Removing Stains On Vintage Table Cloths

I bought several vintage tablecloths at an estate sale. There are old grease stains and other stains on them. Any ideas how to get them off? Most of the table cloths are cotton.

sandytn from Knoxville, TN

July 14, 20080 found this helpful

I've had really good luck with soaking things in Oxyclean. I have some very old things my grandmother made and it got rust and old whatever out nicely.

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July 14, 20080 found this helpful

If the fabric is white cotton, you can use liquid chlorine bleach in the wash water...or soak it first in a bleach and water solution. I would not do this if the fabric appeared to be damaged, but I bleached the years-old stains out of one of my mother's cotton damask tablecloths, and had no problems at all. Again, if it's white, you can dry the cloth in the sun for more bleaching power.

For colors or more delicate fabric, try soaking in Biz Bleach. Do not dry in the dryer--if the stains didn't come out, the heat will set them. You can do this more than once if you don't dry it in the dryer.

I have had very good luck removing grease stains from a variety of fabrics by rubbing the stain with waterless hand cleaner, such as Goop, and washing as usual. (Goop is sold in the automotive department for about $1.50). Just rub it on and rub it in. As long as you don't dry the article in the dryer, you can use this treatment more than once. I just got an incredible grease stain out of a blouse, but it took 4 applications and washings. On the other hand, I had spilled a large amount of bacon grease down the front, and it was a miracle it EVER came out.

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July 17, 20080 found this helpful


If you have septic, like we do, you know that you can't use regular bleach. Try handwashing in cold water at the sink and scrubbing the stains with a bar of Ivory Soap. This works so great on my daughter's work shirts at Sonic!

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