Making Yellowed Silk White Again

by Julia Woodbury
(last updated November 16, 2020)

2

The problem with silk, especially old silk, is that it is too delicate to withstand machine washing or harsh chemical treatments. You're afraid that bleach will be too harsh, and your fears are probably correct. So what do you do instead?

One option that departs from the norm is to soak the silk article overnight with denture tablets. Just fill a sink, bathtub, or bowl with warm water, plop in two denture tablets, allow them to dissolve, and then add the silk. If you are planning to use this on an especially important or sentimental piece of silk, you will probably want to test the method on a less loved silk article, just to be sure that the tablets you chose and the water type that you have in your area will not create problems for the silk.

Another method for whitening yellowed silk is to mix together the following ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of water softener
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 pint of warm water

Wet your silk article and then dip it into the solution or gently sponge the mixture onto the silk. Gently work the solution into the fabric, repeatedly dipping or sponging on the solution as needed. Rinse the silk with warm water and then allow the article to air dry.

If you are working with a large piece (an entire wedding dress, for example) you may wish to get it professionally cleaned, otherwise you will have to multiply the amount of denture tables or vinegar, water softener, salt, and water that you use. Consider allowing larger pieces to soak in the solution for a longer period of time depending on the severity of the yellowing.

Happy silk whitening!

Author Bio

Julia Woodbury

Julia Woodbury is a recent graduate of Brigham Young University. She delights in the written word and has interests in magazine writing and editing. ...

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What is four more than 3?

2021-02-18 16:07:19

Becky

what is meant by Water Softener? is this fabric softener or the salt tablets used in water softening for your home??


2021-02-08 23:13:41

Cindy Giambusso

What is water softener? I did google it but the search did not really provide clarity. Are there examples of products or brands that one can use. Thanks!


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