How To Care For, Clean And Remove Stains From Stain Dresses

Caring for a silk dress is easier than you might think. Learn how to clean and remove stains from silk or satin with these tips and instructions.

What woman wouldn't want a luxurious silk dress hanging in her closet? Not only does it feel soft and silky, but it's also rich in color, mostly due to its ability to absorb large quantities of dye. Because of this, many people shy away from silk mistakenly thinking it's too fragile and delicate and, therefore, difficult to care for. While it's true silk may require a bit of care, it's really not that difficult, and the investment is worth the extra time it takes to hand wash one of these garments.

When caring for silk it's important to remember it's a protein fiber similar to human hair. Like human hair, it sustains damage when exposed to the elements. For instance, if left in sunlight, a silk garment will quickly fade. When you hang your silk dress, make sure it's not going to be in an area where it will be exposed to sunlight. To keep it from fading, place it in the back of your closet, in a garment bag. If you don't have a garment bag, store the dress in a pillowcase. If you're not going to be wearing the dress for a while, make sure it's well protected. Moths love silk! Don't use plastic to store your silk dress, either. This will lock in moisture and cause discoloration.

The care label on your dress will tell you the best method for laundering the garment. In many cases, you'll have to wash the dress by hand. Don't be intimidated, as this isn't difficult at all. Fill your sink or bathtub with lukewarm water (it's important to note that silk will weaken when exposed to extreme changes in temperature) and add a mild detergent (one that doesn't have harsh ingredients or alkalis) or a splash of vinegar. Don't use bleach either, as this will only cause the fibers to turn yellow. Submerge the dress and gently wash. Don't be alarmed if the dye starts to run, this is normal. Silk is very absorbent and takes a lot of dye. The excess dye bleeds out when washed. After a couple of washings, your garment should no longer run. Once you're satisfied the dress is clean, rinse with lukewarm water.

Don't wring the garment after laundering. This will cause the fibers of your dress to weaken and fray. Instead, roll the dress in a towel, pressing gently as you roll to remove all the excess water. When no more water can be removed, lay the garment flat on a clean, thick towel to dry. It's not a good idea to hang wet silk because the fibers aren't as strong as when they are dry and this can cause them to weaken.

If you're spot cleaning your dress, be gentle. With a clean cloth, dab some lukewarm water on the stain as soon as possible. Gently blot so the stain doesn't smear or run. Try to avoid rubbing at the stain as this can only make matters worse. If need be, you can also use some vinegar or a mild detergent. For a grease stain, try putting a little baking soda on the stain. After the grease is removed, dab with lukewarm water to rinse. A warm hairdryer can be used to dry the wet spot but take note: applying heat to a stain will cause it to set, so make sure the spot has completely disappeared or risk ruining your dress.

If your dress is multi-colored, you should probably bring it to the dry cleaner. Since the dye may run during the washing process, you'll want to avoid catastrophe and place the garment in the hands of a professional who will make sure the different colors don't bleed together.

It may sound like silk needs a lot of special care, but it's not difficult. As long as you take care of your dress, wash it gently and store it properly, it will last a life time. Isn't your silk dress worth it?

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