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Cleaning Vintage Linens

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An Antique Linen Dealer shared her secret with me, over 25 years ago, for cleaning vintage linens. This was before Oxygen cleaners and many spot treatments were readily available. I would try the newer ones first. If they do not work, this has worked for me. Please note, always test a small area first. If you are happy with the results, proceed with caution, at your own risk.
  • the right way to clean vintage linens, cleaning tips
An antique linen dealer shared her secret with me, over 25 years ago, for cleaning vintage linens.The first step was soaking in Biz, a powdered detergent. I soaked this crocheted tablecloth overnight in Biz. Directions are on the box.
  • the right way to clean vintage linens, cleaning tips
Since stubborn stains remained, I moved onto the next step. I brought water to a gentle boil, not rolling and added powdered Cascade. Depending on the size of your item and pot will determine the amount of product you need to add.
  • the right way to clean vintage linens, cleaning tips
I used a lobster pot, so I added 1/2 cup of Cascade. I turned the eye off before I tested a tiny area to decide if I should proceed. Next, I added the entire tablecloth and stirred constantly. I used tongs to help check the stains.
  • the right way to clean vintage linens, cleaning tips
If you determine that this method may work for you. Always test a tiny area first.Then, proceed with caution, at your own risk. Only you know the age, type of fabric, size and condition of your piece. Note, rinse by hand and line dry.
  • the right way to clean vintage linens, cleaning tips
This worked beautifully on my tablecloth. The stains are gone. For me, this was unusable before cleaning it. It didn't respond to Oxygen cleaners or pre-treatment cleaners. I have successfully used this method for 25+years.

To see more: http://coastal-colors.blogspot.com/2013/11/cleaning-vintage-and-antique-linens-tip.html

  • Betsy
    Betsy Atlanta, GA

    Wow, that's amazing! Thank you for sharing this tip!

  • Cholesa

    I have used this on soiled cross stitch projects. it worked beautifully.
    I also have whitened things in Cascade in my crockpot overnight!!

  • Colleen Jury
    Colleen Jury Bothell, WA

    I have an antique linsey-woolsey coverlet in black, moss green, cream, and red. I'm interested in cleaning it, but don't want to kill it! It's heavy and large (queen size, at least). Could I grate some Fels Naphtha soap into my bathtub and soak it?

    • Mary Anne Bolis Krohn

      I would really, REALLY hesitate to wash linsey woolsey, especially as this is an antique. Linsey woolsey is a fabric made using linen for the warp and wool for the weft. Most "old" wool WILL shrink. And in this case, since the weft is wool and

  • Kathy Klekar
    Kathy Klekar Katy, TX

    I have two old dressy dresses that my girls wore for Christmas when they were kids. They have been hanging in my closet for about 20-25 yrs. the lace has some stains on it that wasn't there before. The basic fabric on the dresses is velvet. Would it

    • Darlene Odom
      Darlene Odom Grand Bay, AL

      I had my daughter's velvet/lace dress professionally cleaned because the lace was yellowed and they totally ruined the velvet. I would not try washing the velvet. You could remove the lace to wash it .

  • Throckmorton40

    Maureen, after spraying, you launder carefully, either by hand or machine if the linen will withstand it, then dry nd iron, if needed.

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