How to Wash Satin Sheets Properly in 3 Simple Steps

You need to be very careful when washing your satin bed sheets because satin is a type of weave – not a raw fabric – which means that your satin bed sheets could be made from a range of materials that include natural fibers like silk or man-made fibers like polyester.

To wash your satin bed sheets properly, follow the instructions on the label to check the washing temperature, wash cycle, if hand washing or dry cleaning is required, if tumble drying is allowed, and then wash and dry the sheets as directed – do NOT wring out your satin sheets because this can tear them.

The rest of this article explains how to wash and dry your satin sheets properly in 3 steps.

How to Wash Satin Bed Sheets in 3 Steps

To wash your satin sheets the most important step is to follow the instructions on the label and then follow these guidelines exactly to avoid damaging the material.

Here’s the exact 3-step process broken down in more detail:

1: Prepare to Wash Your Satin Sheets

Before you do any actual washing, there are a few preparatory steps that you should take to make the whole process a lot more effective and less likely to cause damage to your sheets.

They are as follows.

Follow the Instructions On the Label

This step trumps anything in this guide.

It’s absolutely crucial that you check the label for your bed sheets and follow the instructions because they are specific to your sheet.

The label should tell you the temperature that you should use for washing, the type of wash cycle, if hand washing applies, or if the item needs to be taken to the dry cleaners.

You should also be able to find out if the sheet can be tumble dried; the appropriate heat setting, and if a delicate setting must be used.

The ironing guidelines will tell you if the sheets can be ironed and the appropriate heat setting.

There may be additional information in regards to if bleaching can or cannot be used, the potential use of non-chlorinated bleach, and if fabric softeners should be avoided.

Identify the Materials

Hopefully, the label will also tell you the type of materials used to make your satin sheets.

If your sheets are made from polyester or nylon then the label will more than likely say that you can machine wash and tumble dry them on very specific settings.

But if the sheets contain silk, then the label will probably specify hand-washing and then hang-drying out of direct sunlight – and you should check my guide to washing silk bed sheets for more specific guidance.

If the label doesn’t tell you what material is used – simply follow the instructions on the label.

If the label is missing – then you should err on the side of caution and go with the directions for hand-washing and hang-drying outlined below.

2: Wash Your Satin Sheets

The next step is to begin washing.

Regardless of whether you are hand washing or machine washing your satin sheets, be sure to wash them alone to avoid abrasion with other materials that could damage the fibers and also prevent dyes from running.

How to Wash Satin Sheets by Hand

If your satin sheets are made from silk or another delicate material, the label will more than likely specify that you need to hand wash them.

You should also follow the instructions below if the label is missing from your satin sheets because hand washing is more gentle than machine washing and is the least likely to damage the fibers.

  • Use a container that allows your sheets to be washed spaciously – if you’re going to use the bathtub make sure that it’s clean and doesn’t contain any bleach residues or other chemicals that could harm your sheets.
  • Fill the container up with either cold or lukewarm water – see the label for the exact temperature (usually below 30° Celsius/86° Fahrenheit).
  • Unless the label states that you cannot use any form of detergent, apply an appropriate measure of a detergent that can be used with satin or silk sheets.
  • Place the sheets in the water – do not wash alongside any other garments.
  • Move the sheets around in the water gently.
  • Do NOT scrub, twist, wring, or rub the sheets since this can damage the fibers – wet satin is also liable to tear.
  • Only wash for a FEW MINUTES – any longer is unnecessary and could lead to degradation of the fibers.
  • The last step before drying is to remove the sheets from the tub, drain out the water, refill it with cool water, and rinse your sheets by hand to remove all of the detergent from the fabric.

How to Wash Satin Sheets in the Machine

If you have synthetic satin bed sheets then the label will more than likely say that you can machine wash your sheets.

If the label is missing, then you should use the hand washing technique listed above unless you are 100% certain that the material is suitable for machine washing.

Otherwise, follow the guidelines below.

  • Read the label to confirm that machine washing is allowed.
  • Place your satin sheets in the wash by themselves.
  • Unless the label states that detergents must not be used, place an appropriate measure of a satin friendly detergent into the machine.
  • Select the ‘delicate’ or ‘hand wash’ cycle – go for the one with the shortest spin cycle.
  • Wash using the temperature specified on the label – which will more than likely be no more than 30° Celsius/86° Fahrenheit.

3: Dry Your Satin Sheets

Never wring out your satin sheets because wet satin can tear easily.

Instead, to remove any excess water, gently press them between two towels on a flat surface.

