How to Clean Chiffon Fabric

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Light and airy, chiffon is often used in bridal gowns and other special event attire.

Chiffon is a sheer, lightweight fabric often used for prom, wedding and bridesmaid dresses. Soft and flowing, chiffon adds delicacy to garments and also adds a feminine touch to curtains and other household items. Chiffon is traditionally made from silk, but heartier modern versions are sometimes made from nylon, rayon and polyester. If the tag on your chiffon says "Dry clean only," follow the instructions and take it to the cleaner. If it doesn't, you can hand wash the piece. You may even be able to get away with throwing it in the washing machine, but make this your last resort, because machine washing can damage delicate chiffon.

Hand Washing

Hand washing is safest for chiffon.
Image Credit: tonivaver/iStock/GettyImages

Things You'll Need

  • A large sink or tub

  • Cold water

  • Scented vinegar

  • Silk-safe detergent

  • Baking soda

  • Soft-bristled toothbrush

  • Clean white towel

  • Hanger (optional)

Step 1

Fill a sink or basin with cold water. Chiffon does best in water that is about 40 degrees Fahrenheit, so check your water temperature before adding your fabric.

Step 2

If the chiffon has an unpleasant odor, add 1/4 cup of vinegar to the water, and let the garment soak for 30 minutes.

Tip

If desired, you can purchase or make scented vinegar for your laundry. This gives clothes a more pleasant scent than regular vinegar.

Step 3

Empty your tub or sink, and refill it with fresh water. Add two cap-fulls of silk laundry detergent or another gentle cleanser. Place the garment in the soapy water.

Step 4

Remove any stains from your chiffon. To do so, add a bit of baking soda to a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently work it into the stain. Always do this as gently as possible.

Tip

Oil stains are best treated as soon as they happen. Pour some baby powder or talc on the oil to soak it up as soon as you notice the stain. You can then treat the stain again with some baking soda when washing.

Step 5

Leave your chiffon to soak in the soapy water for 30 minutes, and then rinse it thoroughly with fresh water.

Step 6

After rinsing your chiffon, squeeze out as much water as you can without wringing the garment. Spread the chiffon on a clean white towel, and roll the chiffon in the towel, squeezing out the water as you go.

Step 7

Reshape your chiffon, and then lay it flat or hang it to dry. You can dry chiffon in the dryer if you are able to turn off the heat and remove it promptly before it wrinkles.

Machine Washing

Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda

  • Soft-bristled toothbrush or washcloth

  • Mesh lingerie bag

  • Silk laundry detergent

  • Hanger (optional)

Step 1

Pretreat any stains on your chiffon by scrubbing them gently with some cold water and baking soda. You can use a washcloth or soft-bristled toothbrush to do this, but be gentle.

Step 2

Turn the chiffon garment inside out, and then place it inside a mesh lingerie bag. Place the bag in the washing machine. Do not add any other clothes to the wash, since silk chiffon can bleed.

Step 3

Pour a silk laundry detergent or other detergent for delicate fabrics into the washing machine, and set the machine to cold water and the gentlest cycle possible. Turn it on.

Step 4

When the washer is done, remove the chiffon garment, reshape it and dry it flat. You can also hang the chiffon to dry or place it in the dryer. Set the dryer to air dry only without heat, and remove the chiffon promptly to avoid wrinkles.

Tip

Use a cool iron on chiffon to remove wrinkles.

Warning

Always check the care label to ensure the fabric is machine-washable. Some chiffon products need to be dry cleaned.

references & resources

Home is where the heart is, and Michelle frequently pens articles about ways to keep yours looking great and feeling cozy. Whether you want help organizing your closet, picking a paint color or finishing drywall, Michelle has you covered. If she's not puttering in the house, you'll find her in the garden playing in the dirt. Her garden articles provide tips and insight that anyone can use to turn a brown thumb green. You'll find her work on Modern Mom, The Nest and eHow as well as sprinkled throughout your other online home decor and improvement favorites.

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