Sunday, October 12, 2008

How to Clean Vintage Linens

Several people have asked me how I launder my vintage linens. Most of the fabric that I buy is not in perfect condition, so I frequently have to spend a fair amount of time using various methods to get stains out.

So... here is my "Recipe". I mainly have white items - so please check the colorfastness on your items before deciding to wash them, you don't want to ruin your entire load of goodies - good luck rescuing your linens!

Here's what you need:
1 cup Clorox II (color safe bleach)
1 cup Biz
1 cup Cascade (dishwashing detergent)

Fill washing machine with very hot water.
Add all 3 ingredients to hot water.
Let washer agitate to mix thoroughly.
Let water cool down to room temperature.
Let washer agitate again to mix thoroughly.
Add all materials to be soaked and agitate only for a couple of minutes.
Every few hours agitate the wash for a few minutes.
Soak for 3-4 days (Yes, DAYS!) or as needed (or as tolerated, because I KNOW you have other things to wash!)

Hints for leftover stains:
Lay wet material in green grass in hot sun and mist with lemon juice.
Clorox bleach pens work great for small stains (just be sure to wash your items afterwards, bleach can eat holes in your linens)
Borax or Oxiclean are great for brightening items (just be sure not to breath in the dust!)
Using 1 cup of white vinegar in your wash, can also help brighten colors and remove smelly odors.
Drying linens on the clothes line if you have one will air them out beautifully
Dish Detergent is good for stains like grease

Check TipNut for more ideas on cleaning vintage linens:


Lacie said...

Thank you! Thank you!

Lavender Dreamer said...

Thanks for the information! I have some work to do on a few pieces of fabric that are stained! You have a wonderful blog!

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