Help: vitamin E on new silk shirt!
June 23, 2011 5:28 AM   Subscribe

I just got some vitamin E cream on my new silk shirt: what should I do?

I put some Webber's vitamin E on a burn on my arm this morning and accidentally touched my shirt with it when moving. I immediately rinsed it off with water, and then added a bit of hand soap following my mom's suggestion. Is there anything else I should do, now or when I get home later? I'm really worried that it will leave a stain and it's the first time I'm wearing this shirt.... if the material is important, it's silk, 100% (yeah, that's also part of why I don't want to stain it... it's the most expensive shirt I ever bought, and I'm still a student, I don't have the money to replace it (it bought it to have a nice shirt to wear at my part-time job, that has a conservative dress-code))
I hope the wonderful Ask mefi community can help me with this!
posted by kitsuloukos to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
Response by poster: Oops: good news, I mixed it up with another shirt I bought, this one is NOT silk, it's 100% polyester, I'm relieved. Any suggestions for cleaning it would also be appreciated but I wanted to correct that mistake (and now I'm wondering why it was so expensive... cause it still was anyways).
Sorry for the mistake, I should've checked before, but I was so sure that it was silk.
posted by kitsuloukos at 5:49 AM on June 23, 2011

Is it an oily stain? I've had good luck getting petroleum-based hand cream out of a dry clean only skirt by sprinkling cornstarch directly on the stain and letting it sit for a few hours. Brush it off after a while, and if the oily stain is still there, repeat as necessary.
posted by mchorn at 6:00 AM on June 23, 2011

Response by poster: Thank you! Is it effective only immediately after staining the shirt or should it work if I do it when I come back at home in a couple of hours?
posted by kitsuloukos at 6:03 AM on June 23, 2011

I also stained a polyster shirt with oil recently and had this same problem. Apparently oil stains on polyster are common.

What I did, after googling, was wash the stain with dish detergent and warm water, let it sit a bit, and then threw it in the laundry. It worked.
posted by queens86 at 6:07 AM on June 23, 2011

Best answer: I think waiting shouldn't be a problem (I waited several hours). The cornstarch will naturally absorb the oil, so the effectiveness I don't think will be reduced over time.

However, I would not wash the garment before trying this--because cornstarch alone will definitely not hurt the garment or set the stain, you have nothing to lose by trying this first and later trying more traditional stain-removing methods. Once you wash a garment, though, any stains that remain can be much more difficult to remove.

Also, the dish detergent idea is a great next step. BUT be sure to test the detergent in a non-visible spot to make sure you won't inadvertently discolor the garment--dish detergent can be potent stuff! When you test, make sure you let it sit as you would for stain-removal purposes.
posted by mchorn at 6:51 AM on June 23, 2011

I've had amazing luck with Shout stain remover. Try the cornstarch method, and if it doesn't work, get yourself some Shout. It is magic, and it works even after a long time, so it's okay to try other methods first.
posted by rosa at 8:02 AM on June 23, 2011

Response by poster: Thank you again everybody! I tried the cornstarch and it seems to have worked (for some reason it looks like that part of the shirt "mattified" but I'm thinking that's the cornstarch residue, I haven't had the time to clean it thoroughly yet, and a part from that, it's perfect)
posted by kitsuloukos at 7:55 PM on June 25, 2011

Kitsuloukos, if you don't want to wash it yet, have you tried brushing the garment with a toothbrush (or something similar)? Anything that will brush at the fibers and remove any set-in residue.
posted by mchorn at 6:15 AM on June 27, 2011

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