How to remove stains from satin

Satin is a beautiful and luxurious fabric that can add elegance to any outfit. However, satin also tends to show stains easily and can be difficult to clean. Removing stains from satin takes some care and the right techniques, but it can be done. In this article, we’ll go over some of the most common stains on satin items and the best methods for getting them out. With a bit of effort, you can keep your satin looking pristine.

remove stains from satin

Why Satin Stains So Easily

Satin has a smooth, shiny surface that allows liquids to soak in quickly rather than bead up. Other reasons it stains easily:

  • Satin has a delicate weave and light dye that cleaners can damage
  • The glossy finish comes from treatments that can get washed away
  • Rubbing or scrubbing can distort threads or spread stains

When cleaning, always check care labels and test products first. Be gentle and take your time working out satin stains.

Precautions When Cleaning Satin

Follow these general rules when tackling stains on satin:

  • Work over a white towel to catch drips and prevent spreading
  • Spot test stain removers first before using
  • Avoid vigorous rubbing – use light dabbing motions
  • Rinse thoroughly with cool water after applying cleaners
  • Air dry only – heat can damage satin
  • Treat spills ASAP before they have a chance to set

Removing Common Stains on Satin

Food and Drink Stains

Sugary spills like wine, chocolate, or juice can leave nasty stains on satin. Here’s how to treat them:

  • Blot up fresh stains immediately
  • Apply a little dish soap and work it in gently
  • Make a paste of baking soda + water for tough sugary stains – let sit before rinsing
  • Boil water to loosen set-in stains then rinse backside (don’t scrub fabric surface)
  • Use diluted solutions of glycerin, lemon juice, or vinegar as a last resort

Recommended products: Carbona Stain Devils, Grandma’s Secret Spot Remover

Grease and Makeup Stains

Oily stains from food or lotions need a degreasing cleaner. Go-to products include:

  • Dish soap like Dawn
  • WD-40 specialized stain removers
  • Lestoil or other heavy duty grease cutters
  • Baby powder or cornstarch to absorb excess oils

For makeup, try rubbing alcohol first to lighten pigmented stains. Then treat with dish soap and water.

Recommended products: Carbona Make-Up & Nail Polish Remover, Grandma’s Secret Spot Remover

Blood Stains

Blood should be rinsed out right away in cold water. Then:

  • Soak in a mixture of ammonia + water for 30 minutes
  • Make a paste of meat tenderizer + cold water – leave on 1 hour
  • If stain persists, pretreat with hydrogen peroxide before using ammonia

The ammonia helps loosen blood proteins while meat tenderizer and peroxide provide enzymes to break up the blood.

Ink, Dye, and Cosmetic Stains

Ink and dye marks require solvents like:

  • Isopropyl alcohol – apply first to break up pigments
  • Cream of tartar paste – draws out dye over 1 hour
  • Lemon juice to activate natural bleaching agents – sit in sunlight

For makeup with color pigments like mascara or foundation, start with rubbing alcohol then clean with dish soap.

Recommended products: Carbona Ink & Dye Remover, Whink Rust and Ink Remover

Avoiding Satin Stains

It’s better to prevent stains in the first place through:

  • Fabric protector spray to repel spills
  • Proper hanging technique – don’t fold satin
  • Hand wash only using delicate cycles and air dry
  • Storing satin lying flat or hanging to prevent creases

With some care when wearing and cleaning, you can keep satin free of spills and looking elegant.

How to Remove Specific Stains from Satin

Here are full, step-by-step instructions for removing 5 troublesome stain types:

Red Wine Stains on Satin

What You’ll Need:

  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • White vinegar
  • Clean white cloth or paper towels

Step 1: Immediately blot away excess wine gently to prevent spreading. Work over a cloth or towel.

Step 2: Run the backside under cold water to flush out as much wine as possible.

Step 3: Mix a paste of baking soda and water. Apply to stain and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes.

Step 4: Dab more dish soap directly onto the stain and work it in gently with your fingertips.

Step 5: Rinse the back of the satin again under cold water while actively blotting the front with a towel.

Step 6: If any hint of a pinkish stain remains, make a dilute mixture of 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 4 parts water. Dab it onto the stain and let react for 10 minutes.

Step 7: Sponge on some diluted white vinegar and water. This helps neutralize and rinse away peroxide residue.

Step 8: Rinse thoroughly with cold water on the backside and allow to air dry. Shape and smooth out the satin while drying.

