Haya asked: My daughter went to a birthday party and she had her silk dress all stained by oil-based paint. I can’t get it off and the dry cleaners won’t take it. Can you please give me some ideas on how to get it cleaned?
Paint on silk always offers a unique situation due to the sensitive nature of silk fabric. This material requires special care and gentle cleansers. Use the method below to remove the paint stain and restore your piece to new again.
Removing Oil-Based Paints
You Will Need:
- Spoon or dull knife
- Dry cleaning solution
- Dry spotter (see instructions below)
The Removal Process:
- Start by using the spoon to scrape off as much of the paint as possible.
- Next, moisten a sponge with dry cleaning solution, such as Afta, and gently blot the stain. It is best to work from the outer edges towards the center to keep the stain from spreading.
- Follow this with an application of the dry spotter.
- In addition to the application, moisten a soft cloth with dry spotter and place it on top of the stain. As the moistened cloth sets on the stain, the stain will begin to transfer out of the silk and onto the cloth.
- Change the cloths periodically to keep a clean cloth on the stain.
- Be sure to keep both the stain and the cloth continuously moistened with dry blotter.
- Continue until no more stain is on the silk fabric.
- Rinse the area with the dry cleaning solvent and allow it to dry.
Making a Dry Spotter
Dry spotters are stain removers that contain dry solvents that will absorb grease and oil type stains.
You Will Need:
- Coconut oil
- Liquid dry cleaning solvent
- Air-tight container
How to Make the Dry Spotter:
- Begin by placing one part of coconut oil into the clean, air-tight container. If coconut oil is not available, mineral oil can be substituted, but it may not be as effective.
- Next, add eight parts of liquid dry cleaning solvent.
- Mix together thoroughly.
- Keep the container tightly sealed to avoid evaporation of the solution.
Additional Tips and Ideas
- If making your own dry spotter is not in the plan, they are commercially made spotters available. Some recommended brands are Thoro, K2R or Carbona. Always test a small, hidden area to ensure they are safe for the silk fabric you are cleaning.
- Keep all dry-spotters out of the reach of children as they may be poisonous. Use them with caution as sometimes they are also flammable.