How To Take Care Of Your Silk Scarves

Silk scarves never go out of style, but if they are not taken care of they will not stay for long or will not stay as gorgeous. To keep your silk scarves gorgeous and stunning, they must be taken care of. So, how does one take care of silk scarves?

How to wash and care for Silk scarves?

Always take care of the following instructions to wash your silk scarves. Do not wash your silk scarves in the washer. Despite the delicate mode of the machine, the washing gets aggressive, thus agitating the fibres and ruining the beautiful fabric. 

Ideally, silk scarves should not be washed very often unless they are extremely soiled. The best approach to cleaning your silk scarf is spot cleaning. Addressing a stain or spot on the scarf, and hand cleaning it with mild (silk) detergent. Apart from this method, silk scarves usually come with a care tag that explains ways in which they can be cleaned and cared for; common options are - hand wash, dry-clean friendly or dry-clean only. Here is what these methods mean: 


Just as the term suggests, silk scarves need to be cleaned and taken care of by the simple hand-washing method. But don’t take this approach lightly. Silk scarves are special, and they need to be treated so. 

  • First, fill your sink or a bucket with cold water. Do not use hot water to wash your silk scarves, it will irritate the fabric and over time it may lose its shine

  • Second, ensure that you are not wearing any rings or jewelry when you go to wash your silk scarf; sharp edges in the ring can damage the fabric

  • Third, use a gentle or delicate (silk) detergent and dissolve it in the sink or big bowl of cold water

  • Fourth, gently put your silk scarf in the detergent water and swirl it around, do not allow your scarf to soak in the soapy water. When you swirl and sway in the detergent water, it slowly washes the scarf. Do not do this for more than 4 minutes at a time and always ensure that you wash one silk scarf at a time 

  • Fifth, drain the soapy water and re-fill your bucket or sink with fresh cold water, again swirl your silk scarf around to remove any residue detergent. Do this twice, so that you ensure that all the soap has left the scarf

  • Lastly, to dry your silk scarf, do not tumble-dry (machine drying), wring it, or squeeze the water out. Use a towel and lay the silk scarf over it, then gently roll the towel with your scarf in it so that it absorbs all water and moisture. You will notice in a few minutes that your silk scarf is no longer wet or dripping. Then you can safely move it over to a drying rack and let it air-dry for 30-60 minutes
    Pro tip: Do not dry it in direct sunlight, otherwise it will lose color and do not put any clothespin on it otherwise it’ll get pinched.

  • In case of a stain: tend to the spot on the scarf immediately before it settles. Treat the spot with a 50:50 mixture of detergent and water using a cotton bud. Dip the bud in the mixture and then rub it on the stained area. Do this gently and a few times so that the stain gets removed. Once you see the stain fading, you can get back to the hand-washing process 

Dry-clean friendly

When you see this method, the choice is up to you; either hand-wash your silk scarf or give it to the dry-cleaners to get it cleaned 

Dry-clean only

This is a very specific direction. When you see this method written on a care tag, you should give your silk scarf to your dry-cleaner. Manufacturers have specially mentioned this on the tag because they know that some properties of the silk need to be given special attention and dry-cleaners would be able to do so because they have special chemicals that can help clean the silk scarf perfectly.  

How to iron a Silk scarf

Following these detailed methods to clean your silk scarves can result in your fashion accessory lasting for a long time and looking luxurious, always. Now that your silk scarf is clean; the next step is to iron it. 

  • Ensure that your iron and ironing board are clean and dry 

  • Start by ironing the backside of your silk scarf. Silk is a delicate fabric, so if steam sets on your scarf the fabric will burn. Hence it is important to iron the scarf on the backside so as to not affect the color or material. 
    • If your scarf is a double-sided silk scarf, the best practice of ironing is to put a piece of cloth over it to protect it from direct heat 

After cleaning and ironing, it is time to learn how to store them safely. The longevity of scarves is also dependent on how you store them. They need to be stored in a cool, dark and dry place. And when we mention dry, it should not be super dry, especially if you live in a humid region. Ensure that your scarves are kept in a place that is away from moths, these insects are attracted to silk fabrics. Additionally, it can be kept either in a box or hanging in your wardrobe (to avoid creases). 

How to protect your Silk scarves from moths?

Moths can easily damage your prized silk scarves. Here are some simple ways to protect your Silk scarves from moths:

  • Store your silk scarves in a cool, dry and dark space

  • Ensure that your scarf is not dirty or has old stains. Stains really attract our unkind friends (aka moths). So, getting your scarves cleaned is always a good idea before storing them

  • While perfumed scarves do smell good, sometimes they attract moths. Therefore, ensure that before we store them they are cleaned and fresh   

  • Your storage boxes, drawers or cupboards need to be cleaned on a regular basis too. Moths are attracted to dust and dirt. So if these storage areas are not cleaned frequently then they are more prone to these insects. Be wary of this and clean your storage areas.  

How to carefully store and take care of a Silk scarf?

Consider your relationship with a silk scarf a long-lasting one, and in order to have a successful and vibrant relationship, there are a few things you should always remember. 

  • Never leave out your silk scarf under direct sunlight for too long. This can damage the fibre and fade the colors, making it lose its beauty over time

  • Harsh chemicals or harsh detergents are your enemies. When exposed to such chemicals, your silk will get damaged excessively. If you need to remove stains, just follow the steps we mentioned above and your silk scarf will be as good as new 

  • The truest form of love for your silk scarves is by following the care instructions given on the care label 

  • Airing your silk scarves from time to time is healthy. Think of airing your silk scarves just as you would stretch your legs after a long while. It gets the stiffness off of your scarf and allows it to breathe allowing it to stay longer

  • Silk creases if it is folded for a long time. Even though you have followed every tip in maintaining a silk scarf, if it isn't opened up after being folded for some time your scarf may start to rip at the creases. Folds can set and can also affect the fabric, so opening up the folds and checking up on your silk scarves from time to time is always a good idea

    Bonus tip: it is important to store your silk scarves in a breathable fabric bag (not plastic ) so that it does not lock-in the moisture.

Just as skin care is vital for everyone, silk care is equally important. Be gentle and wise with your silk scarves, to ensure lusciousness and longevity. By following these guidelines, you will ensure that this fashion piece is here to stay for a long time and will accentuate any look you want to wear!

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