The Best Way To Clean Silk Furniture

Silk furniture can make an ordinary room instantly look luxurious. Add a touch of opulence in the living room with lavish silk upholstery, or splurge on a pair of floor-to-ceiling drapes in the dining room. If you really want to take your space to the next level, give silk wallpaper in your guest bathroom a try. No matter how you choose to use it, a little silk in your home can go a long way.

How To Clean Stuff says cleaning your silk furniture is absolutely necessary as part of regular maintenance for the life of your decor. It removes dead skin cells, oils, and dirt that accumulate on the fabric that can damage the fibers and cause odor. If you're not a skilled expert, cleaning silk furniture can be a very difficult, daunting task. Because the fabric is so delicate, it's difficult to clean without any damage if not done properly. Luckily, cleaning your silk furniture doesn't require any tools or special resources -– you may already have everything you need. 

Treat stains immediately

No matter how hard you try to prevent them, stains are practically inevitable (not to mention horrible), and stains on silk are even worse. To avoid permanent staining on your silk furniture, Biddle Sawyer Silks says to move quickly once a stain has occurred. The longer the stain sits, the more difficult it becomes to remove. Keep in mind that while you want to work quickly, you need to work gently as well. A small food stain is nothing compared to damaged silk (and the hefty price tag that comes with replacing it).

The best way to remove stains from silk furniture is with a cotton bud and a solution of 50% silk detergent and 50% water. To remove the stain, soak the cotton bud with the mixture and gently rub it onto the stained area working in a circular motion, then let air dry. If the stain persists, repeat the process.


If you're looking for a quick clean (or your upholstery doesn't require any serious stain-removal), Krostrade recommends vacuuming your silk furniture using the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner. The attachment makes cleaning tight spaces much easier and more effective at getting out all of that built-up debris. The best method for vacuuming your silk sofa is to work in sections, focusing on the spaces between seat cushions, as well as the cracks between the cushions and armrests.

Panda Silk says regularly vacuuming your silk furniture helps remove any dust and residue buildup on the silk's surface that can cause bacteria or foul odors (let's be honest -– dusty silk isn't luxurious). How often you should vacuum your silk furniture depends on how much use it gets, according to Slipcover Shop. For furniture that sees a lot of use, you may want to vacuum once or twice a week. For furniture that is seldom used, you can probably get away with vacuuming once a month.

Detergent and water

If your silk furniture does require more heavy-duty cleaning, Krostade says to use a 50/50 mixture of gentle detergent and cool or cold water. To use this method, start by vacuuming your furniture to remove any debris. Next, soak a soft cloth in the detergent and water mixture, and ring it out to get rid of excess liquid. Take the cloth and gently wipe the silk furniture, working in a circular motion. Make sure not to over-wet the fabric, or you'll end up with water stains. If you make a mistake and overdo it, give the spot a quick blast with your hair dryer on cool. Otherwise, let it air dry. 

It's important to note that Tide Cleaners does recommend testing a small area of the furniture before continuing on to the rest of the piece. While the solution may remove the stain, it can also remove the color, so be sure to do a patch test first.

White vinegar and water

For less stubborn stains, Panda Silk says an alternative to the detergent and water mix is to create a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and cold water. White vinegar is used to clean many surfaces because its acidic nature can dissolve dirt, grease, and grime, according to Healthline. White vinegar also has antibacterial properties, so you're cleaning and disinfecting at the same time.

Fill a spray bottle with the mixture and lightly spray onto your silk furniture, focusing on any areas that need a little extra TLC. Wait 10 minutes after you've finished spraying. Once the 10 minutes are up, use a soft cloth to rub the area, working in a circular motion. To remove any vinegar residue, rinse the soft cloth with cool water and gently wipe the fabric again. If you're in a hurry and need a faster dry, or you overdid it with the spray, use a hair dryer on cool. Otherwise, let the fabric air dry on its own.

Dry cleaners

If you've attempted to clean your silk furniture yourself and still can't get it to the pristine condition you'd like (or you ended up with water stains from dowsing the fabric with your detergent and water mixture), it may be time to take it to the dry cleaners. Kelly's Dry Cleaners says silk is one of the seven fabrics that should be dry cleaned because of its strong, natural fibers. If not done properly, you may end up washing the color out of the fabric or shrinking it altogether! So, if those stains aren't coming out, don't ruin the silk by adding more solution–just take it to the dry cleaners instead.

We know it may be frustrating to go through all the trouble of cleaning your silk furniture yourself just to end up taking it to the dry cleaners, but even we have to admit that sometimes you need to leave things to the pros. Jon Don says not all silk can be dry cleaned, so make sure you check if you can (and be sure your dry cleaner has the means to deal with furniture pieces).