Can I wash Sarees in a Washing machine?

Sarees are gentle and delicate. Most Indian women own atleast few if not many. With proper care and attention, sarees can be preserved for ages and passed on to generations without losing its lustre or freshness. A Saree should be either delicately hand washed or dry cleaned. Follow the directions below to make your Sarees last longer and look as good as new.

Never wash a silk saree in the washing machine. If you choose to wash the saree yourself then conduct a test by first washing  a small corner of the saree to check if the colour runs. Keep the following tips in mind –

  • Do not use detergent in the first couple of washes.
  • After 3-4 plain water washes, use a mild detergent to wash the saree. Do not keep the sari soaked in the detergent for long.
  • Try to wash the pallu separately as colours of the pallu differ from those on the saree.
  • Do not bundle it in a wet state and keep for a long time.
  • While ironing, take particular note on the temperature settings. Make sure to choose the correct one.
  • It is recommended that silk sarees be ironed between two pieces of white cloth.
    It is not recommended to wet the saree prior to ironing or to use a steam iron.
  • Only pre-washed silk is washable. Read the label before venturing!

Cotton can be easily washed. This fabric can withstand high temperatures (boiling water does not hurt the fibre). Any good detergent can be used to wash cotton. Chlorine bleach can be used safely on white cotton sarees. Use color safe bleach on dyed cottons. In addition, this fabric may need frequent ironing. However, cotton fabric can be treated with a wrinkle resistant finish to create a more resilient fabric/garment. The label will tell you if this finish has been applied. A higher heat setting is needed in the clothes dryer to dry cotton. Cotton will take much longer to dry than less absorbent fibres. Cotton sarees can be ironed with a hot iron, and does not scorch easily.

Some linen sarees are washable, while others are dry clean only. Washable linen can be washed easily and becomes softer with use. White linen sarees should be dried in the sun, if to help them to retain their whiteness.

Acrylic, nylon and polyester micro-fibre sarees are machine washable, machine dryable or dry cleanable. Most items made from nylon can be machined washed and tumbled dried at low temperatures. Use warm water and add a fabric softener to the final rinse cycle. To minimize static electricity use a dyer sheet when machine drying. Remove the saree from the dyer as soon as the tumbling cycle is completed. If ironing is required, use a warm iron.

Treat your sarees well and they will serve you good 🙂


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