Vintage 101 – Cleaning Your Vintage Clothing
If you have ever been afraid of ruining a favorite vintage piece by washing it, never fear. Here are some dos and don’ts to think about before you take the plunge and wash or clean your vintage clothing.
• Do wash cottons and linens
It is fine to wash cottons and cotton blends yourself. The best way to do this is to hand wash each piece individually in cool to lukewarm water with a gentle fabric detergent. Ivory Snow, in powder form, Woolite or Dreft are safe choices.
• Don’t agitate the clothing
Just let the article sit in the water, moving it only to make sure it is soaked completely.
• Don’t over wash
When you are done wearing your favorite vintage piece, do not throw it in the hamper. Hang it up so it can breathe. Washing your vintage too much will lessen its life span.
• Do dry clean
If you don’t know the fabric make up of your vintage piece, do not guess! Take it to a dry cleaner that understands older fabrics. Ask around and don’t be afraid to ask dry cleaners questions about their knowledge and experience.
• Do use stain treaters (carefully)
If you have a stubborn stain, such as perspiration or unknown food, start with the least abrasive stain fighter — lemon juice or white vinegar. These are natural whiteners. Once you have determined lemon juice hasn’t worked, you can move on to harsher stain treatments such Oxyclean or Shout, but use sparingly or use a towel to apply on the spot.
• Don’t spin dry
It is best to hang or drip-dry any garment. Dryers, even on gentle heat can damage delicate vintage fabrics. Items from the 80s could possibly do just fine in the dryer on delicate or air dry, but why take the chance?