Although silk is a beautiful material, it's easily damaged by spills such as lotion or beverages.

How to Get Lotion Marks Out of Silk

by Chance Henson

The very word silk conjures images of smooth, creamy textures and delicate luxurious textiles. Since its discovery 4,000 years ago, silk has been among the most popular fabrics -- and wearers have struggled to remove stains from the fragile material for almost as long. As a protein fiber, silk is easily dissolved by conventional washing methods; the best ways to remove lotion stains from your silks is to either gently blot the stain or seek the help of a professional.

Dry Cleaning

Gently remove excess lotion as soon as you discover the stain on silk fabrics. Use a clean, damp cloth to blot out the excess lotion. Carefully examine the entire garment to determine the exact locations and amount of damage done to your garment.

Take your silk garment to a dry cleaner as quickly as possible. Stains become more difficult to remove after sitting for 24 hours or more.

Carefully explain to your dry cleaner the nature of the stain and point out each stain on the garment. It will be beneficial to bring the offending lotion or a list of the lotion’s ingredients with you to ensure that the stain is properly removed.

Return to the dry cleaner to pick up your garment. With your dry cleaner, carefully examine the entire garment for damage and proper stain removal. Point out to the dry cleaner any holes, tears, discoloration or yarn slippage you discover and request additional repairs as necessary.

Hold your garment up in good light. If the garment appears to have become chafed, lost its luster or bled its dye, request that your dry cleaner give the garment a restorative bath.

Items you will need

  • Dry cleaner
  • Damp towel


  • An overly wet cloth can cause light areas to appear on silk fabrics. Point out lightened areas; your dry cleaner can likely mask the damage with special treatments.


  • Silk fibers are easily damaged by rubbing -- use a gentle blotting technique to clean silk if you can't get to a dry cleaner.
  • Always read the care instructions printed on the garment’s label before cleaning.

About the Author

Chance Henson earned a B.A. in English literature and a writing minor from Lamar University. While interning at the "University Press" newspaper and "UP Beat" magazine he received an award for news feature writing from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. Henson went on to serve as content editor for "CUSH Magazine," eventually leaving to pursue the development of an online secular humanist educational publication.

Photo Credits

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