LAUNDRY

Washing silk sarees at home in 7 steps

Washing silk clothes like sarees at home is possible when you follow this seven-step process.

Your favourite silk saree needs a clean but you’d prefer not to take it to the professionals. Well, we have good news for you! You might be surprised to learn that washing silk sarees at home is possible – it just takes a bit of care and know-how. This step-by-step guide to silk saree washing at home shows you how to look after your precious clothing and keep it looking fabulous.

Essential checklist when washing silk sarees at home

Before you do anything else, you’ll want to tick off these three key steps when washing silk sarees at home. They will ensure you do no damage to your special saree.

  • Read the care label: First things first, check the label to find out how the saree can be washed. Silk clothes that say ‘dry clean only’ should not go in your hand wash pile! You can have a go at dry cleaning silk sarees at home – we’ll come to that later.
  • Do a colourfast check: To avoid colours draining out of your saree or mixing together, dampen a small area of the inside seam or hem with water. Then iron on a piece of kitchen paper or white fabric. The saree isn’t colourfast if the paper or fabric soaks up any colour. You might want to check the other colours in it too.
  • Go for mild products: When washing silk clothes you’ll want gentle detergents, not bleaches or harsh stain removers. Be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle and take any recommended safety precautions. If it’s the first time you’re using a product, test on a small, inconspicuous area.

A step-by-step guide to silk saree washing at home

Silk requires tender loving care but washing silk clothes needn’t fill you with dread. You just need the right products and the correct approach … as this easy-to-follow process shows you:

  1. Fill a large container (a tub, basin or bucket) with lukewarm or cool water – go with the temperature recommended on the saree’s care label. Mix in a few drops of gentle detergent.
  2. Submerge your saree and soak for up to five minutes – make sure you don’t leave it in for too long.
  3. Replace the water with a fresh batch of cool water, with a quarter cup of white vinegar added to help remove all of the detergent from the saree.
  4. Drain the water again and re-fill your tub with fresh water mixed with a few drops of mild fabric conditioner like Comfort for another short soak. This is an optional step, but by adding it to the process you will help reduce the wear and tear of washing on your silk clothes.
  5. Rinse the saree in fresh, cool water until all traces of product have been removed.
  6. Place the saree flat on a clean, dry towel and roll it up, gently pressing to soak up any excess water.
  7. Either hang up the saree to air dry (away from direct sunlight) or lay it flat on a fresh towel to dry.

What about dry cleaning silk sarees at home?

It is possible to dry clean silk clothes at home. You can buy specialist kits from general stores and supermarkets which contain a nylon bag, stain remover, specialist cloths and instructions.

  • Typically, the first step is to pre-treat the lightly stained area.
  • Then you usually place your garment with the provided cloth in the special bag and put it into a tumble dryer for a specified amount of time.
  • The final step when dry cleaning silk sarees at home is to hang up the garment to let the wrinkles fall out. Alternatively, you might choose to use a steam cleaner to remove creases.

Now that you’ve learned all about silk saree washing at home you can choose whether hand washing silk clothes or dry cleaning silk sarees at home is the best option for you. Follow our checklist and step-by-step guide and you’ll be able to look your best at special occasions without needing to call in the professionals!  

Top Tip


When hand washing silk clothes it’s important not to soak them for too long – five minutes is plenty of time to get the stains out. It’s also vital to use gentle detergents and give your special saree a boost by adding a short fabric conditioner soak to the process.    

Key Steps


Remember these three important steps when washing silk sarees at home and you’ll be able to protect your delicate clothing:

  • Check the care label and do a colourfast test
  • Only soak for five minutes in a mild detergent
  • Gently pat and roll in a towel before hanging or laying flat to dry