Grease Stains!

You’re in your Faire Finery, eating a big old hearty greasy breakfast of Bacon and Eggs, getting ready for a full day of entertaining mundane’s, when the WORST happens…

While reaching for the salt, you drag your silk sleeve through the bacon grease!  You don’t have time to go change, Faire awaits.  You just know that stain is gonna be good and set by the time the long day is done.  And it’s SILK!  You don’t want to trash the silk, it’s your best shirt, and it was a little pricey.  But now you have a set in stain.  What to do?

Disclaimers:

I ran this experiment on Damask Raven silk, a scrap from an already completed project (hey, if I’m wrong in my cleaning methods, I don’t want to trash MY shirt!)  As such, I knew the fabric had already been washed and the excess dye from the factory had already bled off.  If you have not pre-washed your silk prior to making your garment, test a small inconspicuous area for color fastness before attempting the following cleaning method.

So here is a piece of Glorious Gold, a good size square, pinked to prevent fraying during the coming trial.

Glorious Gold silk scrap before attacking it with a forkful of grease
Glorious Gold silk scrap before attacking it with a forkful of grease

The Challenge:  GREASE!

Not bacon grease, but a lovely pot of vegetable grease used to fry up some chicken.  Remnants of chicken, paprika, and cayenne pepper give it that lovely orangey/yellow hue.

The Challenge!
The Challenge!

Oh NO!  I purposefully smeared a full forkful of chicken grease on the silk.  Then left it to dry overnight, resulting in this:

Oh NO! A Vicious smear campaign!
Oh NO! A Vicious smear campaign!

Back side of the same piece of silk.  Fully set in, and spreading throughout the surrounding fibers.  What a mess!  Heartbreaking if it happens to your silk Faire Finery.

Fully set in and spreading to the edges...
Fully set in and spreading to the edges…

So what is one to do?  Dawn.  Yes, Dawn, which fights grease while saving baby ducks.  Hey, if it’s good enough for baby ducks, it’s good enough for silk.

Dawn to the Rescue!
Dawn to the Rescue!

Ok, I admittedly over-saturated the piece.  You probably don’t need this much Dawn.  But after soaking the hell out of the fabric, I left it to sit for a few hours.  After rinsing it out fully and letting it air dry, the results were this:

Clean at Last!
Clean at Last!
No More Stain
No More Stain

Clean at last!  Seriously, Dawn is a miracle cure, which you can use on any grease stain, almost any fiber.  I probably would not use it on wool, due to wool’s propensity to felt when the fibers are wet and worked over.  But Dawn does not hurt silk and DOES get the grease out.  Just as advertised 🙂

Clean silk!  And for good measure, here are pictures, front and back, of the same silk, one week after running my test, and ironed.  I figured if there was any residual grease in the fibers, the heat from the iron would bring it to the surface.  Nary a trace to be found.  DAWN!  It gets the grease out!

After one week and a vigorous ironing
After one week and a vigorous ironing
No grease hiding here!
No grease hiding here!

And that is how I remove cooking grease from silk.  Has anyone else tried a different method that worked for them?

 

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  1. Pingback:Pizza Time! How to remove Marinara sauce from silk

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