How to Get Olive Oil Spots Out of a Silk Shirt

by Amy Wilde ; Updated September 28, 2017

Silk is a beautiful fabric, but it can be tricky to clean.

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If you've gotten olive oil on your silk shirt, you may think the shirt is ruined. That's not always the case. Oil-based stains can be easily drawn into the weave of the fabric and get trapped, especially if you apply water to the stain. Yet if you attempt to draw the oil out as soon as possible, you'll give your shirt the best chance of surviving its encounter with olive oil.

Blot the oil stain lightly with an absorbent napkin as soon as it occurs to try to draw out any excess oil.

Lay the stained part of the shirt on a flat surface and sprinkle talcum powder or cornstarch over the stain. Leave the shirt for at least 20 minutes to give the powder a chance to absorb the oil.

Brush off the powder gently with a soft, clean cloth.

Repeat Steps 2 and 3 up to three times if necessary. If the stain still remains, take the shirt to a dry cleaner who specializes in silk garments.


  • If you own several articles of silk clothing, purchase a spot-treatment product made especially for silk.

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About the Author

Amy Wilde has worked as a grant developer, copy editor, writing tutor and writer. Based in Portland, Ore., she covers topics related to society, religion and culture. Wilde holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and classical civilization from the University of Toronto.