How to Get Stains Out of Silk: Complete Guide!

Once a stain has occurred on silk, act quickly to remove it and do not let it settle. Use a soft cotton cloth moist with water to dab the stain out of the silk. Continue by making a cleaning solution that is one part water mixed with either one part lemon juice or one part vinegar, and dabbing the stain with that as well. For grease and oil stains, use an absorbent powder such as baking soda, cornstarch, or talcum power. Apply the powder to the stain and place a heavy object, such as a book, on top of it overnight so that the powder can absorb as much of the stain as possible. 

This is: How to Get Stains Out of Silk

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This article will give you detailed instructions on how to get almost any kind of stain out of your silk fabric, clothing, and bedding


Use our care guides to make sure that you are administering the proper laundry methods when caring for your silk fabrics and clothing.

discount code for mens silk shirts
discount code for mens silk shirts

How to Get Stains Out of Silk

Use the methods and instructions below to quickly and effectively get stains out of silk.

Act Quickly

It is extremely important that you act quickly immediately after the stain has occurred on your silk garment. The quicker you begin to treat the stain, the more likely it is that you will be able to remove it. Wet stains on silk are much easier to remove than dry stains, so act as quickly as possible!

Test for Colorfastness

In order to avoid accidentally removing the color from your silk garment while attempting to clean the stain, you must first test the silk fabric for colorfastness. Test for colorfastness by following the steps outlined below.

  1. Dampen a white cloth or towel with water.
  2. Blot/dab the cloth on an inconspicuous or hidden part of your silk garment.
  3. If you see color transferring from your silk clothing to the wet towel, then you should refrain from attempting to remove the stain from the fabric.
  4. If your silk garment is in fact bleeding color then it would be best to take it to your local dry cleaner. If your garment does not bleed color, then continue the at home stain removal methods. 

photo of a man dabbing a silk shirt with a wet white cloth

Dab the Stain

To begin extracting the stain please use a clean, damp cloth to dab the stain.

Use an absorbent textile such as a paper towel or a cotton cloth to draw out and extract as much of the stain as possible. Dab or blot the towel or cloth onto the stain, and be sure to avoid any rubbing motion.

Use cold water to dampen to cloth and dab the stain. Do not use hot water to dampen the cloth.

photo of a man dabbing a stain off of silk fabric

Use a Water Based Cleaning Solution 

If you still cannot get the stain out, make a water based cleaning solution to strengthen your efforts. Follow these 4 simple steps to make a water based cleaning solution that is highly effective in getting stains out of silk

  1. Mix one part of lukewarm water (no hotter than 25°C/77°F) with one part lemon juice OR white vinegar.
  2. Dab the mixture on a soft white cloth and apply the solution to a small and inconspicuous spot on your silk garment to make sure the solution doesn't have any negative effects.
  3. Once you are sure the mixture is safe, continue to apply it to the cloth and begin to dab the stain you wish to remove.
  4. Once you have thoroughly dabbed the stained area, proceed to hand wash your silk garment to finish the job. 

photo of lemon juice being poured into lukewarm water

How to Get Oil and Grease Stains out of Silk

Removing oil and grease stains from silk fabric can sound like an impossible task, but luckily, by using an absorbent powder such as baking soda or talcum powder, we can give ourselves a pretty good chance at removing the stain completely.

Use an Absorbent Powder

If you happen to get an oil or grease stain on your silk clothing you will likely need to apply an absorbent powder on top of it in order to remove it.

To remove oil and grease stains on silk you can apply talcum powder, baking soda, or cornstarch to the stained area and allow it to sit overnight. Talcum powder is the most effective, however all 3 options work well to remove oil and grease stains from silk.

  1. Apply the Talcum Powder directly to the stained area.
  2. Completely cover the stain with Talcum Powder
  3. Cover the stain and powder with a clean, dry cloth.
  4. Place a heavy object, such as a book, on top of the cloth so that the Talcum Powder can absorb as much of the stain as possible.
  5. Let the talcum powder sit on the stain overnight and brush the powder off of the stain the next morning.
  6. If any oil remains you can try to repeat the process once more.
  7. Once the stain has been removed proceed to hand wash, machine wash or dry clean your silk garment as directed by your garment's care label.
  8. If the stain remains, you may want to head over to your local dry cleaner to ask for assistance. 

photo of baking soda being applied to a stain on silk fabric

How to Get Sweat Stains Out of Silk

Deodorant and sweat stains often end up on the armpits of silk shirts and blouses. Follow the steps below to get sweat stains out of silk clothing

  1. Mix 1 part lukewarm water with 1 part white vinegar or 1 part lemon juice.
  2. Fill a spray bottle with the cleaning solution from step 1.
  3. Spray the cleaning solution on to the sweat stains.
  4. Let the garment sit for 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Hand wash your silk shirt or blouse.

photo of a man spraying a cleaning solution onto a sweat stain under the arm on a silk shirt

How to Get Stains Out of Silk FAQ

How do you get unknown stains out of silk?

Use a water based cleaning solution to gently dab the unknown stain out of the silk fabric. Mix one part lukewarm water with one part white vinegar or one part lemon juice, and apply it to a soft cloth. Use the cloth to dab the stain. If this doesn't work, use an absorbent powder such as baking soda or talcum powder, and apply it to the stain to sit overnight. 

Does silk take stains easily?

Silk is a delicate and absorbent fabric that takes stains as easily as other natural fibers. Natural fibers such as wool, cotton, linen, and silk, are more absorbent than synthetic fibers, which means they have the ability to take on stains.

Can you use vinegar on silk?

Mix one part vinegar together with one part lukewarm water to make a cleaning solution that is useful for getting stains out of silk and other fabrics. Use the cleaning solution to dampen a clean cloth, and then dab the stain to remove it from the silk fabric. 

Can you get oil stains out of silk?

Use absorbent powders like baking soda, talcum powder, or cornstarch to get oil and grease stains out of silk. Apply the powder to the stain and cover with a cloth. Place a heavy, flat object such as a a book overtop, and allow to sit overnight. Brush the powder off in the morning and proceed to hand wash the silk.