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Cleaning Clothes That Have Yellowed

Category Laundry
Older clothing can sometimes yellow with age. This guide is about cleaning clothes that have yellowed.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
March 30, 2017

How do I get a yellow spot out of my white blouse after it has been hanging in the closet?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 30, 20170 found this helpful

Try soaking it in hot water (5 gallons) with 2 T each of powdered dishwasher detergent and hydrogen peroxide. Soak overnight and wash as usual the next day.

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March 31, 20170 found this helpful

Do you know what the stain is from? Is it oil based? Usually any stain comes out with Oxiclean but it would help to know what it's from

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1 found this helpful
March 30, 2016

I have a 50 year old child's communion dress that has yellowed. How do I clean/restore the yellowed with age dress? One professional cleaner said to wash it in Oxi-clean and Woolite. Another professional cleaner said they could only clean it, it would look the same, just clean not whitened. Suggestions weicome.

Answer Was this helpful? 1
July 29, 20160 found this helpful

Every spring and summer,I hang my delicate whites on the clothesline for a couple of days. Of course,hot sunny days. It keeps my delicate whites nice and bright!

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0 found this helpful
October 10, 2016

I have a vintage, wool Varsity sweater, which has become "golden." It was originally white. I'd like to brighten it up, but I'm concerned about the navy colored patches. I appreciate any help you can offer.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
October 16, 20160 found this helpful

If you cover the navy letter and put the sweater in directly sunlight, the white areas should bleach out. Not sure if it will take a while, though Good luck.

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October 23, 20160 found this helpful

Thank you! :)

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March 31, 2011

I have an "old age" discoloration on a sweater. That "old lace" yellow type of color where it was folded. How can I remove it? The sweater is ivory colored and is a cotton/ramie blend.


By Joan from Chesapeake

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
April 1, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I would hang it out in the sunshine for a few days, a week, or whatever it takes. The sun will draw the stain out. I have a cleaning business and wear alot of white, because of the bleach that some people use. The furniture polish stains appear during the months that they are packed up for the season. This works great especially for light colored clothes.

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0 found this helpful
March 25, 2010

What's the best way to get white and colored clothing clean after it's been hanging in a closet for ages and has yellowed? I don't want to use chlorine bleach. I am afraid of using bleach full strength.


By Gayle from Rochester, NY

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 31, 20101 found this helpful

Oxyclean is great for whites. You can leave things soak for days if necessary. I soaked a 50 year old tablecloth for 3 days and the stains finally came out. Unlike bleach, it does not dissolve the material.

For colors soak (follow directions) in "Clorox 2, Stain Fighter & Color Booster". It's pricey, but gets out grease and blood from clothes. It is the best I've ever used on colors in 60 years of doing laundry.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
August 10, 20160 found this helpful

Good I shall check. Thanks.

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January 26, 20150 found this helpful

I recently received three dress shirts. As nearly as we can determine they are from the late 1800s or very early 1900s. They have removable collars and cuffs, bibbed fronts, etc. The problem is that they are stained with orange spots and what isn't orange is very yellowed. They are beautifully made and although I have no idea what to do with them, I would like to restore them. The cotton is very smooth and sturdy. Any suggestions would be welcomed!


By Lynda T

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
February 7, 20150 found this helpful

I have used lemon juice and the sun. If that didn't work I used hydrogen peroxide and the sun. J

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July 10, 20110 found this helpful

How do you remove the yellowing on clothing articles left hanging on hangers too long?

By Cheryl

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July 12, 20110 found this helpful

If the stains are rust from the hangers there is a product 'Whisk", a brown bottle found with the laundry detergent in your grocery store. When you put it on you can see the stain disapear right before your eyes. Then you will need to launder immediately.

If the stain is just age yellowing try soaking in Oyxclean-found also in the laundry detergent area. Directions are on the box. Unlike bleach Oxyclean will not remove the color from colored garments. After soaking and washing be sure to check for all the stain removal before putting the garment into the dryer. If stain is still evident then soak again in oxyclean.

I have left things soaking in Oxyclean for more than a week and they were not damaged.

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June 30, 20160 found this helpful

You must mean a product called Wink not Wisk ... it is in a brown bottle and is for rust stains...

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November 3, 20130 found this helpful

What is the best way to clean clothes that have yellowed?

By Cristina

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November 5, 20130 found this helpful

Put the clothes in a container with extremely hot water, and a scoop or two of Oxy Clean. Close the container (we use a small cooler). Let them sit for at least 20 minutes, open it, stir/look to see how much they've whitened. The longer you leave them soak, the more it works. Then dump them into the washer (those clothes only is best) and wash like normal. That should work.

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October 2, 20130 found this helpful

What can I do to prevent and remove those stains that appear on your pants after being on the hangers for a while? It's like a straight line across the top pant leg that's been exposed on the hanger? I have this issue all the time and it really bugs me! I have a job interview in the morning and the nicest professional looking pair of pants that I plan on wearing has that one line across one pant leg.

Will machine washing it alone work or is there any pre-treating secrets you can reveal to help me so I look nice for my interview? I really want to make a good impression and not look silly or too cheap to afford a descent pair of pants (although I really can't afford a new pair of pants LOL). Any advice you can provide me is so greatly appreciated. Thank you all so much! :)

By Jennifer P.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
February 2, 20150 found this helpful

Try wetting a pressing cloth with white vinegar & press the crease. I have used this method on skirts when I let the hem out.

Syd's 2 cents

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March 24, 20150 found this helpful

I have a pair of white pants that have been hanging in the closet forever and I wanted to wear them. I took them out and their was a yellow stain on the leg. How do I get the stain out?

By Cidni T.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

0 found this helpful
February 24, 2015

I am getting married in October and am going to be wearing my mom's wedding veil. It has been in a box for 30+ years and has turned yellow. What are some ways I could get it white again without damaging the netting and lace?

By Amanda Rae S.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

0 found this helpful
February 16, 2015

How do I clean yellowing and brownish age spots from 63 year old handmade baby dresses? I want to display them in a shadowbox.

By Teresa S.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

April 22, 20140 found this helpful

I found a pair of brand new white denim jeans that fit me. Hooray, but the jeans have aged over the years being stored in my grandson's closet, and also have colorful embroidery. How can I carefully clean them without fading the embroidery, which is down the outside of each leg. I greatly appreciate any ideas! Thanks.

By Cammie

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

September 17, 20130 found this helpful

A friend gave me a beautiful sweater, but it is yellowed on the shoulders and the front from hanging in the closet. How can I clean it or do I need to take it to a professional cleaner?

By Virginia W.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

0 found this helpful
May 28, 2013

I have a shirt that belonged to my mother. It's quite old (14 years). I'm quite attached to it, but it has gotten yellow/greyish with the years, so I'm looking for some tips to get it bright white again, without damaging it. So I'd rather not use bleach. Thanks in advance.

With kind regards.

By Prozac

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October 22, 20110 found this helpful

How should I store a christening outfit after it's been cleaned and packed? I noticed the stains reappearing or yellowing in spots after I removed it from the packaging to be worn again.

By Jo from Warren, NJ

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

April 13, 20040 found this helpful

I have a dry cleanable seersucker jacket that has yellowed over time. is there any remedy to return the white areas, white? now it just looks dirty and dingy and is unwearable.

Paulette from Tennessee

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
October 13, 20050 found this helpful

I had several blouses that I sent to the cleaners and they became yellowed, I could not wear them at all. I thought what the heck, and through them in the wash and they came out with as snow. It has something to do with the cleaning solutions. hope this helps.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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