How to Properly Wash & Dry Satin Pillowcases

Keep your satin pillowcase feeling soft by washing and caring for it with these methods.

Published January 4, 2023
Bed with beautiful silky linens in stylish room interior

You saw a satin sheet set on clearance, so you had to try it. It was a bit of a slippery learning curve, but you're enjoying the feel of your satin pillow hugging you every night. But what do you do on laundry day?

Thankfully, you can easily wash satin pillowcases at home. Get the knowhow to wash your satin pillowcases with ease. Since there is a bit of a trick to throwing them in the washer, you can hand wash them if you want as well.

Foolproof Method to Machine Wash a Satin Pillowcase

Unless you have a magic wand or a dry cleaner on standby, there're only two ways you can wash a satin pillowcase at home (after checking the label to make sure it's not dry-clean only).

Does that mean you can just pop it in the washer and hope for the best? No. There are things you need to do to prepare your satin for the washer. Preparing it properly ensures your satin comes out as velvety soft as it felt when it went in. Because what's a satin pillowcase if your head doesn't slide off it?

Spot Treat Stains

Stains are going to happen on your pillowcases. From a bloody nose in the night to makeup, your pillowcase will see it all. Try these tricks to spot treat any stains on your satin pillowcases.

Stain Cleaners Method
Blood Detergent
White vinegar

Dab with detergent, soak 1 hour, blot with white vinegar.

Makeup Rubbing alcohol

Blot, rinse, soak 1 hour.

Oils Flour
Enzyme cleaner

Cover stain with flour 1 hour, vacuum up and spray with enzyme cleaner.

How to Prepare a Satin Pillowcase for the Washer

Double check that your pillowcase isn't dry-clean only. Pillowcases made of polyester can go in the washer just fine. If it's made from other materials, it'll cause a problem. Once you're sure it's okay for the washer, you'll need to do a few quick things.

  • Turn it inside out. That way, the part that touches your head isn't getting the agitation.
  • Grab a mesh laundry bag (a cotton pillowcase works in a pinch).
  • Check for any loose threads or pilling on the pillowcase (opt for handwashing if you notice any).
  • Only wash satin pillowcases with other satin bedding sets or alone.
  • Use a white cloth to test colorfastness to ensure it doesn't bleed. Get the hem wet and blot with a white cloth. If color comes off, consider dry cleaning.

Instructions to Machine Wash Pillowcase

Once your pillowcase is prepared to take the plunge, then washing is pretty easy. Use these settings on your washer.

  • Use mild or gentle detergent (Woolite recommended).
  • Only use half the recommended amount of detergent for the load (this ensures laundry detergent doesn't build up).
  • Use the cold water setting and the delicate cycle.
  • Use a short spin cycle or turn down the spin cycle if this is an option on your machine.

Now, you just throw it in and wait for the cycle to end. Pull the pillowcases out when the cycle is done. If you don't have a timer on your washer, you can just set one on your phone. Avoid wrinkles one timer at a time.

How to Hand Wash a Satin Pillowcase

The recommended way to wash satin is hand washing. You'll guarantee that nothing ominous happens in the washer if you avoid it altogether. It's a bit more time consuming, but when you have high-end satin pillowcases, it's worth it.

Female hands washing color clothes in sink

What You Need

  • Tub or sink
  • Gentle detergent (Woolite recommended)
  • Baking soda


  1. Test colorfastness.
  2. Pretreat any stains on the pillowcase as you would machine washing.
  3. Fill the tub with cold water.
  4. Turn the pillowcase inside out.
  5. Add a drop of detergent.
  6. Add the pillowcase(s) and agitate in the water.
  7. Allow to soak for 5-10 minutes.
  8. Rinse with cool water until all suds are gone.

Dry Satin the Right Way

Some types of satin can go in the dryer. You'll want to use low heat. However, I've found that the dryer causes my satin to either shrink or pill. Fighting a pillowcase onto a pillow because it shrunk in the dryer isn't how you want to spend a Saturday. So, instead you can opt to air dry.

  1. For hand washed pillowcases, lay them on a clean, dry, white towel.
  2. Roll out all the water.
  3. Repeat with a new towel until the pillowcases feel damp.
  4. Lay them on a flat surface, away from direct heat to dry.
  5. It also helps to give them a little snap when dry to bring back the softness.
  6. Use steam to remove any wrinkles.

How Often to Wash Satin Pillowcases

Pillowcases, even satin ones, come into contact with your face and skin. They gather a lot of dirt and oils on them. So, you'll want to wash them at least every seven to 14 days, more if you notice stains. Some cleaners suggest going longer for satin pillowcases, but I've found that seven to 14 days is a nice, sweet spot. However, if they're on a bed you don't use regularly, by all means, go a month.

Dos and Don'ts to Keeping Satin Bedding Soft

You love the way satin slides across your skin at night, and you've perfected how to not slide off it. So, you want to keep it as long as you can. Keep these tips in mind to maintain your satin's softness.

  • Don't dry your pillowcase in direct sunlight.
  • Do soak your pillowcase in white vinegar if it gets detergent buildup.
  • Don't use warm or hot water when washing, since this can cause shrinkage.
  • Do keep your pillowcase away from direct heat.
  • Don't use high heat to iron your pillowcases.
  • Do steam them to remove wrinkles.
  • Don't create sharp edges in the fabric or creases when ironing, since it stretches the fabric.
  • Do store pillowcases on a hanger rather than folding them.

The Tricks to Washing Satin Pillowcases

When you have satin sheet sets at home, there's a bit more finesse to washing them than your standard cotton. You need to be aware of the detergent, method, and water temperature. While most people just hand wash, you can machine wash them pretty easily. Try it out and see which method you prefer!

How to Properly Wash & Dry Satin Pillowcases