Removing Yellow Stains from Antique Crocheted Tablecloth

I have a very old white crocheted table cloth that belonged to my great grandmother, but there is a lot of yellowed stains on it. I didn't want to just try anything to attempt to remove the stains. If anyone has had this same issue, please advise. Thanks

Sonya from Bend, OR

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My mother-in-law sponges with diluted lemon juice and lays it in the sun to dry.

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I would let it soak in Oxiclean. It seems to remove a lot of stains and really brightens dull, dingy items.

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Another two items to try (but not together) are white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.

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Dissolve a tablespoon of dish washing powder in a bucket of warm water. Let the tablecloth soak in this maybe over night. I use this when I was given my grandmothers doilies. I also crochet doilies and know this works.

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Try the Biz bucket, it is what Martha Pullen uses to clean antique heirloom things. Change water every day and support the tablecloth when you remove from the solution. In fact you might line a large bucket with a towel - clip the towel to rim or tape it and soak the tablecloth for 24 hours and then check. I have used this to get formula stains out of antique baby stuff.

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My mother would always soak things like this in a solution of Biz laundry soap and warm water for a day or two and then wash on the gentle cyle and dry flat. Good luck!

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My mother used lemon juice squeezed on the stains and sunshine with the table cloth laid flat on the ground. Frequently these stains are fat based-- but the lemon juice will whiten and do no harm. This treatment is repeatable, too.

I would not put an item this old in a washer. When it's time to wash, either use a large plastic tub or a very clean bathtub--use Ivory or woolite for suds and squeeze the suds thru the crochet. Even if the construction is strong, the cotton threads may not be.

good luck

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A teaspoon of YELLOW OUT in a bucket of cold water.....the stains will be gone.

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I want to thank each of you very much for the help with my very cherished tablecloth. I'll keep you posted on the results.

Again, thank you so much.


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Hello! I had the very same issue. A beautiful hand made (at least I think it must have been?) from my great grandmother. It too, had yellow stains on it, and a red candle wax stain as well.

I soaked my cherished table cover in a big 'tub' (the kind you might store children's toys in) and added a generous amount of OxyClean. (Not too much, but I wasn't stingy either). I left it there for 2 days, checking on it and 'stirring' it around. I was amazed after the first few hours at how beautiful white it was. The yellow was GONE.

I left my table cover in the solution for a couple of days, trying to get the candle wax stain out. The red wax stain did not come completely out, but it is much less noticeable now!

Good luck with your precious item.

Jennifer McNelis

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1/2 cup of washing soda added to the detergent solution.

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I had the same problem with a crochet tank top, but it had silky lining, I tried the Oxy but probably didn't let it sit long enough, Careful with the lemon juice. ! I put too much on one time ( not diluted enough) and it turned the white yellow!. I had a hard time removing that. Here is a hint that works most of the time.

Diluted lemon juice on the "damp" stain, sprinkle with salt, don't be stingy, and place in the sun. The heat of the sun will draw the liquid into the salt. Brush off the salt, and voila! the stain should be gone. My mother taught me this.

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I use bluing to all my whites that appear yellow and it makes them look brand new. The brand I use is Mrs. Stewart's and more information can be found at I read about it in a book and I really like it. It definately does the job.

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Removing Stains From Antique Lace
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