How to Remove Age Spots From Vintage Fabrics


Age spots on vintage fabric commonly set in over time. These brownish yellow spots are a testament to a garment's long history. Substances like mildew and sweat are common causes of age spots on vintage fabrics. Removing stains takes time and the methods may vary, depending on what caused the stain. Using an hydrogen peroxide-based cleaner with mild detergent is one way to treat age spots on vintage fabric.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Laundry detergent
  • Hydrogen peroxide-based cleaning powder (optional)
  • Bucket
  • Towels (optional)

Removing Age Spots

Fill a bucket with with cool water and mild laundry detergent. Try a hydrogen peroxide product like Oxiclean if available.

Swish water and laundry soap together to work up lather. If using Oxiclean, make sure the product has completely dissolved in the soapy water.

Place fabric in the bucket and allow to soak all day or overnight. Because the fabric has been stained over time, soaking allows the detergent to work deeper into the fabric to break up the stain.

Rinse the item three or four times to remove excess detergent. Then gently squeeze the excess water from the garment. Wrap the items in clean towels to absorb the remaining liquid.

Let the fabric dry in a warm place away from the sun. Direct sunlight can damage vintage fabric.

Tips & Warnings

  • If using Oxiclean, dissolve the powder in hot water first. Then add cold water to cool the mixture before adding your fabric. The hot water dissolves the Oxiclean better than cold. Cold water helps to prevent shrinkage.
  • Do not put any vintage fabric in the washer or dryer. Vintage fabrics are delicate; the undulation of the washer or heat from the dryer can damage them.

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