How to remove stains from a satin dress

Written by heidi a. reeves
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How to remove stains from a satin dress
Practice care when you treat stained satin dresses. (satin surface image by Aleksej Kostin from

Satin is one of the most luxurious fabrics available, and it's a favourite choice for formal dresses. The shiny, smooth fabric is woven from loosely spun silk, rayon, acetate or polyester yarns. Many of these fibres, while they give satin its distinctive look, also require special care. If you must remove a stain from a satin dress, you can't just toss it in the washing machine and hope for the best. Rather you must take extra care to ensure that removing the stain doesn't damage your satin garment.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Stained satin dress
  • Mild, bleach-free stain stick
  • Clean, dry towel

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  1. 1

    Fill a sink basin with cool water, and submerge the stained area of the satin dress.

  2. 2

    Allow the dress to soak for at least 5 minutes.

  3. 3

    Remove the fabric from the water, and blot away the excess water with a clean, dry towel.

  4. 4

    Treat the satin dress with a mild stain remover that contains no bleach or harsh chemicals if the cool water isn't enough to eliminate the stain. Gently apply the stain remover to the fabric's stained area; avoid rubbing the satin too vigorously as you apply the stain remover.

  5. 5

    Allow the treated fabric to sit for 5 to 10 minutes, and flood the treated area with cool water to wash away the stain and the stain remover.

Tips and warnings

  • If your satin dress is made from silk, after you treat the stained area, take it to the dry cleaners for laundering. Even if you hand wash this delicate fabric, handling the wet fabric may damage the delicate fibres and cause the fabric to lose its lustre.
  • Take heavily embellished satin dresses to cleaning professionals who know how to work with beaded and appliqued garments.
  • You can hand wash rayon and acetate satin to further clean the garment after treating the stain. Use lukewarm water and a mild washing powder and add 1/4 cup of vinegar to the second-to-last rinse to remove any soap residue.
  • If the stained satin dress is made from polyester, you can pretreat a stain as you would for other laundry items and machine wash it in cold water.
  • Never wring or twist satin fabrics while they are wet; these actions will cause the fibres to shrink and warp.

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