How Do You Remove Ink Stains from Silk?

Ink stained silk blouse; copyright Alexey Novikov at

Don't panic if you get ink on your silk clothing. You may think your garment is ruined, but you may still be able to remove the ink if you work quickly while the stain is fresh. Try the following methods to get rid of that nasty stain.

Three Ways to Remove Ink Stains from Silk

Blot, Soak, and Press

This method is usually the first line of defense against a permanent ink stain.

  1. Blot the spot to stop the ink from spreading into the fabric. Blotting paper works best, but if you don't have that grab an absorbent paper towel.
  2. As soon as possible, take off the garment and soak it in cold water for a few minutes.
  3. Lay out a layer of absorbent paper towels on a countertop or table and then lay the garment on the towels.
  4. Lay more paper towels directly on the stain, and cover them with a heavy object. Let everything sit for at least two or three minutes. The paper towels should absorb most of the ink.
  5. If necessary, repeat soaking and pressing until the ink is removed.


If you still have a stubborn stain, you can try the hairspray trick.

  1. Soak the stain with hairspray while the fabric is still wet. The hairspray acts like a solvent to break up the remaining ink.
  2. Use a heavy object to weigh paper towels down on the stain to absorb the hairspray along with the remaining ink.
  3. Follow by washing the garment with a gentle detergent in lukewarm water.
  4. Don't dry the garment if you still see ink because that will set the stain permanently.

Vinegar and Water

If hairspray doesn't remove the ink, try using a vinegar and water solution.

  1. Mix equal amounts of white distilled vinegar and water and soak your garment.
  2. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush to gently scrub the stain.
  3. Continue to soak and scrub until the stain has disappeared.
  4. When you're finished, wash the garment in cold water.

When All Else Fails

If you have tried several solutions to get the ink out of your silk garment and have not had any luck, it may be time to take your item to a dry cleaner. Be sure to let your dry cleaner know what you have already tried to remove the stain and how long the stain has been set into the fabric. With a little luck and a lot of expertise, your garment just might come out looking like new.

How Do You Remove Ink Stains from Silk?