How to Get Stubborn Oil Stains Out of Your Silk Lingerie

Oil and silk lingerie are two things that should stay far, far away from each other. Trying to get oily stains out of any fabric is hard enough, add silk into the equation, and things get a tad more complicated. But who are we to judge if you got some grease on your favourite silk pyjamas whilst eating a takeaway in bed?


As with all stains… time is of the essence. If you leave that stubborn oil blot sitting there, things will only get worse. So, whether you’re in bed dying of a hangover or sharing some romantic time with a partner, if you want to fix it, you’ll have to act quick.

Before we get to the basics of how to remove oil stains from your silk lingerie, let’s go over what not to do. You may enter panic mode when you find a great big oil stain on your brand new $200 silk pyjamas, so it’s important to review the golden rules to avoid a laundry catastrophe.

  1. First things first, read the label. If it says you can pop it in the washing machine, carry on reading. If not, take it to a professional or follow the next steps whilst hand-washing the garment. 

  2. Before you begin the stain removal process, test the colourfastness of the item. For non-laundry experts, this means you need to double-check and see that the colour won’t transfer in the wash. You can do this by blotting a small section with a white and damp cloth.

  3. Whatever you do, don’t use bleach. Silky smooth underwear is delicate and dainty, and therefore it should be treated as such. Instead, use a gentle detergent, like non-bio. 

  4. Stay away from heat in all of its forms. Use a cool wash and keep away from the tumble dryer.

If this still hasn’t worked, or you can tell that this stain is too stubborn for an ordinary removal process, don’t worry, there is still hope. A homemade remedy of lemon juice and water might just do the trick.

Find some talcum powder or corn starch and cover the stain. Let the powder sit there for a few hours until it starts absorbing the oil. You can brush off the powder and repeat the process if the stain seems to persist. However, this method only really works with fresher stains.

If the smear is still there and you’re now questioning why you ever chose to wear silk in the first place, it’s time to whip up every grandmother’s homemade stain remover.

For the stain remover, mix a few tablespoons of lemon juice, or white vinegar, with equal parts of lukewarm water. Remember to blot test the silk in a hidden area so that you don’t ruin the fabric.

Apply the solution onto the stain and make sure to use gentle dabbing motions. Whatever you do, refrain from furious rubbing. Then simply pop your lingerie back into the washing machine and hope for the best!