I was busy yesterday, laundering some of my vintage, crocheted doilies and tablecloths.
I'm asked from time to time about the best way to clean vintage linens and though I'm sure many methods exist, these are my secrets for transforming cruddy linens into lovely linens...
For lightly stained or discolored linens I submerge them in water, pour lemon juice over them and liberally sprinkle them with salt.
I hang them in the sun for a few hours, letting the sun, lemon and salt work their magic.
Then I rinse them and hang them to dry and waalah!
My "secret soak" is required for heavily soiled linens. First, I heat up a few gallons of water on the stove. I want the water really hot, but not quite boiling.
While the water heats up, I pile the dirties into my favorite galvanized tub (just about any container will do, even a sink)...
...and collect the rest of my supplies: For each gallon of water, 1 cup of Borax powder and 1 cup Oxyclean powder.
I sprinkle the detergents into my tub, pour the hot water in and mix the water well, using an old wooden spoon, until the soap is well dissolved. Then I drop in my linens and let them soak for about two days, stirring them a couple of times each day.
Then I rinse my linens. It normally takes three really good rinses to get out all of the detergent suds but if that doesn't get them all out, I'll add 1 cup of distilled vinegar to 1 gallon of water, swish the linens around a bit and rinse with water a final time. Lastly, I'll hang them to dry.
Bright, free from discoloration and stains ~ clean!
If you're going to give my methods a try, please take a few minutes to spot test your linens to ensure they won't be affected, after all, many of these vintage linens are quite delicate.
Any of you out in Blogville in need of a generous stash of vintage linens? I have these to give away for free (you cover the postage please)!
I've laundered most but not all of them. Many are in pristine condition but some are damaged and should work for your projects. It's a collection of doilies (most handmade but a few factory), dresser scarves, pot holders, kitchen scrubbers, etc.). There are probably at least $100 worth of vintage linens here.
If you'd like these, please shoot me an email at Cindy@RetroRevival.Biz and let me know.
Update: Dani reached out to me first and I'm sending her these goodies ~ I'm sure she'll make very good use of them!
And don't forget about my July blog giveaway ~ these sweet, vintage salt & pepper shakers.
Share a comment on any or all of my July posts and you're automatically entered to win. Drawing is July 31st.