Chiffon is a sheer, tightly woven fabric. It can be made from nylon, polyester, rayon or silk and dyed any variety of colors. Usually reserved for eveningwear, it is popular for that purpose because of how well it drapes and moves. Today designers are using the fabric in new ways, not all of which are reserved for the night. Unfortunately, this fabric is hard to work with, and cleaning and stain removal from chiffon are even more difficult.
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Things You'll Need
Water (plain, distilled)
Clean white cloth
Gentle detergent for delicate fabrics (such as Woolite)
Pretreatment stain remover
Dry cleaning solvent
Test an Inconspicuous Spot
Test-clean an area of the fabric that is not visible before treating the stain.
What's That Stain?
Identify the stain type if possible. It will help determine which water temperature to use during cleaning. If it is unknown, stick to warm or cool temperatures.
Heed Care Instructions
Follow the care instructions provided on the garment unless you are willing to throw the piece away should the following cleaning methods fail.
Position the Garment
Place the garment on a piece of absorbent fabric, face side down. The bulk of the stain is absorbed to the back.
Powder the Stain
Sprinkle talc over grease stains. It will help release the oil. Blow the excess away and follow up with one of the following cleaning methods.
Freeze Gum and Wax
Apply ice to gum and wax stains to harden them. Carefully pick away as much of the stain material as possible and then follow with a cleaning process.
Use Distilled Water
Apply distilled water with a clean, white cloth. Begin in the center and work outwards. In many cases, it will remove at least part, if not all, of the stain.
Gentle Detergent for Delicates
Apply a drop of gentle detergent made for delicate fabrics (such as Woolite) on protein-based stains such as blood and perspiration. Soak the piece in room-temperature water for at least 30 minutes and rinse. If the stain persists, move to the next step.
Boost Cleaning With Peroxide
Mix a drop or two of delicate fabric detergent with the same amount of hydrogen peroxide. Apply to the stain. Soak in cool water for at least 30 minutes and rinse. If the stain remains, move to the next step.
Try Colorfast Bleach
Apply a drop of colorfast bleach. Soak in cool water for about 30 minutes and rinse. If the stain remains, move to the next step.
Pretreat the Stain
Apply a pretreatment stain remover made for delicate fabrics on combination stains. Follow the directions on the label.
Commercial Dry Cleaning Solvent
Apply dry cleaning solvent to the stain. Follow the cleaning instructions provided with the product.
Avoid letting stains “set in”--they are easier to remove if treated right away. Take your time, since hurrying could cause you to damage the fabric. Blot stains--rubbing can damage the fabric permanently. Wash after stain treatment. Choose the delicate cycle and dry on a cool setting.
Never try cleaning chiffon that says, “dry clean only” unless you are willing to lose the garment should the stain not come out. Silk chiffon usually requires dry cleaning. Do not mix stain-removing products together. The reaction could damage the fabric. Some cleaning processes could have an effect on the colorfastness of the fabric.