How to get a greasy food spot off of a silk blouse

Updated February 21, 2017

While greasy food stains are always a pain to try to remove from clothing, a silk blouse presents a particular challenge. Due to the material's delicate fibres, stains of all kinds show up more readily and are extra difficult to remove without damaging the fabric. Still, you don't have to pronounce that blouse "ruined" just because you dropped a piece of bacon on it; use a combination of gentle, but effective methods to break up and lift out the grease and leave the silk looking good as new.

Rinse, then soak the stained silk in cold water to remove the food particles and staining ingredients other than the grease. While it's soaking, rub the stain periodically with your fingertips to work out as much of the food as you can.

Apply stain-removing gel or liquid detergent to the grease spot. Rub with your fingers or, if the silk is strong enough, a soft-bristled toothbrush or piece of terry cloth (rub gently at first to make sure the material won't be damaged). Let the detergent soak into the material for 30 minutes, then rinse away.

Gently wring out the silk. Hang it up and let it air dry. Do not machine dry. Locate the stained area, if it's still there.

Lay the garment flat on the ironing board.

Sprinkle cornflour over the grease spot, covering it. Use too much, rather than too little, if in doubt. Let the starch sit in place for 20 minutes to give it time to absorb the grease.

Place a paper towel over the powdered grease spot. Iron the grease spot, through the paper towel, using the iron's "silk" heat setting.

Remove the paper towel. Brush the powder away using a clean make-up brush or dry, soft paintbrush. The grease stain will be diminished, if not eliminated. Repeat the powdering and ironing until it's completely gone.


When grease gets on a silk garment, it tends to get all over the place. Smaller streaks and spills may be harder to spot than large ones. Work in a well-lit area and look the garment over carefully. Wash your hands thoroughly before hand-cleaning silk. Since the material is so sensitive to oil, any food grease that remains on your hands, or even natural skin oils and hand lotion, may end up marking the material even as you clean it.

Things You'll Need

  • Liquid detergent or stain gel
  • Soft bristled toothbrush
  • Ironing board
  • Iron
  • Cornstarch or talcum powder
  • Paper towel
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About the Author

Lauren Vork has been a writer for 20 years, writing both fiction and nonfiction. Her work has appeared in "The Lovelorn" online magazine and Vork holds a bachelor's degree in music performance from St. Olaf College.