Say goodbye to tough stains on your most beloved textiles with just a few easy tips on stainfighting for your vintage clothing & textiles.
~You find that perfect vintage fabric to finish that patchwork pillow or find the best 50's circle skirt we have all done this before found the most perfect piece at an extreme bargain and you are so excited fearing your world will end if you don't snatch it up and run. then you get it home and you are ready to admire and snuggle it close to your body and you finally see it riddled with tiny unidentifiable spots, oh what to do!
~You will be upset, but this guide may help you turn your disappointment into a salvation of hope. It just requires a few steps, a little knowledge, patience and love before your beloved bargain becomes the new dust rag for your record collection.
~Some quick things to remember: Always check the integrity of the piece by determine the content it is made from and the sturdiness of the piece. Next what method to use, washing machine, spot treatment, or handwashing. Most vintage apparel will not have content labels but if you know the difference between cotton and silk, you already get points. Cottons and their blends will hold up and get better results than more delicate vintage fabrics.
~If you attempt to launder in the washing machine here are some quick tips:
Turn garments inside out
Check a hidden piece for possible bleeding
Remove all belts and other attachments
Use cold water delicate cycle
Know that spin cycle and the agitator can damage delicates
~If you plan to handwash more delicate items keep these tip in mind. Pulling or wringing can damage fibers or cause tears.
~I do not recommend using a dryer. To dry a garment, lay flat between two fluffy lint free towels to absorb water or drip dry on a padded hanger. Another no no for me is bleach. Chemically it it too harsh for most fabrics. It can also cause yellowing and a breakdown of the fibers.
~The methods listed below are just a small sampling of products I have used to fight stains like permanent marker, blood, mildew, makeup, food, wine, and rust. Always test a small hidden area and check the fabrics' integrity. If the piece you are purchasing has a major problem such as dry rot, mildew, color bleeding, or severe staining even at a bargain price, they are not the best pieces to purchase to try to wear or resell. There is nothing more frustrating then to purchase vintage, spend the time and money on it and end up using it to polish the furniture with.
Fabreeze, great for refreshing items just spray and let air dry They just came out with an odor eliminator that really works well on tough smells, just add and launder.
Biz Detergent, a powerful enzyme cleaner for stubborn stains good for soaking a garment or adding with other detergent for double the cleaning power.
Tide to Go Pen is a new product from the people at Tide, its been very effective on treating fresh food and drink stains. I have also tried it on old stains and it works well.
La's Totally Awesome Spray, this is a concentrated cleaner with degreaser and is tough on spot removal yet gentle on fabrics. It took permanent ink out of my hubbys' favorite pair of jeans.
Woolite, cold water wash a great standby for washing delicates like vintage lingerie and cashmere sweaters.
Fels Naptha Soap, a little goes a long way. I use in combination with a soft toothbrush for stubborn stains.
Dreft, the detergent used for babies is also gentle and powerful for tough enzyme stains.
Club soda, another faithful standby that helps the stain not to set.
Lemon juice, a natural remedy that works well on rust and mildew.
White vinegar, great for underarm discoloration and deodorant staining. Just dab on dab off.
The sun, a natural bleaching agent in the suns rays help whiten as well as help with mildew killing the bacteria.
Steam cleaning, a great investment to press your favorite vintage pieces but great to help loosen grime and dirt before cleaning.
Restoration, a product specifically designed for vintage for yellowing of fabrics. I have seem this product frequently on EBAY.
~When in doubt you have several options. You can keep it and wear it and love it imperfections and all. I believe that is what vintage is all about. You can sell it "as is". You can dye it, I have had great success with this to hide impossible soiling. If the item is rare or extremely fragile it is best left to a museum of conservator to restore it to its former glory.
~I hope you have found this guide useful and will have fun shopping on EBAY for more great treasures. Cheers! ranaeatplay