How to Get an Oil Spot Out of Taffeta

by Victoria Martin ; Updated September 28, 2017

Vintage taffeta gowns can be very difficult to clean without ruining the fabric.

George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images

Oil and grease stains are notoriously difficult to remove from fabrics. When you get a stain on a truly delicate fabric like silk or taffeta, you may think that your garment is ruined forever. Thankfully, there are a few different options you can pursue to try to remove an oil stain. You can either consult a professional fabric cleaner, or opt to test a few simple cleaning methods using inexpensive household items to remove the oil spot from your garment.

Cornstarch Method

Sprinkle cornstarch over the oil-stained area so that it completely covers the spot.

Leave the cornstarch on the stain for 20 to 30 minutes.

Shake the cornstarch from the fabric to see if the stain is removed.

Citrus Oil Method

Dab a small amount of citrus oil onto your garment's stain with a cotton swab.

Lay a paper towel over the oil and stain.

Apply the hot iron to lift the citrus oil from the fabric along with the stain.

Detergent Method

Pour a small amount of gentle detergent -- like Woolite -- onto the oil stain.

Rub the detergent gently into the stained area of the fabric.

Rinse the soapy area with water.

Enzyme Cleaner Method

Sprinkle the stain with an enzyme cleaner -- like OxyClean.

Add a small amount of water to the powder.

Rub the fabric with a toothbrush to make a paste from the detergent and water.

Let the enzyme cleaner sit on the fabric for 10 minutes.

Rinse the fabric with cool water.


  • Always test a cleaning method on an inconspicuous area inside the garment, like a seam, to make sure the cleaner does not damage the fabric. Use the same method outlined in the steps. Take your taffeta garment to a professional garment cleaner to see what method they recommend for you to clean the garment yourself.

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Photo Credits

  • George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images

About the Author

Victoria Martin has been a writer for more than 14 years. Her work has appeared in Jacksonville's "The Dialer World Magazine," San Francisco's "In Structure Magazine" and Northern California's weekly "The Word: Arts and Culture." Martin received her Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies from Humboldt State University.