How to Get Perspiration Stains out of a Vintage Blouse


Vintage clothing allows you to dress like it's the 1950's all over again, but that pretty blouse from the thrift store may have 50-year-old sweat stains on the neck and armpits. If your blouse is stained, all is not lost. A little strategic scrubbing can help get the stains out. Though it might be impossible to remove stains from vintage linen and silk, other fabrics are easier to clean with a home remedy and a good wash.

Things You'll Need

  • Oxygen bleach powder
  • Uncoated aspirin
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Lemon juice
  • White vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Sponge

Paste Method

Make a runny paste by adding 1/4 cup of warm water to 4 tablespoons of powdered oxygen bleach, crushed aspirin, salt or baking soda. Stir the mixture in a bowl until all the powder dissolves.

Rub the paste onto the sweat stain with your fingertips, then rub the fabric together gently to work it in. Allow the blouse to sit for 20 minutes.

Launder the blouse in the washing machine in cold water on the gentle cycle. Use a liquid laundry detergent formulated for delicate fabrics. If desired, add another scoop of oxygen bleach to the wash.

Remove the blouse from the washer and hang it outdoors in the sun to dry. If the stain remains, repeat the steps until it's gone.

Liquid Method

Pour white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide or freshly squeezed lemon juice into a bowl.

Dip a damp sponge into the liquid and dab it onto the sweat stain until the stain is completely saturated.

Allow the blouse to sit for 20 minutes, then launder it in cold water with liquid laundry detergent formulated for delicates. If desired, add a scoop of powdered oxygen bleach to the wash.

Allow the blouse to air dry outdoors in bright sunlight.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use hydrogen peroxide instead of water in a baking soda or salt paste for extra cleaning power.
  • If your blouse is made of silk or linen, or if you're not sure of the fabric content, take it to a dry cleaner to prevent damaging it in the wash.
  • Do not wash stained clothing in hot water, as this can further set the stain.

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