You’re at your favourite restaurant and you accidentally spill oil on your favourite top – an expensive silk, voile or other natural fibre garment. What do you do?!
Or perhaps you’re a machinist and the machine has dropped some oil on you while sewing?
Don’t just put your clothes in the wash!
The very best thing to do immediately if you’re out at dinner is blot the stain gently between two pieces of clean paper towel or paper serviettes, not a fabric serviette in case it is made of a synthetic, which won’t be absorbent. Then leave it alone until you get home. I’m sorry but, until then, you will have to cover your stain with your wrap, hand or handbag. If you fiddle with it, the oil from your hands will make it much worse.
Instead, follow these instructions and you’ll be fine:
- Never ever wash or try to rub the oil off, just blot as described above.
- When you get home, lay the oil marked section on top of a couple of layers of paper towel, then heavily sprinkle baby powder onto the stain and leave it alone for at least 24 hours or overnight. I only use Johnson’s Baby Powder but if you find a brand with the exact same composition, it may be alright to use. There are some nasty powders on the market so do be careful, for your fabric and baby’s sake.
- The powder will slowly soak up all the oil, but if it looks like there could be some residue after that time then repeat the process again: put the fabric on top of fresh paper towel and pthen ut fresh baby powder on top.
- After it has been sitting undisturbed for approximately 24 hours, shake the excess powder off then completely submerge and wash your garment in lukewarm water and gentle laundry liquid, never spot wash a section as it will leave a watermark ring. If you prefer to dry clean your garment, you can still sprinkle the baby powder onto the stain and tell the dry cleaners what you have done.
- After washing, hang your fabric out on the line to dry.
- Once completely dry, iron.
Below are some photos that show all this in practice!
Shake off the power:
Wash the fabric: