Welcome to our first ‘Retro Clean’ blog. We’re excited to bring you lots of great tips on using our products and will also be exploring many vintage related topics in future blogs. Today, Mindy is providing a tutorial for the cleaning of age stained textiles.
I found this vintage lace at an estate sale. It had brown age stains. When I unwound the lace from the cardboard the acids from the cardboard had caused the lace to turn brown and splotchy. If the item you are working with is colored, it is always wise to check that it is colorfast before immersing it in water.
Before using Retro Clean to remove the stains I always wash my items first in Retro Wash laundry powder to wash out any surface dirt. Retro Wash is highly concentrated, just ½ teaspoon per gallon of water. In this example, I have approximately 1 gallon in my basin. If you choose to wash your item in the gentle cycle of your washing machine, you would use 1 teaspoon for a small load and up to 1 tablespoon for a full load. It is safe to use in all HE machines.
I wash the lace by pushing the solution through the fabric, rather than wringing or twisting, let it sit for just a few minutes, repeat, then rinse.
This will wash the dirt and grime out. You’ll notice the brown age stains are still there and that’s where the Retro Clean soak comes in.
Next, dissolve 3 to 4 tablespoons of Retro Clean per gallon of warm water. If I’m soaking larger items such as a quilt, I mix it in a large plastic container.
Immerse your items in the Retro Clean solution, mixing up just enough to cover. You may leave it soaking indoors or outdoors.
It really works best when soaked outdoors in a sunny location. The sun helps keep the water warm, causing the activation process to speed up. If a sunny day is not available, it can be done successfully indoors, it may just take a little longer.
Keep your items immersed, if they have a tendency to pop up you can weight them down with a plate. Let it soak for 24-48 hours, checking on its progress periodically. No need to agitate.
When you see that the stains are removed, you can remove your items and once again wash and rinse to remove all residue. Dry as you normally would and enjoy your restored piece!