Cleaning Silk

July 23, 2007

Golden silk fabricI spilled beer all over my new silk dress. I took it to the dry cleaners immediately and pointed out the stain, but they dry cleaned it without removing the stain. Do you have any ideas on how to remove this beer stain even though it is already set in?




By ginger (Guest Post)
October 10, 20081 found this helpful
Best Answer

The alcohol (sugar) in the drink may be what stained it. Someone spilled white wine on the back of my wedding dress and the cleaners couldn't fix it. I took it to another place and they hand washed it in water to get all that sugar out and now it looks great. I think most things can be hand washed and that is the only way to really get out that sugar which will turn it brown over time.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

February 26, 2008

I have a 1930's handmade silk wedding dress. Does anyone know how I can clean this myself? Thanks so much!

Sunny from Shawee on Delaware, PA


February 26, 20080 found this helpful

Personally I wouldn't risk it. Bring it to a professional, OK? It sounds lovely.

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February 26, 20080 found this helpful

Please, do not attempt to clean the dress. I worked in the Historical Museum field for 8 years. It may look or feel sturdy, but this can be misleading. The threads and fabric may be weakened, and any attempt to wash it can cause the dress to literally fall apart.


I would contact a local historical museum and ask if they can recommend a conservator who can determine whether or not it can be cleaned. Good luck! Lori in Florida

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By dar (Guest Post)
February 28, 20080 found this helpful

If you really can not afford the cleaners. Go to the grocery store and buy a dry cleaning kit for using your dryer make sure you get Dryell for the first time. Get the whole kit because it will have a bag for your clothes, and you can put your gown in by itself(If your feeling brave). Good Luck you should post a picture of your gown. I bet there are a lot of people who would love to see it. One being me! Take Care and Good Luck what ever you do.

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By Linda (Guest Post)
February 28, 20080 found this helpful

Don't even attempt to do this yourself. Contact a museum and find out the number of someone who does restorations on old fabric.

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February 28, 20080 found this helpful

DO NOT TRY TO CLEAN THIS YOURSELF! A good cleaners will clean and preserve it for you. It is well worth the money if you love it.

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February 29, 20080 found this helpful

DO NOT TRY A HOME DRYCLEANING KIT. This could destroy it. Contact a museum or a dealer in vintage clothing. I totally destoyed a silk chiffon heavily beaded flapper dress by hand washing it.


It disintegrated, but I kept the beaded parts.

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February 29, 20080 found this helpful

Thanks to all who left great feedback for me and my wedding dress. I greatly appreciate all of your help. It's so nice to know that people care enough to take time out to help. Bless you all :-)

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July 5, 2022

Hi, I tried to spot clean a stain on my silk kimono but think I might have rubbed a little too vigorously. The area I tried to clean is now slightly lighter than the rest of the kimono.

Is there any way that I can repair/fix this or at least make the faded area less noticeable? Thanks!

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January 31, 2017

I used pink chalk on my hair when I wore a Cheongsam (Chinese silk outfit) and now it is stained. I thought chalk would be easy to take off with a normal detergent. But my mom told me that stains on silk will be hard to remove. And that was true, the stain didn't washed off after I washed it.

Does anyone know how to clean it without ruining the silk?

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October 16, 2015

Today I found a black Sharpie stain on the 25% pink silk lining of a real, vintage, white-colored blue-fox fur coat I own. I bought it recently and don't remember seeing it when I bought it, as I inspected it pretty well, but I haven't worn it yet and it is possible it's been there a while (I bought it vintage). It looks pretty fresh, and if it happened in my possession it would have been made in the past week.

The coat is unable to be washed unless taken to a professional (not dry cleaning, a fur coat specialist) and I can't separate the silk from the fur, but there is a pocket that allows me to lift that portion a little bit away from the rest of the fur. Is there any way I can get the stain out without harming the fur?

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January 8, 2011

How do I clean silk cloth? What kind of detergent can I use on silk?

By Herbert from Melbourne

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January 22, 2010

Do I need to dry clean a garment that is 52% silk, 25% nylon, and 23% viscose?

By Sandy Artz from Wisconsin Rapids


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 147 Feedbacks
January 23, 20100 found this helpful

Washing Silk Items
Gently hand wash silk items using very cold water.
Apply a very mild detergent such as Woolite or Dr. Bronner's Baby Soap (this soap will help preserve the garment's natural oils).


Rinse the item in cold water until all soap residue has been removed.
Add a few drops of hair conditioner to the rinse water to keep the silk soft and flexible.

