15 Sep 5 Effective Tips to Remove Stains from Silk Garments
S ilk is a precious and delicate fiber that requires gentile care and some attention but this should not prevent you from wearing it or using it.
Aside from being a naturally luminous fabric, it is also a natural fabric that adapts to your body temperature: if it is hot, silk becomes cool on the skin and if it is cold, it infuses the body with a feeling of warmth.
Like all fabrics, silk can stain and also with time, can turn yellow- as with vintage garments, therefore it is important to know how to treat it in order for it to return it to its original beauty.
On the Internet there is a lot of mis-information, and this prompted us to write 5 simple but effective rules to remove stains from a silk garments.
# 1 Read the Washing Instructions
Before any intervention on silk, it is essential to read the label with the washing instructions. Check to see if the silk garment can be washed with water or dry cleaned only.
If it can be washed with water, be timely in order to prevent the stain from penetrating deep into the fibers. If it is not possible to intervene immediately and above all if the stain is oil, sprinkle the stained area with talcum powder or flour: letting it sit for at least an hour so that the oily product is absorbed.
# 2 Use Marseille Soap or a Mild Detergent
Using Marseille soap is a classic Grandma’s Remedy- that always works. Marseilles soap is delicate, natural and has degreasing power. It is effective in treating or pretreating silk garments due to its natural properties. In fact it is it is often used for body care. Make sure it is completely pure, or at least 72% olive oil based, without preservatives, perfumes or chemical additives.
You can also use a specific detergent for silk and delicate fabrics.
If possible, before working on the stained area, treat a non-visible area (this should be easy, for example, in the case of a neck tie).
# 3 Place the Entire Garment in Cold or Lukewarm Water
If the garment can be washed with water- always hand wash, do not use the washing machine. You can pre-treat the stain by moistening it with a mixture of water and Marseille soap for a few minutes, but then immerse the entire garment in cold (never hot) water to prevent halos forming. Leave to soak for a couple of hours, depending on how stubborn the stain is.
# 4 Never Rub or Use Brushes
This is very important and should not be overlooked: rubbing the stain may compromise the fabric. If, as we have recommended above, the stain is treated immediately with talcum powder or flour, at the time of the actual wash, you will not need to rub or scrub.
Obviously the use of any kind of brush, large or small bristle, is not recommended.
# 5 Rinse Well and Do Not Use the Dryer
Soap residues can also leave ulterior stains, therefore abundant and prolonged rinsing is essential to obtain a perfect result. Excess water must be eliminated without wringing the garment out. Wrap the garment in a towel, lightly pressing on the towel and repeat this operation several times using dry towels to absorb the water.
Then hang on a coat hanger inside the shower letting excess water drip away. Never use a dryer, even if it is equipped with a program for delicate items, as it could ruin the silk.
If silk is cleaned and preserved with care, its luster will remain unchanged over the years: only in this way can a silk garment be handed down from generation to generation to continue to live and breathe, telling its story.