How to Remove Ink Stains From Silk

by Karen Bates
(last updated September 21, 2009)

Stains are an unfortunate, but practically inevitable, part of life. Although we may try to prevent spots and spills on clothes, carpets, and furniture, stains are still bound to happen anyway once in a while.

Silk fabric is smooth and soft and great for many uses. Because of its delicate nature, it might seem hopeless when a stain shows up on your silk clothing or other surfaces. Although silk is actually quite strong, you do not want to accidentally damage the fabric when attempting to remove the stain, making the problem worse.

One common stain that can occur on any fabric is ink. This troublesome stain might seem impossible to remove from your silk fabrics, but don't panic yet. If you happen to spill ink on your silk shirt or accidentally get a pen mark on the silk tablecloth, don't worry. You may be able to remove the spot by trying one of these methods:

  • Test. When trying a new stain-removal method on any fabric, be sure to test it on an unnoticeable area. This ensures that if the technique you try does cause damage to the fabric, you will know before using it in obvious places and can try something else instead.
  • Hairspray. One technique for ink removal (especially from a ballpoint pen) is to use a little hairspray that is alcohol-based. Placing the stained silk over a paper towel or old washcloth or towel, spray the area and gently blot at the spot. Once it has been removed, wash as you normally would.
  • Soak. Let the stained area dry and then soak in a mixture of 3:1 parts dishwashing soap to denatured alcohol. After about fifteen minutes, use hot water to rinse the fabric. Launder the fabric and repeat if necessary.
  • All purpose cleaners. You might have luck removing stains from water-based inks by using an all-purpose cleaner. Place a towel under the fabric and spray, dabbing carefully at the stain. Repeat as needed and wash as directed by the fabric's washing instructions.
  • Machine wash. Try a vinegar and water solution to remove the stain. After letting the fabric dry, mix equal parts of water and white vinegar and soak. Use a brush to scrub gently and continue soaking and scrubbing until the stain is gone. Machine wash when you are done.

Hopefully, one of these methods will bring your stained fabric back to normal. If you are not successful removing the stain at home, take the fabric to a professional cleaner to see what other options you may have.

Author Bio

Karen Bates

An English student who enjoys writing and art, Karen has had her poetry published in her university's literary journal and has several novels in the works. ...

MORE FROM KAREN

Kitchen Cleaning Supplies

The areas of your home have different cleaning needs. Have the right supplies to get cleaning jobs done in your kitchen.

Discover More

Burgundy Wine

Are you looking for a fine wine with a good reputation? Wines from the Burgundy region of France are known for their high ...

Discover More

Roasted Coffee

Do you have a favorite roast of coffee? There are various roast types ranging from light to very dark, each with ...

Discover More

Tough Tools for Tough Cleaning Jobs O-Cel-O sponges and Scotch Brite scrubbers are truly a fashion-meets-function success story. The highly absorbent and durable sponges in this handy six-pack make quick work of tough cleaning problems in any kitchen, bathroom, or garage. Check out Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scrub Sponges today!

More Cleaning Tips

Ink Stain Remover

Ink stains are quite difficult to get out in some cases...difficult, I say, but not always impossible. Here are a few ...

Discover More

Removing Ink Stains

To remove ink stains from pens or markers, saturate the stain with hairspray. You can also blot the ink away with rubbing ...

Discover More

Removing Gel Ink Stains

Over the past few years gel ink pens have become an ever increasingly popular item around the country. Unfortunately, as ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 8 - 1?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.