How to Clean Satin

Like any luxury material, satin requires special care to maintain its integrity and value. Given that satin alludes to the weave technique, rather than the material within the piece, determining which fibers your item is composed of is crucial in cleaning it without causing damage. To maintain satin’s glossy and smooth texture, see to stains as soon as possible, wash the item in cold water, and lay flat to dry - being sure to keep the item out of direct sunlight and heat.

Method One of Six:
Removing Oil Stains From Satin
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  1. 1
    Lift the oil from the item. Use a clean paper towel and press the stain to lift it away. Alternatively, you can blot the stain with a clean rag, then pour flour or polenta over the stain and allow the flour to absorb the stain for 1 hour. Be sure to brush away any excess flour prior to moving on to the next step.[1]
  2. 2
    Pre-treat the stain. Spray a pre-treater on the stain, and let sit for 3-4 minutes. If you do not have a pre-treater, you can coat the stain with a heavy-duty detergent.[2]
    • Combining powder detergent and water to create a paste is a quick and easy way to create a pre-treater if you don’t have one on hand.[3]
  3. 3
    Wash the item in warm water. Warm water is more effective in lifting grease from the fabric, so can be used in this instance.[4] Otherwise, stick to cold water when washing your satin items.
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Method Three of Six:
Removing Dirt Stains From Satin
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  1. 1
    Brush away excess dirt. Use a cloth or a soft bristle brush to gently remove excess debris from the item. This reduces the chance of rubbing more dirt into the fabric during the cleaning process.[8]
  2. 2
    Apply soap to a damp cloth. Use cold water and a dot of hand soap, then rub the cloth together until a lather forms.
  3. 3
    Blot the stain. Rubbing stains can cause the fibers to break down more quickly, and will set the stain deeper into the fabric. Blotting gently lifts the stain away without damaging the fabric. Follow the grain of the fabric and repeat the process with a clean section of cloth until the stain is gone. Then, proceed to washing.[9]
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Method Four of Six:
Washing the Item
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  1. 1
    Soak the item in cold water. If washing by hand, soak the item in a mixture of cold water and mild detergent for 3-5 minutes.[10] Work the item through your hands gently, allowing the soap to penetrate the fibers.
  2. 2
    Rinse thoroughly under cool water. Let the water run through the fabric, until the water runs clear; free of suds. Avoid wringing or twisting the material as you rinse it, as this will cause wear and tear on the fabric.[11]
  3. 3
    Use the gentle cycle for machine washing. If your satin consists of more durable fibers such as cotton, polyester, or nylon, you can wash the item in a washing machine. Choose the delicate cycle, add a small amount of mild detergent, and use cold water. Don’t use bleach on satin items.[12]
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Method Five of Six:
Drying Your Satin Item
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  1. 1
    Air dry satin items. You should never place delicate satin items in a dryer. The dryer could shrink your item, cause piling, and shorten its lifetime.[13]
  2. 2
    Roll the item in a clean, dry towel. As you roll, apply light pressure. This will remove excess water while preventing damage caused by wringing or twisting.
  3. 3
    Lay the item flat on another dry towel. Be patient and allow the item to dry naturally. Placing the item outside is fine, but avoid direct sunlight.[14]
  4. 4
    Keep the item out of direct sunlight and heat. As the dress dries, and while storing the dress, protect it from direct sunlight and heat. Sun exposure can cause the item to fade, and heat exposure damages the integrity of the dress by breaking down the fibers.[15]
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Method Six of Six:
Ironing Satin Items
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  1. 1
    Turn the item inside-out. Satin consists of a smooth, glossy side and a dull side. Iron the ‘dull side’ in order to protect the more delicate smooth surface, and prevent creases from forming on the seems.[16]
  2. 2
    Place a towel over the item. Because satin is more sensitive to heat and susceptible to damage, taking extra precautions like placing a barrier between the iron and the satin will protect the item. This also prevents drops of water from hitting the fabric, which will cause stains.
  3. 3
    Iron on the lowest heat setting. Move the iron evenly and quickly across the towel. Do not allow yourself to remain on any section too long, as this will damage the material.
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Quick Summary

To clean satin, pre-treat stains with a store-bought product, or use a dampened cloth and a tiny amount of hand soap to dab at the stain until a lather forms. Handwash delicate satin by soaking it in cold water and mild detergent for 3-5 minutes, thin rinse the fabric with cold water. If your satin is made of durable fibers like cotton or polyester, you can use mild detergent and your washing machine's delicate cycle to clean it. Never wring or twist wet satin, and always lay the item out flat to air-dry!

WarningsEdit

  • Read the item’s label. The label reveals what fibers your satin is composed of, and gives laundering instructions based on these fibers. While polyester is the most commonly used fiber in today’s satin production, some satins consist of fibers like silk and acetate. These fibers require special care in the form of dry-cleaning. If your item’s label suggests dry-cleaning, do so.[17]
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Co-authors: 5
Updated:
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Categories: Cleaning Fabric

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