Removing Stains from Silk

by Amy Gordon
(last updated May 13, 2019)

Nothing can match your frustration when your favorite silk gown becomes spoiled from spilled tomato sauce or when your exclusive tablecloth gets stained with wine. Frequent washing is not good for the color of your silk. It is also inconvenient to send your silk regularly for dry cleaning. By only removing the stains from the silk—without washing the whole thing—you can restore much of its previous luster. Here is a brief guide to help you remove stains resulting from various sources.

There are plenty of ways to remove stains from silk. After treating each stain, you'll need to check to see if the stain remains. Since you cannot see a stain on a wet cloth, you'll need to wait until the fabric dries before checking for the stain. If the stain persists, repeat the whole stain removal process.

Coffee and tea

To remove marks resulting from tea and coffee spills, sponge them with lukewarm water. Next, gently rub a little glycerin into the area, and let it sit for at least half an hour. Rinse the area with warm water. If a greasy mark still remains, sponge it away with dry-cleaning fluid.

Stains from perspiration, perfume, and deodorant

Deodorants can cause irritating marks on your silk garments. In order to get rid of stains from antiperspirants, sponge the affected area with diluted ammonia.

The alcohol content in the perfume can damage the color and leave circular spots on your clothes. To tackle this problem, just apply a few drops of denatured alcohol on a cheesecloth pad and sponge the area from the outside in. This sponging technique will help to restore the color and the stain will eventually disappear.

Fresh perspiration stains are acidic and washing can remove them. Older stains take an alkaline form, and you'll need to sponge the garment with diluted vinegar to remove such stains. For more stubborn discolorations, apply a mixture of cream of tartar, crushed aspirin, and warm water to the area. Wait for twenty minutes, then rinse the area with warm water.

Chocolate

If you've found chocolate on your beautiful silk garment, first scrape off as much as possible with a blunt edge. Gently brush the area with warm, soapy water. If a brown mark remains, sponge it with a solution of equal parts denatured alcohol and household ammonia, then thoroughly rinse it with warm water. A less stubborn chocolate stain can be removed by spraying it with dry-cleaning fluids.

Alcohol

Alcohol stains demand immediate attention. Fresh alcohol stains vanish if sponged several times with warm water. If not taken care of immediately, the alcohol stain will turn brown. If your stain has turned brown, dampen it and rub glycerin into it. After a half hour, rinse it off with warm water. For more stubborn alcohol stains, sponge the area with a solution of equal parts denatured alcohol and ammonia. Do not forget to rinse the area thoroughly in warm water when you're finished.

Cosmetics

Most makeup stains can be removed in the washing machine, but if you do not want to wash the cloth, pre treat the stained area with a spot stain remover and then spray some dry-cleaning fluid on it. If any stain still remains, clean it with a mixture of denatured alcohol and household ammonia.

In order to retain the smoothness of the silk and its glaze, refrain from doing the following things:

  • Do not apply any harsh chemical without testing it on the hidden seam allowance first.
  • Avoid using chlorinated laundry products and vinegar, as they affect silk fibers.
  • Do not apply concentrated ammonia. In order to guard the color of your silk, increase the proportion of water in any ammonia solution.

Author Bio

Amy Gordon

Amy Gordon loves keeping things simple, natural, and safe so she can spend more time having fun. Every day she learns new things about making life at home easier and she loves to share it with you! ...

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