Removing Stains From Antique Lace?

Category Fabric
Delicate old lace can be yellowed and have stains. This page is about removing stains from antique lace.


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February 7, 2013

How can I safely remove brown spots from antique lace and linens?

By Elizabeth B


February 18, 20130 found this helpful

Saturate the area with lime juice and leave it in the sun for a couple of hours.

Saturate the wet cloth with a soap like Fells Naphta, do not rinse. Place in the sun for a couple of hours or more.

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February 18, 20130 found this helpful

There are products available online for soaking antique linens. I have used them and they work. You can also soak in OxyClean. Check online for washing antique quilts and you will get great information.


The trick seems to be lots of rinsing. I rinsed the old quilt I was doing 8 times in the bathrub. I was able to fill and then drain the tub and didnt need to agitate the quilt much. It turned out really well and the dirt had been in the quilt for at least 60 years.

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February 22, 20130 found this helpful

Has suggestions for many things. Also, google Hints from Heloise and then specifically what your issue is. She has many wonderful ideas. The February 2013 GoodHousekeeping issue has a lot in her column this month on this.

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I need to know the best way to remove stains from lovely lace. The stain looks like it has set but I do not know what it is. My item was found at an estate auction and I want to get it looking good again without harming it. Thanks so much for any help.


NellieMary from West Virginia


July 24, 20060 found this helpful

I have had luck with covering the spot with lemon juice then sprinkle a lot of salt snd lay the item out in the sun i left my item out all day ,I took rust stains out of a white blouse for my Daughter in law !!
Good luck!

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By Coreen (Guest Post)
July 24, 20060 found this helpful

If it's not too old a piece, take a chance. Use Amy Dacyzn's formula: 1 cup Calgon and 1 cup dry all-fabric bleach in five gallons of the hottest tap water you have. Soak overnight. I have had amazing success with this. However, I have never used it on an antique.

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July 25, 20060 found this helpful

Well, can you darken the rest of the lace to match if all else fails?

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March 2, 2016

I have several antique, cotton doilies my great-grandmother made. They were originally white. Some have a few tan stains on them, but the one I feel nervous about is obviously a food stain.


It's purple/red, could be beets, blackberries, or even dark grape juice. The rest of the piece is white. How do I remove this difficult stain?


September 9, 20170 found this helpful

many different things can be used on stains

  • always test each method in one inconspicuous corner so that you don't ruin the pieces
  • lemon juice
  • lemon juice + baking soda to create an acid-base explosion which can eliminate odours and stains
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • enzymatic cleaners can be good and are fairly natural for stains, odours, etc of an organic nature
  • if they're all meant to be white, you could also just bleach them in a very diluted bleach solution
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March 19, 20190 found this helpful

My go-to product for old stains on antique linens (such as doilies, lace, or tablecloths) is Mama's Miracle Linen Soak. It may take a few hours of soaking but usually removes every trace of stain without damaging the piece at all.


Don't even consider using regular bleach because it will weaken the threads and may ruin colored embroidery. Also don't wash delicate pieces in the washing machine, only by hand.

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