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How can I get glue out of my silk dress?


Q: How can I get glue out of my silk dress?


What an interesting combination: glue on silk!  I would start by checking the care label on the silk dress.  Some silk garments can be hand washed or machine washed on the delicate cycle, and if that’s the case with your dress, then you can try getting the glue off.  Of course what type of glue it is also matters.  Do you know if it’s a water soluble white craft glue (like Elmer’s) or is it something else, like hot glue from a glue gun?  Given all these different possibilities, here are some options for you to consider:

  1. Dress labeled hand or machine washable, with white craft glue stain:  Pre-soak the dress using a mild detergent in cool water for 30 minutes to an hour.  This should dissolve the glue, and then just follow the care instructions for washing the dress.  Roll the dress in a clean dry towel, squeeze out excess moisture, and lay flat to air dry on a second clean towel.  You want to avoid hanging it because the wet dress could be heavy and you don’t want to stress the shoulder seems.
  2. Dress labeled dry clean only with white craft glue stain:  take the dress to a dry cleaner and show him where the glue is as well as what type of glue it is.  It will need a separate water based pretreatment prior to the dry cleaning process.  Making sure the dry cleaner knows what is needed is your best hope at making sure the glue and dress are handled properly.
  3. Dress labeled either hand wash or dry clean only, stained with glue from a glue gun (or any glue that is not water-based):  Take the dress to the dry cleaner (even if it is labeled hand wash) and show him the glue stain.  Dry cleaners have a variety of solvents available for pretreating that should be able to dissolve hot glue.

I hope this helps.  Let me know if you have any other questions, and thanks for writing!

–Dr. Laundry

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