How to Wash a Silk Top
‘Cause only an idiot would dry clean one.

As far as household chores go I think it would be safe to say that laundry is my least favourite.   It’s a little known fact that laundry was invented by Ivan the Terrible as a form of human torture.  We don’t even need to clean our clothes.   I’m almost positive this is true.  I’d bet my 6th favourite pair of jeans on it.

Regardless, laundry  is the never ending chore that involves far too many steps for my taste.  There’s the sorting, the washing, the drying, the sticking more in the washing machine, the running out of soap, the folding, the smashing it all into already over-stuffed drawers.  And repeat.  10 or 12 times.  Doing laundry makes me want to pull my own teeth out and scratch at my eyeballs with the jagged roots.

That is why when my fella first moved in with me I formulated a plan.  He is a boy, and thusly … very easy to trick.  About 2 weeks after he moved in I stopped doing laundry.  Entirely.  I didn’t mention it and I certainly didn’t ask him to do it.  I just dove head-first into a full-on, secret work stoppage.   The laundry mounted.  With a 6’4″ frame, he’s kindda big and has clothes to match, so with a few pairs of jeans a laundry hamper is almost full   Add in several pair of size 13 socks and we had a mountain of laundry in no time.  You know what happened next?

He did the laundry.  And promptly ruined my favourite red dress.

I sucked up the loss and let him continue to do the laundry, which he still does to this day.

I’m still responsible for the delicates and cashmere.  Which brings me to the reason for this post.  Even though I hate doing laundry, I hate paying someone else to do it even more.   So I’ve pretty much figured out what I can wash myself and what needs to go to the dry cleaners.  Wool winter coats and men’s dress shirts go to the dry cleaners.  Everything gets washed here.

That includes items that say “dry clean only”, like silk shirts.   And here’s how to do it ….

Washing Silk


How to wash a silk shirt in the washing machine. ‘Cause it works! Usually.

O.K. Why did I post this video showcasing my massive failure? Because doing anything else would be a lie and there’s enough lies on the Internet. And because every other time I have washed silk in the washing machine it’s turned out perfectly. In order to figure “stuff” out you have to be prepared for setbacks, failures and not getting it right 100% of the time. Right? right? Does anyone have a tooth root handy?


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  2. Roberta says:

    Wonderful! I needed some laughs this morning.

    I have a question for you all. How do I get underarm sweat stains out of my favorite silk shirt? I love it so and don’t want to throw it out. So many creative replies, I’m hoping for someone who knows.

    • Karen says:

      HI Roberta. Oooo I’m not sure about that one. And as you can see this time machine washing didn’t go very well, lol. I can tell you that Oxyclean is great for sweat stains as is a mixture of Hydrogen peroxide, water and Dawn dish detergent. But with silk I’d be a bit frightened. ~ karen!

  3. Janice says:

    I only came here cos my sister gave me a used coat that said dry clean only. As to the all comments about the vacuum, and ironing, my son came up with an idea. When he wants to get rid of wrinkles, he takes a damp towel and throws it in the dryer with the shirt/pants, and viola! No wrinkles. When I got him that As Seen On TV steam buddy (where you wet the sponge and insert into the football-shaped plastic thing), he used it once and tossed it; it doesn’t work. As a teen, my mom had me ironing pillow cases to ease the load of ironing a mountain of clothes every week. They were starched, too. Nowadays, the ol’ iron is retired, like me.

  4. June Tang says:

    Dry clean, hand wash, machine wash. Done it all. And then I tried dry cleaning sheets. At first, I used Dryel but got tired of fussing with the special bag and the stain/spot remover bottle. So, after doing a bit of research, I discovered Dry Cleaner’s Secret and – praise dee lord!!! – no more more hand washing and no more dry cleaning except when the item is very badly soiled or if its a winter coat. Just toss about 4 pieces of clothes plus 1 sheet into the dryer for 20 minutes and that’s it, you are done. In fact, I even cut the sheet in half and do two loads hehehe :)

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The Art of Doing Stuff