Sensible solutions for cleaning satin

July 28, 2015

Cleaning satin is tricky because this shiny fabric picks up and shows grease and other stains more easily than most. Here are some tips for keeping satin blankets, sheets, pillows and ornaments looking their best.

Sensible solutions for cleaning satin

1. Blot blanket stains

  • If you get a greasy stain on satin of any kind — be it on blanket binding, satin sheets, pillows, Christmas decorations or other items — try blotting, but don't rub, the stain first with a clean, white rag.
  • Then cover the stain with flour or polenta. Let it sit for an hour. The milled grain should absorb most of the stain.
  • Gently brush the fabric with a soft-bristled brush and launder a washable item according to the instructions on the fabric care label.
  • If a blanket is washable, its binding is too.
  • Treat stains first with a pre-wash stain remover.
  • If an item is not washable, take it to a dry cleaner.

2. Treat satin sheets with care

  • Satin sheets are a little trickier to care for because there are several types available on the market.
  • If you have woven acetate sheets or silk satin sheets, dry-clean them, or hand wash them in a laundry tub or bathtub in room-temperature water and a gentle fabric wash.
  • Hand wring gently, wrapping up the sheet in an absorbent white towel, then hang to dry.
  • Polyester and nylon satin sheets are more durable. You can machine wash them, but hand washing will keep pilling to a minimum.
  • If you are putting them in a washing machine, use warm or cool water and very little detergent.
  • Never use bleach.
  • Put them in the dryer on the lowest setting.
  • Never line dry nylon sheets in the sun.

3. Pillows & ornaments

  • To clean satin pillows and Christmas decorations, vacuum them using the soft upholstery brush attachment.
  • Give greasy stains the flour or polenta treatment described above.
  • If stains persist, launder a satin pillow only if its cover comes off.
  • It's best to dry-clean satin Christmas decorations (such as stockings), as well as satin curtains, bedspreads and comforters. Differences in their linings may cause the fabrics to dry differently.
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