How to Clean Vintage Clothes

Almost everyone at one time or another has bought antique or vintage clothes from local yard sales or thrift stores. These clothes might have great designs but they are usually dirty or stained. However, there is no need to get worried as with some simple guidelines, you can easily clean them. Keep in mind that handmade vintage lace, hand beading and old fabrics are delicate. Thus, you need to handle them with care while cleaning.

Things Required:

– Needle
– Thread
– White towels
– Liquid castile soap
– Water
– Sponge
– Powdered oxygenated bleach


  • 1

    Examine the vintage cloth

    You should first carefully examine the vintage clothes. Place it on any flat surface and look for any tears, rips or loose beading. You should use thread by matching the colour with the vintage clothing while repairing any damage. It is recommended to fix any damage to your vintage clothing before cleaning. In case you wash the clothes before repairing, you might end up further damaging the clothing.

  • 2

    Spread white towels

    You will need to take a thick white towel and spread it over a flat surface. Place your vintage clothing on top of the towel and stuff it with another thick white towel in order to flatten it. Do not use coloured towels as the colour might transfer to your antique piece of clothing.

  • 3

    Mix castile soap and water

    Next take a bucket and fill it with one gallon of cold water and one tablespoon of liquid castile soap. Carefully stir it so the castile soap mixes properly in the water. After mixing, take a sponge and dip it in the water. Try not to soak the sponge by wringing out the extra mixture from it.

  • 4

    Blot the fabric

    You are required to blot the fabric with the help of sponge. First work your way across and then go up and down the entire length of the vintage fabric. You should avoid rubbing or you might end up damaging your fabric.

  • 5

    Apply oxygenated bleach and water

    Next take powdered oxygenated bleach and mix it with water. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions in order to properly mix it. Use a damp sponge on any visible spots. You should continue applying the sponge until all the marks or spots are removed or diminished.

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