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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. Chemspec® Dry Fabric Cleaner
    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 $61.93

  2. ProWorks® Industrial Grade Nitrile Exam Gloves, 5 mil, Powder Free, Blue
    ProWorks® Industrial Grade Nitrile Exam Gloves, 5 mil, Powder Free, Blue

    Enjoy dependable hand protection with these disposable 100% synthetic nitrile gloves. Powder-free and latex-free, there is no risk of allergic reactions to natural rubber latex protein. These gloves provide protection from chemicals, solvents, grease/oil, and blood/bodily fluids.

    • 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

    Starting at $22.56

  3. Handheld Solvent‑Resistant Pressure Sprayer, 1.5 Quart
    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
  4. Economy Horsehair Upholstery Brush
    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
  5. Armaly Brands ProPlus® 7"‑8" Natural Sea Wool Sponge
    Armaly Brands ProPlus® 7"‑8" Natural Sea Wool Sponge

    Combining excellent absorbency and durability with extreme softness, these Wool Sea Sponges are the ultimate choice when tasked with cleaning delicate upholstery or silks. All-natural and 100% biodegradable, these sponges provide excellent foam control and inhibit bacterial growth.

    • Ideal for cleaning delicate surfaces and fabrics
    • Soft, durable, highly absorbent
    • All-natural, 100% biodegradable
    • Naturally inhibits the growth of bacteria
    • Size, shape, and color may vary
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