Press the water out of the fabric by rolling it in a towel. Do not twist or wring, as this will damage the fabric.
Hang the wet garment and allow it to air dry completely.
Do not hang silk garments in the sun to dry.
Iron only when absolutely necessary. Use a cool iron with a press cloth between the iron and the fabric.

Additional Tips and Advice
Unless the tag on your silk fabric recommends dry cleaning, it should be avoided as dry cleaning will shrink certain types of silk.
Use lemon juice or vinegar to spot clean, but test an inconspicuous area first to test for colorfastness.
Be gentle - it's the agitation from washing that causes this material to shrink.


Even the gentle cycle on the washer is too rough for this delicate fabric.

To keep silk from yellowing, add &frac; cup of vinegar to the rinse water.
Since silk is a natural fiber, do not use bleach as it will damage the fibers.
Be careful not to let hairspray and perfume get on silk as the alcohol will damage the fabric.
If you have hard water, you may want to add a tablespoon of borax to the water prior to washing.
Good luck.

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January 23, 20100 found this helpful

The info from kffrmw88 is excellent. You could also buy Dryell from the stores. WalMart is the cheapest place to purchase. It works well. Dry cleaning is so expensive and most of the dry cleaning chemicals are too dangerous for me.

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August 19, 2007

I think there is an age stain on a pure silk blouse. I've tried soaking in napisan but the stain has spread (a friend gave the blouse to me so that's why I'm not 100% sure about the stain - it's rust coloured!)

Esther from Australia


By Veronica (Guest Post)
August 31, 20070 found this helpful

I know two ways to get rid of stains.

1. Clean the whole thing and hope the spot goes away. With silk I'd hand wash with cheap hair shampoo (the kind that doesn't leave a thin layer of "strengthening" stuff on the hair, like some more expensive brands do).


2. Dye it. Instead of changing the colour of the spot itself to match the colour of the rest of the garment, why not change the colour of the rest of the garment to a colour that "hides" the spot. For example, a red spot on a black fabric won't show.

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By Sue55 (Guest Post)
February 4, 20080 found this helpful

Use the concontion for the baby quilt or
put lemon juice and then salt on it and set in the sun. You might have to reapply to the stain as the day goes on. Leave all day. I am not sure about something colored, but it works well on white/off white

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May 26, 2016

I have a dress that is 65% silk and 35% polyester with no washing instructions. How do I care for this dress, dry clean, machine wash, or? I do have a front load washing machine and dryer or should I use those dry cleaning bag that go in the dryer? I used it once or twice many years ago. I do my best not to purchase dry clean only clothes. Can someone help me with cleaning instructions? Please.

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July 16, 2015

My mum has washed my daughter's 100% silk, handmade christening outfit. It now looks like a screwed up crisp bag! Can it be saved?

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March 1, 2015

I have a garment made of silk and elastane and I don't know how I managed to put it into the wash and take it out yellow. It was originally pink. The max temperature is 40 Celsius.

Does anyone know if I can fix it and how? I just wore it once so I'm pretty sad.
Thanks for the help :)

By Pixie J.

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June 21, 2010

I had a white cloth which is made of silk. This had green and brown borders. I accidentally machine washed it instead of dry cleaning. Now I see green and brown patches all over cloth. Can you suggest me some ways to bring the cloth to its original colors?

By Kumar from TX


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 270 Feedbacks
June 22, 20100 found this helpful

Not going to happen.

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February 11, 2010

My husband sat in chocolate sauce . The trousers are made of silk and the tag calls for dry cleaning only. In the past I have found that dry cleaners will not attempt to get stains out. Someone told me to use milk, hot water, or club soda. I do not know what to do.

By Carol McCarthy from Stuart, FL


February 11, 20100 found this helpful

I sprayed gonzo "Wine Out" on the chocolate stains and they disappeared! I then used paper towel that had been moistened with clear water and used more toweling to absorbed the water. There is not one bit of stain remaining. Thank you for your help. Perhaps this may help someone with the same problem

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November 5, 2008

How do I clean a white silk coach handbag?

Melissa from Seneca Falls, NY


Bronze Request Medal for All Time! 65 Requests
November 10, 20080 found this helpful

I know from my own experience that Coach handbags will fix, refurbish or even replace their handbags for the rest of your life.

You do have to pay to ship to them, but I don't think you have to cover costs to have it sent back to them.

I took mind to a local Coach store and they handled it easily for me.

Get on line with them and find out what to do about sending it back. White silk! It must be gorgeous and I would not ever attempt to clean it myself.

Good Luck!

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