Found a linen treasure that you are willing to try cleaning on your own? Crocheted, tatted, and embroidered vintage items are beautiful but often are yellowed or stained. Through trial and error, I have found products that can remove the discoloration and stains. This is not a paid endorsement. If I could figure out how to get the companies to pay me, I would, and I would tell you!
First, some disclaimers: I am not a professional cleaner. Any cleaning you attempt is at your own risk. Vintage items sometimes do not survive the cleaning process. If you are not willing to risk your piece, then please take it to a professional cleaner.
Test your item to see if it is color fast. Old embroidery threads often bleed color it they are wet. Seek professional help.;-)
Never ever put linens in the washing machine or Dryer. Soak and agitate them by hand. For all products follow the directions on the package. Never ever mix products!
To restore the original color to linens:
- Soak in either Yellow Out or Oxiclean. Either in your sink or in a plastic container. (this may take hours. Yellow out sometimes makes the piece appear a different color at first then changes to white. Remember this is at your own risk!)
- Hand Agitate the linens gently.
- Drain solution and rinse thoroughly with clean water.
- Allow to dry.
- Inspect for stains.
- If particular stains have not been removed use the appropriate Carbona Stain Remover. Follow directions on bottle. I have used the rust stain remover on crocheted items with success.
- If overall stains have not been removed try the other general cleaner: Yellow Out or Oxiclean.
Stains Out? Now it's time to block dry your piece. Find a clean white towel. Place on folded towel. Arrange your item to the desired size and shape. Let sit to dry. Can be placed outside. Change to another dry towel every half day.
Before purchasing a vintage linen read the description carefully. Ask questions before you bid. Has it been cleaned recently? Was it originally ecru?
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