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How to wash and care for silk?

Silk is a noble and relatively fragile natural fiber that can lose its quality when not properly cared for. This is what we want to avoid!

So, for you and thanks to you, we have explored all the possible and imaginable problems concerning the silk washing.

For the 100% silk pillowcase Benu Blanc, for the silk of the beauty linen, we recommend you :

  • Wash at 30°C, on the reverse side, delicate program.
  • Use preferably a liquid detergent (avoid powdered detergent) special wool/silk, avoid any detergent containing enzymes.
  • It is advisable to add a small amount of fabric softener to avoid greasing and/or weighing down the fabric, in order to restore the softness of silk.
  • Avoid loading the machine to the maximum. Spread the pillowcase as soon as the cycle is finished.
  • Silk can be ironed on the reverse side, still wet or using a "pattemouille".
  • Dry naturally, no direct sunlight.

But here are more details on silk washing...

Is it possible to wash silk in the machine? Yes, you can machine wash silk, but not all silks

There is no standard answer for machine washing: it depends on the silk. Some silks are too fragile to be machine washed. How do you find your way around? The silk that will withstand a machine wash is a silk with a density greater than 19 mumms. But what is a momme? It is a Japanese unit of measurement of the density of silk. 1 momme = 4.4 grams per square meter. This is a first indicator: the higher the density of your silk fabric, the higher the number of mommes, the better it will resist in machine.

For beauty silk, the density is 25 mums: yes, you can machine wash your Benu Blanc silk pillowcase.

Beauty silk can be machine washed: on which program?

Delicate program, even special silk. Why? Because silk is a natural fiber. In a machine, there is a mechanical action when the machine turns. The higher the number of revolutions, the more likely the natural fibers are to be broken. Therefore, use the lowest possible RPM or a delicate wash program.

For the silk of the beauty linen, the Benu Blanc silk, a delicate program is perfect. And as with many textiles, we recommend that you wash your silk pillowcase inside out to keep it as long as possible.

At what temperature should silk be washed?

Preferably at 30° maximum or cold, again to respect the natural fiber. What happens if you turn up the temperature? We have done tests: to make a silk rough, without hesitation you can wash it at 60°C. There it is sure, you lose the softness of the silk! So it is necessary to remain reasonable on the temperature.

Cold wash or 30°c, it will be fine for your 100% pure silk Benu White pillowcase.

Yes but there are stains on my silk pillowcase: how to remove them?

Mascara stain? we know... We did our makeup, with a long lasting foundation, kohl and mascara. Then, good night! we put all night our pretty face well made up on the pillowcase*. In the morning, there was a lot of stains on our silk pillowcase (we try hard to do tests at Benu Blanc ;-) ). So after, what did we do? We first tried with a spray of anti-stain spray of a big brand, then washing at 30°c with our usual detergent. But the stains are not gone. Rage and despair... what to do? we consulted a grandmother (it's true!) and she told us: "but why not rub the pillowcase with dry white soap (like Marseille soap)?" to which we replied: "what? with our little hands?" Well, yes, we put a little dry soap, we rubbed the mascara stain and then we washed the pillowcase in the machine. The miracle happened: the stain is gone! The "terre de Sommières" can also be very effective.

So you can put some dry white soap and gently rub the ugly stain that disfigures your silk pillowcase, before washing. Resistant, the Benu White silk will support the rubbing.

*It is important to always remember to remove your makeup before going to bed! This step is fundamental to keep a healthy skin.

What detergent should I use to wash my silk and my 100% silk pillowcase?

This is a very good question because an unsuitable detergent could alter your silk forever! The important thing is to use a gentle detergent. There are special detergents for wool and silk. They are special because they respect the natural fibers. They are often very good detergents. What you should absolutely avoid are detergents that contain enzymes: enzymes attack natural fibers. And the problem is that we wash our clothes at 30°c, whereas ten years ago we used to wash our clothes at 50°c or even 60°c. So laundry manufacturers had to find effective detergents at 30°C, and some opted for enzymes. It is very good on polyester and synthetic fibers, but it is very bad on natural fibers such as wool and silk.

To wash your 100% silk Benu Blanc pillowcase, we recommend a soft detergent without enzymes, or a special wool/silk detergent.

Running out of detergent? A little tip: a delicate fabric like silk fabric can also be washed with shampoo. And yes, your hair is a natural fiber too!

