How to Clean Vintage Fabrics

Love Vintage Hankies and Lace
Love Vintage Hankies and Lace

If you have any Vintage (not using word OLD) fabrics that might be little yellow and stained, don’t worry.  In most cases the problem can be solved.  The very first tip you need to know is don’t use your washing machine or dryer.  Vintage fabrics are just too fragile.

First try soaking your items in cool water with a mild soap.  I like to let my items soak over night.  Rinse everything three or four times in cool water.  Don’t wring out the water.  Squeeze gently and use towels to soak and pat your item dry.

Dry flat on a towel. Don’t lay them out in the sun.

If your item is still stained here are a few other ways to make them clean.  The powdered Oxi Clean dissolved in hot water and before adding your fabric add some cool water.  Swish everything around.  Let soak overnight. and repeat with gently squeezing and drying with a towel.

If your fabric is extremely stained and yellowed you can simmer the fabric in a large pot full of water for two hours.  Just prepare your water using Oxi Clean as instructed above.   Don’t boil, simmer the water.

If you are cleaning pillowcases, tablecloths and napkins go ahead and hang them outside in the sun to dry.

Now you know how to clean all those great vintage fabrics.  ENJOY!


26 thoughts on “How to Clean Vintage Fabrics

  1. These are great ideas! My grandma has a lot of them in an old tub somewhere and they’re all dusty and old. She might not know what to do with them so I’m sharing this with her!

  2. Good ideas for saving the lovely vintage items. I had rust like stains on my ‘old’ wedding dress I used lemon juice and salt and let it stay in the sun for a time before washing it. The rust marks came out 🙂
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  3. My grandmother gave me a beautiful hand embroidered tablecloth. I have kept it for a long time, because I did not want to use it, but when I did take it out of the closet, there were yellow marks in it. i did not want to use bleach because the embroidery might get damaged. I will try your tips. It may help me get those marks out and make the tablecloth look like new again.

  4. Perfect tips. I was wondering how to clean some of the tablecloths I have been given from my great grandparents. Going to give it a try

  5. This is so true. I just saved my 40 year old baby quilt made by my grandmother with Oxi Clean. My daughter had wiped her chocolate hands on it and I about had a heart attack, but Oxi Clean got the stains out!

  6. That’s where I went wrong…using my washer. I will have to remember this the next time I need to wash my great grandma’s collection.

  7. I have no vintage fabrics to clean but I can’t share this with my mom who does have many vintage fabrics. Oxi clean is a great product, I love the commercials.

  8. These are some great tips that I definitely plan to use. I’ve damaged a few vintage clothes in the past from using the washing machine so I stopped buying them. Now I know the proper way to care for them so I won’t shy away from the antique stores anymore.

  9. Oh so good to know! I do a lot of antique shopping and always eye these great fabrics but havent picked any up. Feeling inspired now… because I wont miss them up haha

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