How to Get Oil Spots Off a Silk Kimono

How to Get Oil Spots Off a Silk Kimono thumbnail
Some silk kimonos are passed down for generations.

A silk kimono is a wearable work of art. Some kimonos cost thousands of dollars. Even if your silk kimono is less costly, you naturally want to keep it in the best condition possible. If you spill oil or grease on your kimono, you must clean it carefully by hand to avoid damaging the delicate silk. Never machine wash a kimono unless the care instructions state that it's machine washable or you will ruin the silk.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Cornstarch
  • Heavy-duty laundry detergent
  • Clean toothbrush
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    • 1

      Blot the oil stain with paper towels. Take care not to rub the spot or you might spread the stain.

    • 2

      Sprinkle cornstarch onto the stain and let it sit for 20 minutes. Use just enough cornstarch to blot the stain. The cornstarch will absorb the excess grease. After 20 minutes, shake the cornstarch into the trash.

    • 3

      Pour a small amount of heavy-duty laundry detergent on the stain. The amount you need depends on the size of the stain. Use just enough to coat the stain but no more. Laundry detergent isn't generally recommended for silk unless it's to clean a stain, so avoid using more than you need.

    • 4

      Gently brush the spot with a clean toothbrush. Work from the outside of the stain in toward the center to prevent the stain from spreading. Don't scrub the stain.

    • 5

      Lay the kimono flat and allow the detergent to soak into the fibers for 20 to 30 minutes. Don't be discouraged if the stain doesn't fade right away. The detergent requires time to work, and even if the stain doesn't begin to disappear at first, it will fade as it soaks.

    • 6

      Rinse the detergent out of the kimono with tepid water. Hot water may damage the silk or set the stain and cold water may not rinse the oil out completely.

    • 7

      Lay the kimono flat to dry. Don't dry it in a machine dryer or you may damage the fabric.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the kimono is very valuable or if it's an heirloom, take it to a dry cleaner that specializes in delicate or expensive fabrics rather than attempting to clean the stain yourself. You don't want to risk ruining it.

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  • Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

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