Removing Smells and Stains from Silk Clothing and Dealing with Moths



Every so often, we receive calls from customers for help on removing particular stains from silk. In these instances, using delicate machine wash, handwash or dry cleaning your silk garments may not be enough and may even make things worse.

We’ve decided to make a list of the different ways you can remove stains from silk.

We hope this helps!

Some reminders

Never use biological powders or those with optical whiteners or bleaching agents

These can change the dye colours on the silk and can even lead to colours in patterns disappearing.

Do not soak silk for too long

Like any natural fabric, silk cannot be soaked for too long as it will rot, especially if it has been soaked in detergent.

Never bleach silk

Always follow the instructions on the detergent!



Stains, Odours & Running Dye


To remove grease stains, we recommend putting talcum powder on the stain to absorb the oil. You can then brush the talcum powder off and wash as usual.

Other stains

For other stains, we don’t recommend any specific detergents from particular companies.

As long as a detergent is suitable for silk, we recommend pre-treating the stain by rubbing a bit of the detergent onto it, then following the washing instructions set by the detergent for silk.

Any other methods used could make the colour fade or damage the fabric.


To remove any odours from clothes, we recommend pre-soaking the garment in a solution of warm water and a couple of tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda.

Dye running

If the dye of your garments is running too much in the wash, we recommend pre-soaking the garment in a solution of cold water and salt. This helps to stabilise the dye.


Click here for more information on caring for your Patra clothing.


2 thoughts on “Removing Smells and Stains from Silk Clothing and Dealing with Moths

  1. For white, off-white, light apricot and light lilac uni-coloured garments that typically “show” my bra (i.e. above and below the bra you can see slightly grease areas), I dissolve a small quantity of Biotex ( a pure biological washing powder) in luke warm water, once it is completely dissolved, I literally pull the garment three or four times through the solution, never allow it to rest!, and then immediately rinse it in luke warm water. The grease will have disappeared and you can then wash the garment quickly and without soaking or rubbing it at all. I have had some of your silk jersey pullovers for over 20 years, and they still have their proper colour.
    I have not tried this method on darker coloured garments, because they tend not to show the non-grease band caused by hte bra.

    • Dear Ellen,

      Thank you very much for the tip! If it’s been working for twenty years, it sounds like a great method. Thanks again.

      Kind regards,

      Customer Services
      Patra Selections

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