Can I use fabric softener to wash the silk pillowcase? With Benu White silk yes you can

It depends on the silk. Yes, with the silk of the beauty linen, you can put a little fabric softener because the Benu Blanc silk is matte and it does not turn gray. This will keep your silk pillowcase soft. Plus, if like us you wash your silk pillowcase with the family laundry, you can continue to put on that little cap of fabric softener that you like.

If you have a shiny and satiny silk, then be careful, the fabric softener could grease your silk, or even create marks that, once ironed, will not go away. If you have a silk dress or pillowcase made of fine, shiny, satiny silk, we recommend that you be careful and avoid fabric softener.

Can you bleach silk? Well, that's a definite no! No bleach, no chlorine for this natural fiber

No, the answer is categorical, and you will immediately understand why: bleaching agents (bleach, chlorine, etc.) attack fibers, especially natural fibers. Silk is a natural fiber, so if you use a bleaching agent, you damage it. So, don't use bleaching detergents on your 100% pure silk Benu White pillowcase.

Do I need a water softener to wash silk? My water is hard, is it serious?

It is always better to have a water softener, for sure. For the respect of the linen in general, it is better. Now, we have done many, many tests with and without a water softener, hard and soft water... the silk of the linen normally does not change its touch. If it does change its feel, the problem is the wash temperature or the number of revolutions per minute. If you have a fine, shiny, satiny silk, it will be more of a problem. But for Benu White silk, we have seen in practice that hard water does not damage the fabric. If your water is really hard, put a little bit of appropriate anti-hardness product such as borax.

Can a silk pillowcase be tumbled in the dryer? The question is much debated!

Theoretically, no. But this question is debated in our team. For most silks, the dryer is a very bad idea because silk is too fragile. So we put on our labels that we should not tumble dry silk. However, Fanny and Marie (the co-founder and our customer service manager) still put their Benu Blanc silk pillowcases in the dryer, and have done so for over three years. Fanny even says it makes her silk pillowcases softer. So there you have it, officially no we don't recommend tumble drying silk, but off the record we'll tell you that in fact it can be done. And that doesn't take away the beauty properties of the silk pillowcase, properties that are intrinsic to the fiber.

But then how do I dry my silk pillowcase if it doesn't (theoretically) fit in the dryer?

Naturally, like "hair in the wind", on a drying rack. But be careful in the sun. The sun = UV rays. That's why one of Grandma's other tricks is to put the laundry in the sun to remove stubborn stains: UV rays break up, shatter and make certain stains disappear. But the same is true for silk, a natural fiber. If you let it dry for hours in the sun, it gets damaged, it dries out, and becomes rough.

Drying on a radiator: ouch ouch, this is not recommended. Always for a question of natural fiber. Drying on a radiator damages the fibers and also makes the silk rough. To be avoided!

My silk is all wrinkled: what to do?

There is one very important thing (and quite logical even if few people know it): if you fill your machine, if there is a lot of laundry inside, then all your laundry comes out crumpled and full of wrinkles. An overloaded machine makes your laundry super wrinkled when it comes out. So first, you need a reasonable fill, preferably between the half load and the normal load.

Next, you need to take out your silk pillowcase as soon as the machine is done running. And yes, as with many textiles, if you let the laundry start to dry in the machine the wrinkles will be much more difficult to remove! So remember to take your laundry out as soon as the machine cycle is finished. Moreover, silk having this incredible property of being hydrophobic, it will dry faster than the others.

Silk and ironing: is it possible or not?

Yes, of course! You can iron your Benu White silk pillowcase. Special silk ironing, moderate temperature, and preferably when your silk is still a little wet. You can also use a pattemouille, that is to say, put a wet cloth on the silk for ironing.

Let's move on to the exceptional case: Can silk pilling occur?

It is very rare, but pilling can happen in very special circumstances. Pilling is caused by friction on the silk threads. If the fiber is damaged (for example by washing with too high RPM), then yes, with time the fiber will tend to create small pilling. Another factor that will lead to a damaged fiber is detergents with enzymes, as we mentioned above. And finally, the rare case: the person super-charged with static electricity. We've only seen this once, and we think this person is a superhero: she has permanent static electricity problems (but really a lot, not like normal people who once in a while wear a wool sweater). Extremely rare!

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