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Wendy Heijne

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No more standard sizes and standard fashion. I believe in fashion personalized by you. Thats why I have founded Studio Heijne. By blogging I hope to add some colour to your daily life. And hopefully inspire you to think outside the box and to try the new way of shopping: personal slow-fashion instead of mass-produced garments

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The best way to remove stains from silk

How to treat stains on silk

We got a lot of questions about how to remove stains on silk garments. That’s why in this blog we will focus on how to remove stains. We’ve been trying and testing out stain remover products and we will share what we’ve found works best. Furthermore, below you find a guide for how to treat stain on silk garments.

Test: Which stain remover to use?

To remove stains there are natural remedies and chemical based products. They come as bar or liquid soaps, as well as sticks and sprays. We’ve tested a few products to see what works best for silk garments and different types of stains such as ketchup, fat and etc. We used organic bar soaps and chemical based products available in the supermarket. It’s fair to say that some of them worked really well. Some didn’t succeed to remove the stains. First see the product we use. Then, look at the result in the table below, or scroll down to read which remedy works best for different stains.

The products we tested

As a sustainable company we wanted to test organic options and hoped for their success. We tested different organic soaps such as Galltvål (bile soap bar), Wie Gallseife (bile soap bar) and Sodasan Fläck Bort Galltvål (liquid bile soap). All organic and natural sopas made to remove stains as fat, oil, sauce, grass, blood, chocolate etc.

Organic Stain Remover Wie Gallseife Stain Remover

Organic Stain Remover    Stain Remover

Additionally we tested Vanish, a chemical products, which has a good reputation, but is actually not meant to be used on silk (says on the package). We tried it anyway, after we noticed that the other products don’t work as well as we hoped.  We tested the spray on many  different garments made of different types of silk. But also, we tested it on different types on stains such as ketchup, fat and etc. We are very positively surprised by the results of using Vanish on silk! See our test results in the table below.

Remedie Garment Stain Treatment Result Recommended
Galltvål Red silk dress Fat spot Pre-treat + Handwash / Machine Wash Fat stain didn’t disappeared No
Wie Gallseife by Frosche White cotton trousers Ketchup stain didn’t disappeared Pre-treat + Hand wash / Machine Wash Ketchup stain didn’t disappeared No
Sodasan Fläck Bort Galltvål Light pink dress Fat stain Pre-treat + Hand wash / Machine Wash Fat stain didn’t dissapear No
Vanish Red Silk dress

Light pink  dress

White silk dress

Fat spot Pre-treat + Hand wash / Machine Wash All stains disappeared Yes

Results

The winner in this test is very clear: it’s definitely Vanish.

Truth to be told, the organic bar soaps didn’t helped in removing the stains. None of them did make the stains disappear. On the contrary, in some cases it even created a color difference (see photo below). Unfortunately, even though the organic soaps are natural solution they didn’t save the garment.

The red silk Dance dress after organic bar soap treatment. The stain didn’t disappeared, and the treatment created a color difference.

The Vanish spray however, removed all the stains on the silk garments. Moreover it didn’t damage the silk fabric. We haven’t seen any discouloring on the fabrics either.  We recommend Vanish to use, even for your silk garments. It might not be all natural, but it’s more sustainable to actually remove the stain and save the garment.  So we will definitely recommend using this spray.

The results with Vanish

Before: (make-up stains and coffee stains)

best way to remove stains from silk best way to remove stains from silk

After: (the make-up stains disapeared 100%, the coffee stain disapeared 90%)

best way to remove stains from silk best way to remove stains from silk

How  to remove stains from silk fabrics

Our best tip is to use Vanish in combination with hand wash. In general the hand treatment has been better for spots removing, because you can really concentrate on working with the spots. Below you’ll find a step by step guide for an easy way for how to treat stains on silk. The same method applies regardless the stains or remedy.

The stain treatment guide

1. Act fast

Try to act as fast as possible if you spot it immediately.

2. Prepare

Vanish says you should apply on a dry surface. Follow that advice and spray first on the dry surface. Make the fabric wet a few minutes after spraying instead.

If you use a soap bar you dampen the soap in cool water and then apply it on the stained spot. If the stain is dry feel free to soak the garment in lukewarm water before you use the stain remover.

Preparing for stain treatment

3. Work the stain

Here the stain removing starts. Rub the fabric with the stain gently to another part of the fabric. It’s always the best the rub fabric to a fabric, don’t use anything else to rub it against. Rub making circular motions with the fabrics. Though, be gentle and don’t agitate the fabric. Take a look if the stain completely disappeared. If not, treat it again.

Vegan bar soap for stain removal   Removing stain

4. Wash

Afterwards, you can either hand-wash or machine wash the silk garments. We recommend hand wash, because then you can concentrate on the stain and just wet the rest of the garment (if it’s not dirty). Always use a mild detergent for delicate garments.

If you need to refresh the whole garment use machine washing . Select the delicate cycle – 30 degrees for about 30 min.

Delicate detergent
We recommend the Organic delicate detergent by Gröna Gredelina.

5. Check the result

Sometimes, the first try won’t be 100% successful. But, that just means that you should try again. Next time, use a bit more Vanish, rub a bit harder and work a bit harder with the stains. They will dissapear or at least get less visible. It’s worth a try, because if you don’t, you probably won’t wear the garment again. And that would be a pity!

Last but not least, find more garment care guides and tips here:

A general guide: care advice for silk

Best way to wash silk

How to steam your silk garments 

5 reasons to steam your clothes

Best in test: which steamer to buy?

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And please let us know if you find this guide helpful. in the comments. This will help us on our journey to become a valuable resource within sustainable garment care.

Shop garment care products

Organic delicate detergent- 1L-Orange and ceder

Hand steamer Cirrus No.2

This blog is written by Viktor Stojkoski.

For more inspiring content check out my platform for fashion and sustainability:

Arbiter Of Sustainable Fashion

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