Satin is still considered a luxury fibre even though much of today's satin is not made from silk. It originated in China where it remained until the Italians brought it to Europe. The fabric, once reserved only for nobility, was highly prized because of its unusual sheen and its softness against the body. Much of today's satin is made from fibres other than silk, but they remain difficult to clean.
Place an absorbent fabric underneath the satin fabric to be cleaned. It will help absorb the stain once it breaks up.
Blot in cold water with a clean sponge. Many fresh stains respond to this simple step, allowing one to avoid using heavier stain removers on the delicate fabric.
Apply club soda if water alone does not do the job. Blot it into the stain with a clean sponge. Give it one to three minutes to work before blotting the soda water away with plain, room temperature distilled water.
Mix two teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda with one cup of distilled water. Using a sponge, blot the mixture into the stain working from its centre outward. If necessary, use a very soft toothbrush to work the stain out of the fabric. Then apply plain distilled water to remove excess cleaner.
Wash the fabric by hand using cool water and a luxury fibre detergent like Woolite. Squeeze, rather than wring, the detergent throughout the fabric to avoid damaging the delicate fibres.
Soak stained polyester for five minutes before hand washing. This will give the detergent sufficient time to penetrate and break up the stain.
Rinse the detergent out of the fabric. It may take two or three rinse cycles to ensure this step is accomplished properly.
Work excess water out of the satin by rolling it up in an absorbent fabric like terry cloth. Once rolled, gently push any remaining water out of the fabric. Remove it and prepare it for drying.
Lay the fabric out flat on a fabric-covered surface to dry.
Wash acetate and silk satin sheets by hand using warm or cool water and a luxury fibre detergent like Woolite. Avoid wringing the fabric as much as possible so as not to damage the delicate fibres.
Hang acetate and silk satin sheets inside to dry.
Machine wash polyester and nylon sheets using warm to cool water, and a small amount (1/4 cup) of luxury fibre detergent. Choose the delicate cycle.
Dry polyester satins in the dryer on low setting or "fluff." They can also be lined dried inside as well as outside if the sun is not too hot.
Dry nylon sheets inside.
Use the Dryel spot remover to treat satin that can be exposed to medium heat. This will give the extra boost that some stains need in order to break away from satin fabric.
Put the satin into the Dryel bag provided. Add a Dryel cloth as well. Close and secure the bag.
Place the bag in the dryer. Set to medium cycle and turn on for one-half hour.
Remove the satin from the bag and fold or hang it as desired. This will help avoid excess wrinkling.
Set-in stains are more difficult to remove so clean as quickly as possible. While some people choose to wash delicate satin fabrics in the delicate cycle of a washing machine, the fabric will retain its beauty longer and sustain less damaged if it is washed by hand.
Do not use too much detergent when washing satin or it will be difficult to rinse clean. Do not use hot water to clean satin. It will cause the fabric to shrink. Do not dry satin fabric of any type in a hot dryer. It may scorch or shrink the fabric. Do not use bleach on satin fabrics of any kind. Avoid sun exposure with delicate satins like those made from silk or nylon. The sun's rays will break down the fabric and could cause permanent damage.