How to Clean Silk Upholstery


Cleaning Silk Upholstery

Silk is a lustrous fiber with high strength and good elasticity. It tends to shed dirt and resist wrinkles. Silk dyes and prints well and is usually found in bright rich colors. It is absorbent but dries quickly.


Silk becomes weaker when wet and is easily yellowed and damaged by age, sunlight, and perspiration. Silk yellows if exposed to high temperatures and strong soaps. It is also harmed by alkalis and oxidizing agents (bleaches). Silk fabrics also tend to waterspot if wet cleaned incorrectly.


Some brightly colored dyes used on silk are prone to bleeding. Insects can attack silk. In some constructions, silk fabrics have low abrasion resistance.


The following tech help is on dry cleaning silk upholstery. Testing for bleeding still needs to be done with dry cleaning chemicals. To avoid damage, keep temperatures below 330°F.



  1. Using a natural sponge, apply Chemspec Dry Fabric Cleaner to upholstery. Be sure to wear protective gloves.
  2. Wipe using short vigorous strokes against fabric grain.
  3. Using a dry white towel, wipe down fabric to remove excess cleaner.


Warning: Always test material for colorfastness, follow label directions and never mix product unless specified in the label directions. Each situation reacts differently and results may vary.

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  1. Drapery Clamp

    The Drapery Clamp allows you to clean drapery and other fabrics without wrinkling when used properly.

    • Clean without wrinkling
    • Clean draperies with ease
    • Same-day shipping!
  2. Chemspec® Dry Fabric Cleaner

    Releases oil and petroleum-based soils from carpet and upholstery fibers and emulsifies them for easy, clean-rinsing removal.

    • Use to dry clean fabrics by hand or machine
    • pH: None
    • Safe for all fabrics
    • Ready to use

    Starting at: $33.74

  3. Industrial Grade Nitrile Exam Gloves, 5 mil, Powder Free, Blue

    These powder-free nitrile gloves are 3X more puncture-resistant than rubber gloves! They're an affordable way to protect your hands from a broad range of chemicals as well as bloodborne pathogens.

    • Latex and powder free; puncture resistant
    • 5 mil thickness
    • Micro-textured surface for a non-slip grip
    • 100 gloves per box; 10 boxes per case (XL 90 per box)

    Starting at: $8.74

  4. Handheld Solvent-Resistant Pressure Sprayer, 1.5 Quart
    This 1-1/2-quart pump-up sprayer features a high-density polyethylene tank and a steel pump rod for extra durability. Fluid levels can be easily monitored through the translucent tank. A special pump bypass feature eliminates over-pressurizing of the tank. Solvent-resistant viton seals.
    • Industrial heavy-duty design
    • 1-1/2-quart capacity
    • Plated steel pump rod
    • Solvent-resistant viton seals
  5. HydraMaster Ultimate Upholstery Cleaning Machine

    The Ultimate is a powerful multi-purpose machine that can wet clean synthetic fibers as well as dry clean natural fabrics. You no longer have to avoid touching certain types of upholstery, drapes, or Oriental rugs—the Ultimate can do it all! Onboard tool kit included.

    • Ideal for wet or dry cleaning upholstery and drapes
    • Solvent compatible and self-priming
    • 3-1/4-gallon tank
    • 40-PSI pump with viton seals and 200°F heater
  6. Economy Horsehair Upholstery Brush

    This brush features real horsehair bristles on a plastic block. Measures 6" x 2".

    • Horsehair bristles on a plastic block
    • Measures 6 inches x 2 inches
  7. Natural Sponge

    A favorite for use when foam cleaning upholstery fabrics and for hand cleaning silk rugs, the natural material of this sponge allows for excellent control of foam and liquid. It also provides gentle agitation for thorough cleaning. Natural sponges are soft, pliable, absorbent, and last longer than cellulose.

    • Ideal for general cleaning
    • Will not stain or retain odors
    • Super absorbent

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