Removing Water Stains from Silk

by Lecia DeBrine
(last updated February 22, 2016)

It is amazing to me that the element we need to sustain life, that we use to clean, that we enjoy playing in can actually stain some things. A few water drops on a silk purse or tie can ruin the article for most people, but before you send them off to a thrift store, try a few of these methods and see if you can't get the stain out.

  1. Dampen the stained area with a clean cloth dipped in water and let dry. It sounds crazy that what caused the stain can remove it, but this is a good way to get rid of small water stains. If the stain is still not gone after drying try another solution.
  2. Hold the stain in the steam from a boiling kettle. You do not need to hold it there for a long time just a minute or so should do, this can be repeated if desired. Once again let the silk dry before trying another method if the spot persists.
  3. Using a clean cloth or sponge dipped in tepid water with a hint of mild detergent, gently dab at the spot, be careful not to rub hard for it will damage the fabric. Rinse the spot and let it dry.
  4. If the stain is still not budging you can try adding a little vinegar to the water used in the previous step. Do not add too much because it can be damaging to the fibers, so add just enough to make a difference in the water, a few drop should do it. Apply this to the stain in the same manner as before, Rinse it thoroughly and allow the fabric to dry.

When drying silk you should always lay it flat, if the tag says it is okay, you can press the fabric with a cool iron while it is still damp to dry quicker.

Another way to eliminate a water stain on silk is by using another piece of silk. You want to use a clean piece of white silk and rub the stained area gently. Always go with and across the grain, do not go diagonal, this will lengthen the life of your silk and ensure that it keeps its shape. If you do not have a piece of white silk you can substitute for cotton or muslin. The color is very important, a colored piece of fabric can transfer its color to the other fabric during this process, if there is no color to rub off then there is no problem, so definitely find a white piece. You can use a white pillow case for this if you cannot find anything else.

When cleaning a fabric as delicate as silk you should never use chlorine bleach and caution should be used with vinegar. The acidic liquids can eat through the fibers of the fabric and destroy its integrity, this is a problem that cannot be repaired. Do not be afraid to wash you silk, it is a natural fiber and so it is washable. Laundering in water will not harm the fabric but be careful what kind of detergent you use, choose a mild detergent and you should be okay. The next time a rain storm catches you without an umbrella you will be prepared when it comes time to remove the spots.

Author Bio

Lecia DeBrine


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