How to remove stains from a silk dress

Silk is a natural fibre and a very delicate fabric. Silk helps you stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. A silk dress will look nice and stay in good shape for years if taken care of properly. When you end up with stains on your silk dress you must remove them carefully, using methods and supplies that are safe for silk.

Turn your silk dress inside out, so you'll be working from the backside of the stain.

Fill a bucket with cold water. Quickly dunk your silk dress in and out of the cold water to agitate the fabric. Continue to dunk your dress in and out of the cold water for a few minutes to loosen the stain on your silk dress.

Empty your bucket, then refill it with fresh, cold water. Add 1/2 tsp mild detergent for fine washables. Pour enough of the detergent directly on the stain, as well, to cover the stain.

Rub the fibres of the silk fabric together to work the detergent into the stain on your silk dress. Allow your silk dress to sit for 15 minutes so the detergent can work at loosening and lifting the stain from your silk dress.

Agitate your silk dress in the bucket of cold water for a few more minutes by vigorously dunking it in and out of the bucket. Check the site of the stain and add a bit more detergent to any stain remnant and rub it into the fibres. Dunk your silk dress in and out of the cold water again to loosen the remaining stain.

Empty the bucket of the soapy water. Rinse the bucket well, add cold water, then dunk your silk dress in and out of the water to rinse off the detergent. Change the rinse water as it becomes soapy or dirty from the stain removal process and continue to rinse your silk dress until the water stays clear.

Lay your silk dress on a large bath towel. Roll the dress up in the towel so the towel can absorb excess moisture out of your silk dress. Press on the towel to wick out the moisture.

Hang your silk dress on a padded hanger, near an open window if possible, but not in direct sunlight. Straighten out any wrinkles in the dress by gently pulling on the fabric. Allow your dress to hang as it dries completely.


Substitute liquid washing powder for baby clothing for the fine washables detergent.


Avoid placing your silk dress in the dryer as the dryer heat will set any remaining stain and damage the silk fibres.

Things You'll Need

  • Cold water
  • Bucket
  • 1/2 tsp mild detergent for fine washables
  • Large bath towel
  • Padded clothing hanger
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About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.