pajamas and the Planet

Caring for your silk pajamas is more than just preserving a piece of clothing. Let’s do our part in respecting natural fabrics, reducing our environmental impact, and prolonging the lifespan of our clothing. We don’t need to be perfect, but a little bit of research (like reading this article) goes a long way in promoting sustainability in fashion!

If you liked this article, you might be interested in: 11 Best Organic Cotton Bras: Made in USA (Updated)


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