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The Cleaning Clothes (vintage or other) Thread

Discussion in 'The Powder Room' started by Dahlia, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. Nice tip Miss Sis - thank you - will check the supermarket and see if they have it!
  2. Ok, I washed the dress and belts with Vanish and left it in the bath for an hour and a half - I don't think much of the yellow came out - in fact all that has come out is a really bad smell of moth balls (which strangely enough the dress didn't smell of when I received it) - this has happened before when washing an old crinoline - it stank once washed but when dry was odour free - anyone else ever find this? Anyway, I will wash it again once it's dry and see how I get on.....
  3. Yes, I have had that and I think it is old dry cleaning fluid which absolutely STINKS to high heaven. As you say, goes when the item dries, thankfully.

    I often find that you need to soak the item for a decent amount of time, and sometimes that you need to give it several soaks (rinsing out and drying inbetween) for the item to finally come clean.
  4. Flicka

    Flicka One Too Many

    I think the remedy depends on why you have yellow stains. If it's something someone spilled, then Vanish or something might work.

    However, if it's that the fabric has changed colour due to age or the white colour actually being stripped away in spots (clothes rarely are white; you tend to need to dye them with something blue-tinged to get them to look white which is why a good Victorian housekeeper always rinsed her linen with 'blue' - I think anyone trying to go platinum blonde recognises the problem) you basically have two options - bleaching them or covering them up. Vanish isn't supposed to do either so I'm not sure it's going to do much good.

    So I'd say the remedy depends on if they really are stains or not. If it's the natural colour of the fabric, you can't was them out.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2012
  5. Miss Sis - I had no idea that it was the old dry cleaning fluids that stank so much - the odour in the bathroom was horrendous - in fact my husband came in from work and the first thing he said was "What's that smell?!" and that was with the bathroom door closed!!!!!! I will wash and dry them a few more times and see how I get on.

    Flicka - I don't think the yellow marks are stains - I think the fabric is just old and maybe had been stored badly - I can't really say. I did some research online and some suggested washing yellowed whites with hydrogen peroxide. I wonder if anyone here has tried that and how did they get on. HP would be my last resort to be honest.....
  6. Flicka, you are absolutely right, it might not be a 'stain' as such. Either natural or synthetic fabrics can go like that with storage.

    If there is synthetic content in the fabric, it might be possible to use a product like net curtain/underwear whitener to get the marks out. I know Dylon make these and my Mum said they are pretty good. Otherwise for cotton or linen, Napisan will get them out as it has a 'blue' component in it, but it can take several soaks.
  7. Flicka

    Flicka One Too Many

    I think you're right - trying a 'whitener' rather than a bleach is probably not as tough on the fabric!
  8. Drappa

    Drappa One Too Many

    Oh no Miss G, sorry to hear that! Vanish does actually bleach clothes, which happens if it either doesn't dissolve properly or stays in too long. I also heard people have had success with spraying on lemon juice and letting it dry in the sun for a few days.
  9. Thanks again Ladies - I think the dress is made of cotton so will give Napisan a go and see how I get on - the dress is still wearable as it is - it doesn't look dirty or particularly yellow but I would love to restore it to its former glory as much as possible.

    Drappa - I read about the lemon juice trick so I might end up giving that a go - HP might be too stringent on the fabric. All I need now is a nice sunny day to hang the dress out in!
  10. Hello, girls!

    So, I need help. I bought a dress today that I absolutely adore but I noticed a few stains on the front. I bought it anyway, hoping that I could remove them when I got home. There are a couple problems though. First, I'm not sure if they're something like lipstick or maybe a rust transfer from another dress. Second, the fabric that they're on is sheer and very delicate. Here are some pictures to show you what I'm dealing with:


    And a closeup of the stains:


    I'm afraid to use the lemon juice tip that I found because I don't want to end up with a bleached spot on the fabric (I'd rather have the stain than that). If anyone could give me some advice on this one, I'd GREATLY appreciate it. Thanks!
  11. I do realize the last post here was nearly 4 years ago, so not really expecting new replies... BUT i thought i'd give it a try!

    I recently became the proud owner of a lat 30's early 40s black rayon crepe dress with silver metal star studs around the neck and on the sleeves. Some studs are tarnished, (i think a pervious owner threw it in the wash :cool:) I'd like to clean them up, so am wondering if anyone has had experience cleaning metal studs on vintage?

    I was thinking of trying a hydrogen peroxide/ baking soda paste applied with a q-tip, but wanted to see what others had to say first.
  12. St. Louis

    St. Louis Practically Family

    I would begin with something much more gentle. The peroxyde could damage the fabric around the spots. I highly recommend Nev-r-Dul, a metal cleaner made of real wool and (I think) mineral spirits. It won't hurt the fabric & will gently clean the metal. Apply it with a q-tip, then rub with a clean cloth. By the way, Nev-r-Dul was around when your dress was made!
    LuvMyMan likes this.
  13. And if that doesn't work, gentle rubbing of the ornamentation with a pencil eraser might help.
  14. Oh man thank you, St. Louis and LizzieMaine, for the suggestions! :) I'll try the pencil eraser first as I have an abundance of them laying around. I had ever heard of Nev-r-dul, i'll be sure to look for it as well.
  15. St. Louis

    St. Louis Practically Family

    It's wonderful for cleaning, shining, and restoring anything metal in your house, including jewelry.
  16. N.K.

    N.K. New in Town

    Hello, I have a question regarding washing clothing with a full print.
    I read that clothing with a full print needs more delicate treatment for washing, however I have no idea on what to do... Can I just cold wash it with laundry detergent or would that ruin it? I also read that it's best to wash clothing in vinegar, but it was also mentioned that print fabric needs different treatment. Help is very much appreciated!

    Just in case I'll add a photo of the dress' fabric. The dress itself is from the 20s and the material is cotton.
    Thank you!
    LuvMyMan likes this.
  17. St. Louis

    St. Louis Practically Family

    I wouldn't wash it by machine. Before you do anything, test an inconspicuous spot with cool water and a mild detergent. If the dye runs, just leave it alone. If everything looks ok, then carefully soak the dress in a basin of cool water & detergent, don't wring or twist it, and rinse with more cool water. Carefully squeeze out the water (again, don't wring) and let it air dry on a rack or a clothes line.

    Edited to add: that's such a pretty print!
  18. If you can find a product to soak your items in called, "Awesome" a splash of it and rub the material gently against itself and let it sit, then any cold water wash liquid soap.
    Vinegar can work on many items to clean them up, but Vinegar is also a natural acid...to much on an item of clothing can pull colors out just like bleach does so be sort of careful with any colors you care about when using Vinegar. If I use Vinegar I add it on a bucket with luke warm water to dilute it. I've also used Vinegar in rinse water to help get laundry soap or bleach out of clothing which helps keep clothing from "wash rot"....LOL!
  19. Yes Nev-r-Dul comes in can soaked in a batting type material and also in a liquid can. Our U.S. Navy uses it to shine brass fittings on ships and shine buttons on uniforms. It will work on most metals
    St. Louis likes this.

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