How Do I Wash And Maintain Silk Saris?

If you’re seeking for an answer to the correct way to wash and maintain silk saris, you’re at the right place. Silk sarees are expensive. Aren’t they? Even those Bhagalpuri silk sarees which are very reasonably priced deserve special care and maintenance to make them last longer.

Moreover, when you buy a saree, you stay true to your Indian roots and want to keep it in your wardrobe and wear more than once (in actual, hundreds of times). I don’t want to burst your bubble, but it takes effort.

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All those garments your mother pulls out of her 30-year old trunk and that shine new-like exists not because of their quality but because of the care and maintenance. If you want to do the same with what you’re buying these days, you need to spare some time to read this.

silk saris

Washing Instructions For Silk Saris

  1. For a new saree: Prefer not to use soap in the first few washes (precisely, first three). Just dip the saree in cold water and take it out. It’s enough.
  2. What detergent to use for subsequent washes:  A mild one. Don’t fall for those detergents that advertise of “Removes toughest stains and so on.” Such detergents are, in fact, harsh on the fabric and may weaken its threads. Using a fabric conditioner after the wash is a good idea.
  3. Do’s and Dont’s of washing: Don’t wash it with other bright colored fabrics. If possible, wash the sari separately. If you’re dealing with highly expensive silk,  wash the border, pallu, and blouse separately.  Don’t use a washing machine.
  4. Remember not to brush the saree. It will peel off the zari thread and in most cases, make it unwearable afterward.
  5. Once you’re finished with washing, don’t wring it or let it stay wet for long. Immediately, start the drying process as follows.

Dry-cleaning is a great option for cleaning silk saris. However, considering its cost in India, you may not find it an economical option for all your sarees. For extremely expensive saris, stick to dry-cleaning else, follow the washing instructions mentioned above.

Drying Instructions For Silk Saris

  1. Immediately begin the process after washing the saree.
  2. As already mentioned, you must not wring it. The alternative solution here is to lightly roll the saree in a dry white towel and let the towel absorb the excess water.
  3. Then, take a padded hanger and let the saree dry.
  4. Let it dry in the shade and always, avoid putting the saree to dry in direct sunlight.

Ironing Instructions For Silk Saris

  1. Use medium heat to iron.
  2. Prefer a steam iron.

Taking care of stains

  • The best way to get rid of stains is to dry-clean. If you don’t want to opt for dry-cleaning, use petrol and soft brush for stain removal.
  • If you ever end up spilling your nail paint on the fabric, the easiest way to get it off is to use the basic nail paint remover.
  • If you end up spilling oil or any oil-based liquid on the sari, cover up the affected area with talcum powder and then wash the saree like usual.

Storage

  1. Ensure to store the silk fabric separately, tucked away from fabrics like cotton, polyester, etc.
  2. To maintain your sari for a long time, cover it with a muslin or white cotton cloth and then place it safely in your wardrobe.
  3. Always store your saris in a dark place to avoid discoloration.
  4. Use a hangar to put them in your cupboard.

maintaining silk sarees using cotton fabric

Bonus Tips

  • Protein shampoo is the best washing agent you can use in place of a detergent. The protein shampoo will feed the protein in silk and make it look shiny and gorgeous.

There you go! These are all the tried and tested tips right from my mother’s knowledge base who has successfully saved a silk sari for 35 years (and counting) for my marriage. Obviously, she got it in her wedding trousseau. If you think I missed any tips, then add them up in the comments. Thanks.

Author: Brijraj

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