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Can I Use Clorox2 On Silk?


Can I use Clorox2 on silk?


This is a simple question that actually benefits from a somewhat involved answer.  Usually, any garment or fabric that can be safely washed with detergent can also be washed with Clorox2®.  But I hesitate to say that this applies to any and all silk items because there are so many variables that could affect the outcome.


First, there’s silk the fiber.  It naturally has less fiber strength when it’s wet compared to when it’s dry.  That means it has to be handled very carefully and gently when hand washing, and wringing and twisting should be avoided.  Silk fibers also can elongate more when they are wet, and they don’t necessarily recover to their original size once dry.  This makes it more difficult to maintain the original shape and appearance of an item, even with careful hand washing.  Second, there’s the construction of the garment itself—is it prone to shrinkage?  Third, there’s the dye and surface finishes that may be altered by any water-based cleaning solution.  Water spotting is one example of this.


Unless an item is specifically labeled machine or hand washable (either is not very common), it’s a gamble to see how well the silk stands up to the mechanics of the wash process.  For these reasons, we generally don’t recommend Clorox2® for use on silk.


I hope this information is useful.  If you have any other questions, please let me know, and thank you for writing!


–Dr. Laundry

Advice From Our Experts