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How to Remove Water Stains From Fabric When it Cannot Be Washed

Updated February 21, 2017

Although water is the primary ingredient used in many stain removal techniques, it can cause problems when used on certain types of fabric. Material such as silk, organza and other delicate fabrics will develop water spots, which leave a darkened stain on the surface of the fabric. These unsightly water stains do not have to be permanent. Ironically, removing water spots from these types of fabrics involves applying additional water to the original stain.

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  1. Open a white towel and lay it on top of an ironing board or another heat-resistant flat work surface. Do not use a coloured towel as the colour can transfer to the fabric.

  2. Lay the fabric containing the water stain on top of the towel so that the backside of the fabric is facing upward and the water stain is against the towel.

  3. Wet a white cloth with cold water and press the cloth against the water stain until the entire area is wet. Wet the fabric outside the perimeter of the original stain to ensure complete stain removal.

  4. Plug in a clothes iron, and turn it to the heat setting that is appropriate for the type of material you have. If the iron has a steam setting, make sure that it is turned off. Allow the iron to sit for one to two minutes to heat up.

  5. Place the iron on top of the wet section of fabric and move it slowly over the surface of the water stain for approximately three to five seconds. The heat of the iron will evaporate the water and remove the stain.

  6. Lift up the fabric and shift it so that it is positioned over a dry area of the towel. Lay the fabric back down and place the iron back on it for an additional three to five seconds. Continue repositioning the fabric and ironing until all of the water has evaporated and the water stain is gone.

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Things You'll Need

  • Ironing board
  • Flat work surface
  • White towel
  • Cloth
  • Cold water
  • Clothes iron

About the Author

Kimberly Johnson

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.

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