Vintage Linens Soak

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**This post contains affiliate links. (I get paid a commission if you purchase a product using the links in this post.)

Last week I attended an estate sale and picked up a couple of vintage tablecloths. I didn’t inspect them particularly closely before buying them, because the price was right, and I knew I would be able to use them for crafting if they had many flaws.

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When I got them home and unfolded them, I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed. The pictures above are post-cleaning. They were very dingy, particularly along the folds. Both had a number of stains. For some reason, I decided to see what I could find to possibly clean them up a bit. I really loved the colors and wanted to be able to use as much of the fabric as possible.


I picked up a container of Oxi Clean White Revive (affiliate link). I didn’t have high hopes, but I knew it couldn’t do any harm. I mixed two scoops of the Oxi Clean with two gallons of hot water in a bucket. Then, I placed one of the tablecloths in the solution and let it soak for 24 hours. Occasionally, I would push the tablecloth back down into the water as it wanted to float to the top. The instructions are to soak for 6 hours, and honestly, that would have probably been long enough. By then, all the suds were gone, and my tablecloth was probably just soaking in cold dirty water. After the soak, I washed them normally in my washing machine and dried them in the dryer.

As you can see, both tablecloths came out looking pretty darn good! If you look closely, you might still find a faint stain or two, but they are nothing like they started out. I’m not even sure they’re “cutter” cloths anymore. They may have to go into my collection and not my sewing basket! With this success, I knew I wanted to share this product! (By the way, I am not being paid by anyone to tell you this, and I bought the Oxi Clean myself at Walmart.)

I had a third tablecloth sitting around that I hadn’t taken the time to clean yet, so I decided to take some before and after shots on this one. The pictures aren’t terrific, because I didn’t want the results to be affected by editing the photos too much, but I think you’ll see the difference.

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I ran a black thread through the tablecloth so I’d be able to come back and find the same spot after cleaning for comparison. You can see, there are some pretty serious (and kinda gross) stains on this fabric. This time I didn’t soak for the full 24 hours. It was at least 12 though.

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And, look! Those nasty stains are gone. They are completely gone. Any darkness you see in the photos is shadow. I was amazed. I never expected to get results like this. And I didn’t even have to scrub anything! Now, I’ll have even fewer qualms about buying less than stellar linens!

One of these days, I’m going to soak the family socks in this stuff! It’s practically miraculous!


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