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How to Remove Olive Oil From Silk

Samantha Volz

Silk is one of the most sought-after materials around the world. Used for clothing and bedsheets, silk is a delicate texture. Because it is delicate, silk can be hard to care for. Exposed to the wrong material or washed the wrong way, silk can easily become stained, torn or even completely destroyed.

Therefore, if you are dealing with oily substances such as olive oil—whether you're cooking or eating—you need to know the proper procedure and materials to get the fabric clean without damaging its integrity.

  1. Fill a sink or tub with lukewarm water. Mix in non-alkaline soap or baby shampoo until suds form.

  2. Soak the silk garment for no more than five minutes. Agitate gently with your hands to clean.

  3. Rinse with clean, warm water. Allow silk to air dry before continuing. This basic cleaning may remove the olive oil; if not, move on to the next step.

  4. Cover the olive oil stain with cornstarch or talcum powder. These materials absorb liquids and spills directly out of the silk. Allow the powder to sit on the stain for 20 minutes.

  5. Wipe away the powder with a soft, clean washcloth or soft-bristle brush. Repeat the application as necessary to remove the entire stain.


Most pieces of clothing come with tags that include instructions about care and washing. Consult the tag on your silk material for other tips or directions.


Never use chlorine or bleach on silk; they will damage the fibers in the material.

Do not let silk materials dry in direct sunlight because prolonged exposure can cause fading.