Chocolate Stains on Satin

What You’ll Need:

  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Glycerin
  • Spoon or dull knife

Step 1: Use a spoon or dull knife to lift away any chunks of chocolate gently without smearing it in.

Step 2: Blot surrounding fabric with a towel then run the back under cold water to flush it out.

Step 3: Mix a spoonful of dishwashing liquid with 1 cup cold water. Use a corner of a towel to work this soapy solution into the stain gently.

Step 4: In a separate cup, make a paste from baking soda and water. Carefully smear this over the stain without rubbing aggressively.

Step 5: Once dry, rinse away the baking soda paste under a stream of cold water. Check if the stain has lifted.

Step 6: For any leftover bits of stain, make a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water. Dab this onto the stain with a sponge or towel for 2-3 minutes.

Step 7: Rinse vinegar solution out before applying a few drops of glycerin only on stained area. This helps attract out dye.

Step 8: Let glycerin sit for 15 minutes then rinse with cold water. Reshape and air dry the satin.

Makeup Stains on Satin

What You’ll Need:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Dish soap
  • Small bowl of cold water
  • Terry cloth towel
  • Cotton swabs

Step 1: Lay the satin facedown on a terry towel to absorb excess makeup and prevent back-staining.

Step 2: Dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and gently roll across stain to dissolve pigment.

Step 3: Flip over swab and press backside onto the stain to lift dissolved makeup. Repeat using fresh edges.

Step 4: When pigment is somewhat lightened, rinse the back of fabric under cold water while actively dabbing front with a towel.

Step 5: Make a dilute solution of clear dish soap and lukewarm water in a bowl.

Step 6: Dip corner of towel in soapy mixture. Gently sponge and release onto the stain to emulsify remaining oils and pigment.

Step 7: Rinse under a steady stream of cold water until no more soap bubbles emerge.

Step 8: Reshape and lay flat or hang to air dry. Apply fabric protector spray once fully dry.

Oil Stains on Satin

What You’ll Need:

  • WD-40 Specialized Cleaner
  • Talcum or baby powder
  • Terry cloth towels

Step 1: Lay the satin facedown on white towels to wick staining. Sprinkle baby powder liberally on back of stain.

Step 2: Let powder sit 1 hour to absorb excess grease. Then shake off residue gently.

Step 3: Apply a small amount of WD-40 stain cleaner directly on oil stain. Use fingertips to gently work into fabric.

Step 4: Place more towels underneath and let WD-40 sit for 5 minutes to dissolve oils.

Step 5: Position satin with stain facing down in sink or basin. Run a steady stream of cold water across back of stain so water flushes through fabric rather than directly on stain.

Step 6: Check if stain has lifted by patting area with a dry section of towel. Repeat WD-40 treatment if needed.

Step 7: Once stain is removed, rinse back thoroughly until water runs clear. Reshape on towels and air dry before spraying with fabric protector.

How to Care for Satin

Use these tips to keep satin looking pristine between wears:


  • Hand wash only using gentle cycles
  • Use mesh bags for delicate fabrics
  • Allow to fully air dry then reshape


  • Keep satin laid flat or hanging
  • Never fold or bunch tightly
  • Use fabric garment bags

Preventing Snags

  • Apply fabric protector spray
  • Hang properly on wide padded hangers
  • Avoid jewelry and accessories that could catch

Treat satin delicately, tackle stains promptly, and care for it properly in storage so it remains soft, shiny, and beautiful.


Satin is notorious for staining easily, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with food, grease, makeup, or ink spots ruining the look. By understanding satin’s delicate nature, acting quickly when spills happen, and using the appropriate gentle cleaning methods for the type of stain, you can keep your satin items pristine. Just be patient, work the stain remover in lightly, rinse thoroughly, and allow satin to fully air dry to prevent water marks or heat damage. With a careful approach and the stain fighting know-how in this article, you can keep your elegant satin free of spots and stains for years of wear.

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As the founder of Clean It Spotless, I am Melissa Walker, a leading expert in removing tough stains from fabrics, carpets, and upholstery. With over 10 years of experience in the cleaning industry, I have developed my own natural, non-toxic stain-fighting formulas that lift stains while preserving the integrity of the underlying material. My stain removal tutorials are widely read online, and I have appeared on local TV segments demonstrating my techniques. I also present popular stain removal workshops at community centers and schools.

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