How to remove stains from silk upholstery

Updated February 05, 2018

Silk is a protein-based natural fibre produced by silk worms. Although it is durable, silk is also quite delicate. The care of silk upholstery on your furniture can seem like an overwhelming task, especially when dealing with stains. Most silk garments are "dry clean only," but since you can't take your silk-upholstered sofa to the cleaners, you will have to tackle those stains on your own. Some common silk upholstery stains include oil, water, coffee or tea.

Sprinkle the stain liberally with cornstarch.

Let sit 5-10 minutes to allow cornstarch to absorb the oil.

Use the brush to gently sweep away the excess cornstarch. Vacuum the area well.

Combine one tablespoon hydrogen peroxide with eight tablespoons water in the bowl. Mix well.

Dampen your cloth in the peroxide/water solution and blot the water stain.

Use a dry cloth to absorb excess peroxide and water mixture from the silk upholstery.

Blot the stain with a dry cloth to absorb excess coffee or tea.

Dampen your sponge with warm water and gently sponge the stain.

Rub a small amount of glycerine between your fingers and apply it directly to the stain. Let sit for 30 minutes.

Rinse with warm water using your sponge.


For best results, treat the stain quickly.


Never use harsh chemicals, including bleach, on your silk upholstery.

Things You'll Need

  • Cornstarch
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Vacuum
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Water
  • Soft cloths
  • Bowl
  • Warm water
  • Glycerine
  • Sponge
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About the Author

Jess Jones has been a freelance writer since 2005. She has been a featured contributing writer for "Curve Magazine" and she teaches English composition at a small college in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She received her Master of Arts in English language and literature in 2002.