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Cleaning old tableclothes Sign In/Join 
Picture of Jo-CT
posted
I inherited some vintage (is 50's vintage?)tableclothes, and they have yellow stains. I tried spot cleaning with some Dawn, but that didn't work. Any suggestions? One is a damask the other a printed Christmas cloth.
 
Posts: 1323 | Location: Southwestern, CT | Registered: Aug 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Grapefruit
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I have good luck with Shout. I then machine was and hang in the sun.

LOS will hopefully see this because I know that she is an expert on old linens.
 
Posts: 3161 | Location: central PA | Registered: Jan 08, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of KeepYouInStitches
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Yes. LOL 50's is vintage. When I recently found DSs storage unit broken into and called law enforcement, I was standing right beside my son as he described some 1970s items I had given him as "vintage." I stopped him with a WHAT? Are you insinuating something? He said that he wasn't insinuating anything..."Mama, you're old." The officer looked at me. I said something about rewriting my will. He grinned. Definitely lightened the situation.

I know some sites have addressed this issue with some old time remedies...rubbing the spot with lemon juice and hanging the tablecloth in the bright sunshine.
 
Posts: 17085 | Location: Daingerfield, TX | Registered: Feb 07, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of conrad
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An oxygen, color safe bleach would be my go to for these old stains. Oxyclean is one, there are others in the detergent/pretreat isle. Soaking the entire table cloth for at least 8 hours will probably be necessary. You could try just draping the stained area over/submerged in a shallow bowl of the oxy cleaner to test.
My understanding is that it sort of eats the food residue that caused the discoloration? But unlike chlorine bleach, will be less likely to affect any color dyes in the fabric.

I have also had great luck with mystery stains with just a pretreat spray and using a good amount of 20 mule team Borax in the wash.

One pretreat agent for food based stains that DD swears by are the ones for baby stains.
 
Posts: 9616 | Location: Plains & Mountains | Registered: Jun 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of lady of shallot
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I have always found vintage (vs. antique) table clothes very color fast. But the ones I have come across are not heirlooms so I don't care so much about them.

What color is the damask cloth? What I do is to make a rather strong solution of bleach/water, immerse the item and WATCH it. the minute the stain(s) disappear, yank the cloth out and immediately submerge it in lots of plain water.
Then launder as usual. Since the linens I have treated are only good with no stains I have not lost anything, but I would not do this if milder methods worked.
 
Posts: 12660 | Registered: Jun 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Jo-CT
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Thank you all. The damask is an ivory, and the other is a white background with a Xmas print stamped on. I'll try the oxy first then if needed the bleach method. Fingers crossed!
 
Posts: 1323 | Location: Southwestern, CT | Registered: Aug 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of nettiejay
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My preferred method to remove old food stains from fabric is to soak them for 48-72 hours in a solution of powdered Tide and Clorox II colorsafe bleach [Oxy or any other sodium perborate-based product will work, too) dissolved first in hot water with cooler water added to temper before adding the fabric to it.
According to the manufacturer, powdered Tide contains more enzymes than the liquid version, and enzymes are what work best to remove protein food stains like milk and gravy. The colorsafe bleach works to remove the color pigments from the food.

This will work fine on the ivory cloth, but you should be cautious with the printed ones. Check after a couple of hours soaking time to be sure the dyes aren't running. Immediately remove the cloth from the solution and wash it, repeatedly (if necessary) without drying it, until the excess color "runs" are gone.

I've said it here before that I was able to remove 30-year old formula stains from baby undershirts this way.
 
Posts: 4523 | Location: zone 6b, Missouri | Registered: Sep 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Jo-CT
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Thanks Nettiejay-I'm off to get some Cloroxll
 
Posts: 1323 | Location: Southwestern, CT | Registered: Aug 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of CJO
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Let us know your results...I have some vintage items that 'won't clean..' even bleach doesn't take out the odor, even that I guess is butter or oil/grease???
 
Posts: 2865 | Registered: Oct 19, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of nettiejay
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I know that odor you're talking about. Happens when someone wipes up cooking oil or meat drippings with my dishtowels. (Not naming names, but it begins with 'DH' Wink ) I've had luck getting rid of that smell by making a strong solution of washing soda and very hot water and soaking the linens for a while before washing as usual with detergent and more washing soda. Borax powder works as well. These are the best de-greasers for laundry and deodorize at the same time. Great old-fashioned remedies.
 
Posts: 4523 | Location: zone 6b, Missouri | Registered: Sep 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of CJO
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Wink TX, nettiejay !!!
 
Posts: 2865 | Registered: Oct 19, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of kyradeprez
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I have had great luck using a solution of baking soda and vinegar it is much less harsh than bleach. If this does not remove the smell you can also use a solution of rubbing alcohol, this will eliminate an odor including cat urine.


Kyra Deprez
The Boardwalk Cleaning Co
www.boardwalkcleaning.com
 
Posts: 5 | Location: Austin, TX | Registered: Jan 20, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Jo-CT
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Wanted to get back and let you all know that the CloroxII and detergent worked great. 98% of the stains are gone. I let them soak for 2 days and kept agitating them for a few minutes when passing by the washer. Thanks for the help.
 
Posts: 1323 | Location: Southwestern, CT | Registered: Aug 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of nettiejay
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Glad to know it worked for you!
 
Posts: 4523 | Location: zone 6b, Missouri | Registered: Sep 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hand wash or dry cleaning are the best ways to clean vintage. Clean clothes based on the type of material of the garment. Never hand wash velvet, silk, or rayon crepe. These materials should always be dry cleaned.
 
Posts: 29 | Location: United States | Registered: Jan 20, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You can apply many home recipe to clean the old table clothes, many liquid acids or detergents are available for cleaning these type of clothes, you can use lemon juice, warm water, washing soda and bleach to clean this cloth.
 
Posts: 31 | Location: United States | Registered: Jul 07, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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