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Vintage Clothes—Cleaning Them And Removing Simple Stains

Some of the best fashions in the world have come and gone, but can now be found in vintage clothing shops. If you love vintage clothing, there are a few things that you'll need to know to ensure that the clothing is cared for properly and will remain in good condition for many more years. Here, you'll find a few bits of information that can help you do just that.


Most vintage clothing has been washed and dried more times than you'll want to count. Because of this, they may be more delicate today than they were when the tags were first printed. Do not always rely on the clothing tags to tell you how to clean these delicate pieces properly.

You have a few options.

  • Hand-wash the pieces that have become very delicate or that you favor more than most.
  • Use the washing machine on a gentle cycle.
  • Send them out to be professionally cleaned for you.

How you launder the pieces will be determined by the type of piece you're working with. If you've got some great vintage band t-shirts, you'll be able to just send them through the wash, but if you're trying to clean a vintage dress from the 60s, it's best to hand-wash them or send them out for professional cleaning.

Whitening Whites

The whites of vintage clothing may have yellowed over the years. This happens due to poor storage practices, bad water, and age. In some cases, you'll be able to undo the yellowing, but other items, clothes will not come clean so easily.

The best thing to try first is mixing equal parts of white vinegar with water and soaking the item for a few hours. In many cases, this will remove the yellowing caused by age and stains.

Another product to try is OxiClean, but you have to be careful with this product. When you mix the solution, make sure that the detergent is completely disintegrated into the water. If there are clumps of powder on the bottom of the bin and the clothing is pressed down and rests on it while it soaks, there will be bright white spots in the fabric when you remove it. For best results, get a cup of hot water and mix the detergent into it before adding the mixture to a bucket or bin of cold water.

Talk with the professionals at the vintage clothing shop—they'll assist you with finding ways to extend the life of your favorite vintage clothing.