You should hang-dry your satin sheets out of direct sunlight to avoid damaging the fibers.

If the label says that you can tumble dry your satin sheets then the instructions will more than likely specify a low heat on the shortest possible spin cycle – consider removing the sheets when 80% dry to minimise damage and shrinkage.

Washing Satin Bed Sheets FAQ

Even if your satin sheets can be washed in the machine, I’d recommend hand-washing them if you have the time and patience because it’s the best way to preserve the quality of the fabric and extend their lifespan.

Here’s some of the answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding washing, drying, ironing, and removing stains from your satin bed sheets.

How Do You Get Stains Out of Satin Sheets?

Because of the huge range of potential stains and the differing materials that satin sheets can be made from, the safest way to remove stains from your satin sheets is to take them to a dry cleaners for specific advice.

But if you’re going to do it yourself, you’ll want to spot treat the stains BEFORE you follow the general washing guidelines listed above.

I’ve already written a detailed guide to removing specific stains from satin sheets which you might like to read first.

Otherwise, salt water is the mildest homemade spot cleaning solution that I’ve come across for the general treatment of stains on satin sheets – including blood [1].

Guidelines from WikiHow are as follows.

  • Check the label to ensure that the material is washable (as opposed to dry cleaning only).
  • Blot away any excess – use a colourless cloth to stop any dye from running and do NOT rub aggressively at the stain because this can damage the fibers and push the stain in even more.
  • Add 4 tablespoons of table salt to a gallon of cold water in a bucket and move the water around so that the salt will dissolve.
  • Soak the stained satin sheets in the salt water solution for an hour or more.
  • Gently wash and dry the sheets as normal using one of the above washing methods (hand or machine wash).
  • If the stain remains, soak the satin sheets in a mixture of cold water and a bleach-free laundry detergent for 30-60 minutes.
  • Rinse the sheets in cold water.
  • Let the sheets air dry – hang dry out of direct sunlight (don’t wring out your satin sheets because this could cause damage – gently press them between two towels on a flat surface to remove excess moisture).

Can You Iron Satin Sheets?

You can iron your satin sheets if the label says that you can.

Depending on the exact type of material used, you’ll probably find that the manufacturer’s instructions will allow you to iron your satin sheets on a low heat.

Move the iron quickly across the material using long, smooth strokes, and avoid heavy pressure to minimise the chance of any heat damage to your sheets.

Can You Machine Wash Satin Sheets?

If your satin sheets are made from polyester or nylon then the label will often say that you can wash your satin sheets in the washing machine, whilst silk-satin bed sheets will often need to be hand washed.

Be sure to check the label to see if this is the case for your sheets and to find out the exact temperature and cycle settings.

Then follow the guidelines listed earlier in this article.

How Often Should You Wash Satin Sheets?

If you’re sleeping on them each night, make sure that you wash your satin bed sheets once every 2 weeks.

The standard advice for washing your bed sheets is to do this every week, but because satin is both delicate and typically more resistant to ambient allergens like pollen and dust then washing them less often is an option.

However, if you have bad allergies then weekly washing may be better and purchasing a pure mulberry silk bed sheet set might be a better option because raw silk is hypoallergenic and resistant to many allergens.

Do Satin Bed Sheets Fade?

Satin bed sheets may fade.

To minimise fading, be sure to wash your sheets using the correct method and don’t dry them in direct sunlight because the UV rays can damage the fibers.

Do Satin Bed Sheets Wrinkle?

Some satin sheets may wrinkle more than others depending on the type of fibers they are made from.

As a general rule, natural materials like silk and cotton will wrinkle more than synthetic materials like polyester – especially if the sheet is very thin.

If the label says that you can, ironing your satin sheets and then hanging them should get rid of most of the wrinkles.

When Should You Buy a New Satin Bed Sheet?

Depending on the material used, you should expect your satin sheets to last at least 1-3 years – typically longer.

If you’re ready to buy a new satin bed sheet then click the button below.

And you can see my reviews for the best satin bed sheet sets that you can buy online right now.

Sources and References

[1] WikiHow – How to Remove Blood from Satin Sheets. Accessed 4/2/20.

Important Disclaimer

Always check the label and/or care instructions for the exact terms for washing and drying your bed sheets properly – the information in this post is general and may not be correct for your bed sheets.

Image Licencing and Attribution

Main image: ‘Bed With Satin Bed Cover’ by Katarzyna Bialasiewicz – used with permission under Canva’s One Design Use License Agreement.