6 Tips For Washing Delicate Vintage Items

While vintage clothing and linens can be beautiful and carry a lot of important history, they can also be extremely delicate and require extra care when washing or cleaning them. Whether you have a great grandmother’s dress or old linen drapes, here are six tips for washing these vintage items and ensuring that they do not get damaged or worn out:

1.    Always Check Your Water Temperature

Older clothes and vintage items may not withstand very hot water. So, when you start washing these items, be sure to check the water temperature and ensure that it is cool. You could use warm water for sturdier cotton or linen fabrics if needed.

2.    Give Vintage Items Added Support

Rather than soaking a vintage item directly in a tub of water, try placing it in a mesh bag or some nylon first. This offers the fabric some added support and will prevent delicate fibers from unraveling. It also reduces the amount of pull or pressure on the fabric.

3.    Choose Gentle Cleaning Products

You want to avoid cleaning products with harsh chemicals like bleach and ammonia. Instead, choose a mild and gentle cleaning detergent. We suggest you try Orvus Paste which can clean and whiten your vintage items without causing any chemical damage.

4.    Do Not Wring Out Vintage Items

You might be tempted to wring out different vintage items after they have been washed to get out the excess water held in the fabric. However, wringing out vintage items is a very bad idea as it can damage delicate items and cause them to fall apart. Instead, let the water drain out slowly on its own.

5.    Always Allow Vintage Items to Air Dry

While your tumble dryer can be great for everyday clothes, your vintage items are too delicate to be put in the dryer. Instead, hang the vintage items out in indirect sunlight so that they can air dry. Air drying can also prevent wrinkles, so you don’t have to apply unnecessary heat and iron the items afterward.

6.    Avoid Harsh Spot Treatment

Spot treatment usually involves using concentrated cleaning products and excessively scrubbing certain parts of fabric or clothing. This is not a good idea when dealing with delicate vintage items. So, instead of spot treatment, consider soaking the entire item in detergent and water to help brighten it up and reduce the appearance of the spots. 

And there you have it! Six tips to keep your vintage items clean and tidy while ensuring that they do not get damaged. Be sure to try these tips the next time one of your prized vintage fabrics needs to be washed.