A stain on a silk item of clothing does not have to mean an expensive dry-cleaning bill. Most stains on silk can be treated at home with a quick hand-washing method.
Things You'll Need
- Warm water
- Castile soap
- Possibly baking soda, enzyme solution, spot remover or denatured alcohol and ammonia
Determine what caused the stain and treat it as soon as possible. Some stains, such as alcohol or adhesive, will damage the silk if left to sit for hours.
Test for colorfastness near a hem. Make sure the garment will not bleed dye during the wash process. Place a dot of liquid Castile soap near the hem and rinse. If no dye rinses out, the item is colorfast.
Spot-treat the stain. Acids should be rubbed with baking soda to neutralize the acid.
Adhesives should be touched lightly with a solvent.
Alcohol should be sponged with warm water immediately after a spill. If the stain is still there, try a rinse with half denatured alcohol (or wood alcohol) and half ammonia or laundry pre-soak, such as Shout. This also works for makeup.
Blood should be rinsed with cold water. Pre-soak in an enzyme solution.
Chocolate should be scrubbed gently with detergent, using a toothbrush.
Hand-wash the garment in a sink using a low pH detergent, such as liquid Castile soap.
Gently press water from the fabric. Allow it to air-dry.
Consult with a dry cleaner if all other methods have failed to remove the stain.
Tips & Warnings
- Rinse all stains with warm water immediately for a better chance to remove them. Air-dry items to prevent shrinking. Hang blouses on a padded hanger to help them retain their shape. Many silk items can be ironed using low heat to eliminate wrinkles.
- Do not use bleach; it will ruin the fabric.
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