We all treat our expensive and delicate silk sarees with utmost care. They are often reserved for special occasions as we don't want them to get stained or dirty, especially those with embroidery work or fragile embellishments that can prove difficult to clean. While we can send them for dry cleaning, doing this on a regular basis is not a feasible option as it burns a hole in the pocket and may result in colour fading and dullness in appearance.
We had heard of multiple home remedies like using soap nut, ritha or shampoo to clean silk sarees at home. On trying them, we found that using soap nut was time-consuming and was not very effective in getting rid of stains. When we tried using shampoo on another occasion, we saw that it had caused the sarees’ colour to fade, and there was a definite dip in its lustre.
However, over time we have come up with a tried and tested method to clean our silk sarees gently without causing any damage to the fabric. To make your job easier, we have listed a step-by-step guide on how to clean silk sarees effortlessly at home.
You will need:
- Bucket/ Shallow tub
- Love & Care Shining Silks Expert Care Wash Liquid Detergent
- Cold Water
How to Wash Silk Sarees at Home
Always use Cold water
We have seen that cold/lukewarm water is best for washing a silk saree. The chances of heat damaging the fibres are higher when hot water is used.
Start with a Patch Test
Before washing the entire saree in one go, we suggest doing a patch test on the saree. All you have to do in a patch test is dip a cotton bud in a solution of silk washing detergent and water and rub it lightly on the inner seam of the saree. Then check if any colour comes on the cotton bud. This patch test will help check your silk saree for colour fastness and will also let you know whether it can withstand the cleaning agent or not. If the saree looks fine, then continue with the same cleaning method. Silk with colours that bleed must ideally be dry cleaned.
Create a Soaking Solution
Delicate silk sarees need a mild detergent that cleans effectively and makes them last for a long time. Silk being a natural protein fibre is almost as sensitive as the human skin. We have seen that just like our skin, even silk is extremely sensitive to abrasion. When washed with regular detergent, its fabric becomes brittle and damaged. All this indicated that our silk sarees needed extra care.
We tried Love & Care Shining Silks Expert Care Wash Liquid Detergent, a mild detergent specifically designed for silk fabric. On checking its label, we saw that it has a pH-neutral formula, that is formulated to be gentle on silk. Hence, even after repeated washes with the product, we saw that the shine and texture of the silk saree remained intact. Also, it has no enzymes and bleach, which ensures that the silk saree’s colour and strength are maintained.
Soak the Saree
We mixed a cap of Love & Care Shining Silks Expert Care Wash Liquid Detergent to half a bucket of water to prepare a solution. We then soaked our silk saree in this solution for only 5 minutes, as a prolonged soaking period may damage the fabric.
Take out the soaked silk saree and rinse it gently under cold water to eliminate all traces of the detergent. As Love & Care Shining Silks Expert Care Wash Liquid Detergent has a low foam formula , so we didn't have to rinse our saree excessively. This helps in preventing any damage that could occur to the delicate fabric due to over rinsing.
Take these Precautionary Measures after Rinsing
Never brush or rub your saree, even gently, as this could make the threads of the saree spring out - a disaster you definitely want to avoid. Also refrain from wringing or twisting the saree as it could create permanent wrinkles.
Avoid Drying Under Direct Sunlight
Hang your saree on a clothesline or rack without placing it under direct sunlight. Ensure they are placed inside out while drying. If possible, you can even towel dry the saree first so that the water drains off quickly.
Store with Care
We suggest not to store silk sarees with other fabrics. We use a muslin cloth to wrap our sarees or place them in saree covers to avoid friction with different materials that will, in turn, damage the silk and cause tears.
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