How to Clean Silk Upholstery Fabric

pink silk image by Roslen Mack from

Things You'll Need

  • Mild laundry detergent
  • White vinegar
  • Cloth
  • Towel

Silk fabric is made of natural protein threads which contribute to its strength and lustrous appearance. These qualities make it an attractive choice for upholstery. Silk requires special care when cleaning to avoid damaging the fabric. It should be hand-washed with mild detergent for the best results.

Removable Fabric

Fill a large sink or tub with warm water and small amount of mild detergent. Any mild, non-alkaline detergent will work.

Add the silk to the wash water and agitate gently using your hands. Drain out the wash water.

Fill the sink or tub with cold water and a small splash of white vinegar. This will help remove any soap residue from the fabric. Swirl the silk around in the water to rinse. Drain and run cold water over the silk to ensure all of the soap is gone.

Press the fabric gently against the sides of the tub or sink to get rid of any excess water. Hang over a clothesline or shower curtain rod to air dry.

Spot-cleaning Silk Fabric

Dampen a cloth with cool water add two or three drops of mild detergent.

Dab the dirty area with the damp cloth. Press lightly multiple times to remove any stains. Do not rub, as this can cause color fading or damage to the fabric.

Rinse the cloth in cool water to remove any soap residue. Wring it out and dab the area you just cleaned. Repeat as often as necessary to remove every trace of soap.

Press a dry towel onto the silk fabric to soak up any excess water. Allow to air dry.


  • Always test a hidden spot of fabric for colorfastness.

    Never add bleach to the wash water.


About the Author

Melissa Rae has been a writer since 2008, specializing in home-and-garden, business, technology and education topics. Rae holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Herzing University.

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