Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Removing "yellowing" from Vintage Linens

Cleaning Vintage Linens
is always a game of give and take --

I give and give and give
 The linen takes and takes and takes
 The stain stays and stays and . . . stays.

I recently came across an advertisement for Retro Clean in a quilting catalog.
The product claims to remove the aging stains from vintage fabric.

Although I was interested in trying the product, I didn't want to invest in a 1 lb. bag.
A few days later, I found a much smaller package at an antique store.  For $5.00, I purchased a small bag.

Here's the first item I tried cleaning.  A beautiful, round, frilly doily with a yellow-brown stain across more than half of the doily.  This type of aging I often have difficulty removing.  I've been able to fade the stains, but not eliminate them.

I followed the Retro Clean instructions by taking a small dishtub and filling it with 3 teaspoons of Retro Clean and one gallon of warm water.  I placed the doily and a few other items into the water and set it outside on my sunny deck.

Occasionally, I would go outside and stir the items in the dishtub.

Look at my beautiful, round, frilly doily!
It has no stains!

I have cleaned several items now with great success.  Retro Clean will not remove every stain, but it will remove the stubborn yellow-brown aging that I often find on my purchased linens.

I love it!
(My commercial is now over.)
A google search will help you find your favorite seller.
Retro Clean also has their own website.

I'll be sure to post any other vintage linen cleaning tips as I come across them. 

Enjoy your week!



  1. Thanks for the link and those pretty pictures!! Happy day, dear!!!

  2. Whoa!! I need some of this stuff! Maybe it can fix this darling dolly quilt that mom bought me at an auction. I am almost sure it's an antique quilt, but I can't get it clean and i have friend everything! Vinegar, ammonia, bleach, peroxide...I gave up and put it away. I'll keep my eye out for some of this stuff or order some. =) Thanks for the great tip!!

  3. Thanks for the tip, we all have vintage items that would benefit for that product. Thanks for stopping by, Laura.

    PS will be looking forward to seeing your peonies.