How to wash silk and satin sheets

Caring for Satin Sheets

  • Satin sheets require more care than regular cotton sheets, particularly when it comes to washing.
  • General care: Sheets made of silk or nylon should be shielded from the sun, so if you have a bright sunny room, go for acetate or polyester satin.  However, if you intend to use massage oil, nylon may be your best bet because polyester doesn't hold up as well.

Washing: Washing and drying your sheets depend on the material:
(Note: It's best to just dry-clean satin bedspreads and satin comforters.  They are impossible to hand-wash, and bunch up too much in a washer)

  • Acetate: Most woven acetate sheets should be dry-cleaned only, although you can usually hand-wash with an appropriate cleaner like Woolite in room temperature water.  Heat is the enemy of acetate - do not use a dryer, even on delicate.  Be careful when hand-wringing out water, never twist too hard as the material can tear or pull apart.
  • Polyester: Polyester is pretty much the most durable material.  Similar care to nylon, but safe to line dry.  Again, to avoid pilling, hand-wash when possible.
  • Nylon: Nylon is fairly durable, and is generally machine washable, even in a normal cycle.  Use warm or cool water only, and go light on detergent.  Never use bleach.  Safe to use the dryer on lowest heat setting.  Do not line dry nylon sheets, because the sun is nylon's enemy.   Over a long time washing and drying nylon satin leads to pilling, so you may want to consider hand-washing your sheets in the bathtub if you can.
  • Silk: Treat pretty much the same as acetate, but be careful about line-drying as silk is more sensitive to sun-damage.  Also, because silk is usually very thin, be especially careful when wringing out.