Cleaning an Old Christening Gown

This article articles archives suggestions for Whitening a Christening Gown from 2006.

Question:

Can Oxi clean whiten 32 year old christening gown?

Joan from Rutherford, NJ

Answers:

Biz and Clorox 2

A number of years ago, before OxiClean was on the market, I had a similar problem. I used Biz and Clorox 2 (all fabric bleach) with great results. I would dissolve equal parts of each in a small amount of hot water and then add enough cold water to cover the clothing items. Add the clothing to the cooled down solution, not the hot. 1/2 cup of each to 1 gallon of water would work.

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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

Bluing

If the Oxi-clean doesn't work, why not give old-fashioned laundry bluing a try? It's recommended for delicate whites and can be used to soak and hand wash something like a Christening gown.

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Here's the URL to some info on bluing:

https://www.amazon.com/Mrs-Stewarts-Liquid-Bluing-8-0/dp/B00NU075EG/?tag=thrif06-20 (Affiliate Link)

Just a thought.

By Cynthia

Ivory Soap

My mom uses classic Ivory Soap. We had several family heirloom articles that needed whitening. Because they were old and fragile mom did not want to use harsh detergents with chemicals.

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


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Anonymous
March 19, 20180 found this helpful

Our gown is 198 years old. It is not paper thin but dont think its touched water in probably 70 years. Dare I try to drop in sink of soapy dreft ?

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Would press between towels and dry outside. Am I crazy? Thank you. Ps this was last worn by our son 30 years ago.

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March 6, 20190 found this helpful

My grandmother kept our christening gown in a "blueing" bag. She had a muslin bag that she had soaked in bluing and I was instructed over the years that my brothers, my sister and I had been baptized in this christening gown and instructed me on how it was to be handled, I was the youngest of four. The picture of the 4 of us always hung in my mothers bedroom ,now in mine. The dress is still as white as it was in 1936 the only changes, the girls had pink ribbons ,the boys blue.
It was always washed with woolite or ivory soap before being returned to the bag. The gown has been worn by 18 babies soon to be 19 when my new granddaughter arrives in June/July.

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Questions

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.

May 8, 2010

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

Answers

May 11, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Fill sink 3/4 full of water and add 14-18oz hydrogen peroxide, let it soak a few hours. Should not harm fabric.

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March 13, 2015

The gown was in a cedar chest and now has rust looking spots in a few places.

By Susan

Answers

March 13, 20151 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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July 22, 2012

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.

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By Debbie

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December 12, 2017

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 page about cleaning a lace christening gown that has yellowed.

Yellowed Lace Christening Gown

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July 30, 2017

Crochet clothing can yellow with age. This is a page about cleaning a crochet christening gown that has yellowed.

White crochet material.

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January 18, 2012

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?

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By Fran H.

Answers

January 19, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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