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Over time, stored white clothing such as christening and wedding gowns can yellow. Products such as Oxi-Clean or hydrogen peroxide can be very effective in whitening them. Laundry bluing is also a good choice. This is a guide about cleaning a lace christening gown that has yellowed.
This article articles archives suggestions for Whitening a Christening Gown from 2006.
Joan from Rutherford, NJ
I let this soak for several days and just checked it daily to see if the stains were gone yet.
Dishwasher detergent works but I feel that it is a very strong bleach and might harm fragile fabrics. Dishwasher detergent also has a very fine abrasive ingredient in it to "scrub" the dirty dishes clean so I don't use it with any fabrics.
My son's old baby clothes, and baptismal outfit, were packed away clean, but 30 years later had ugly brown stains on them! I could only guess they were from old formula/spit up stains that appeared to be washed out but still remained in the fabric. I'm happy to report they all came out, much to my surprise and relief!
By Grandma Margie
Here's the URL to some info on bluing:
Just a thought.
Lather the article really well with the ivory soap (the classic bar). Let the article sit with the soap in it. The soap lather will whiten the article gently. It may be necessary to repeat the process depending on how yellowed the gown is.
By Miss Cris
Crochet clothing can yellow with age. This is a guide about cleaning a crochet christening gown that has yellowed.
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I have a 93 year old christening dress that has yellow stains on it. How do I get them out gently?
By ruby from Reading, MA
Fill sink 3/4 full of water and add 14-18oz hydrogen peroxide, let it soak a few hours. Should not harm fabric.
The gown was in a cedar chest and now has rust looking spots in a few places.
There is a product called Retro Clean. It's for things like what you want to clean. My friend used it and said it's great.
What is the best way to clean a 32 year old satin christening outfit that has some yellowing? It was my daughter's and she wants to use it for my granddaughter.
My father's 1901 christening dress in showing signs of wear and tear after being used many times over the years. I would like to use it for my great granddaughter's christening, but don' know the safest way to clean it. What is safe way to wash it?
By Fran H.
Since this is delicate and sentimental please don't try to clean it yourself. Find a good dry cleaner that clean with "archival" quality products. If you have a local art museum the curator might be able to suggest one.