Melted plastic stain removal
September 26, 2010 8:08 PM   Subscribe

How to remove melted plastic from a dress?

Silly me dryel'ed a dress made of viscose (it's woven, a sort of "sweaterdress" but not fuzzy) with a plastic pin attached. The pin melted into the fine knit/weave. I really like this dress and want to try everything I can to get the plastic out.

I have tried:
- ironing until the plastic melts and scrubbing
- tweezing off the larger pieces

Currently I'm left with a couple of areas where plastic is clearly in between the fibers but I can't seem to physically get at it.

Are there any solvents out there that will melt plastic but not viscose? Any other techniques or tricks that work when removing plastic from fibers or clothing?

posted by pearl228 to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can you try freezing it? Maybe poke the plastic after it's frozen, with a sewing needle or pushpin?
posted by peep at 8:10 PM on September 26, 2010

I don't know what viscose is (natural? Synthetic?) But I would think anything that will melt plastic will melt sythetics. Natural products you might have a chance with acetone, but I'd be very worried about the colour being destroyed.

If it melted in the dryer then the dryer would get hot enough to re-melt it. Have you tried putting it back in and taking it out early in the cycle? That might get it soft enough to remove another way, high pressure water or such. On the other hand it could just spread it around more....
posted by Canageek at 8:26 PM on September 26, 2010

I also don't know what viscose is, but xylene is a common laboratory solvent that has proven very effective at dissolving plastics without removing dyes from blue jeans, in my limited experience. It also dissolves latex gloves, so if you try it, don't bother wearing those (but perhaps nitrile gloves might serve you better?).
posted by wondercow at 8:47 PM on September 26, 2010

If your item is actually rayon-- which viscose usually is-- acetone might work for you (nail polish remover). Reference here.

If it's acetate, though, no dice. Nail polish remover will melt it.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:48 PM on September 26, 2010

I would try ironing again. Lay several layers of paper towels on your ironing board, then set the dress face down on the towels so that the plastic part is on top of them. Iron on the back of the plastic area. The plastic should melt away from the dress and be absorbed by the towels. Don't scrub or rub at all.
posted by donnagirl at 10:16 PM on September 26, 2010

It'll never look the same. Is the dress still available for sale in stores? If not, is it popular enough to be sold on Ebay?
posted by halogen at 10:37 PM on September 26, 2010

Best answer: Put another pin over it.
posted by theora55 at 5:27 AM on September 27, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks to all for the suggestions. I tried re-ironing, nail polish remover, freezing, push pins - everything but xylene at this point to no avail. Looks like I'm in the market for a great brooch to pin over top!
posted by pearl228 at 9:00 AM on December 23, 2010

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