How to safely remove yellow and brown age stains from all washable vintage fabrics. Leaving your vintage linens with renewed color and vitality.

How to Safely Bring Age Stained Textiles Back to Life

On one fantastic day, you’re out shopping at your local thrift shop, antique store, or second-hand shop.

You come across the most beautiful table linens or maybe vintage curtains in the bargain bin. Score!

But when you open up that fabulous textile, it has those yellow age spots or worse yet, iron stains.

What do you do? Leave it behind or do you take it home and attempt to clean it?

This post may contain affiliate links, which won’t change your price but will share some commission.

Retro Clean Cleaning Solution

This winter I discovered this Retro Clean cleaning solution, and have been purchasing it ever since from Amazon.

And oh boy does it work like a charm!

Retro Clean

Now, all the table linens I have been collecting while I’m out “Thrifting with the Gals” get a good soaking with my new go-to, Retro Clean.

You may enjoy the post, A Thrift Here, a Vintage There, and a Valentine from when I first picked up these vintage linens.

Romantic Antique Table Setting with Thoughtful Design

How to Use Retro Clean

It’s so simple!

Fill a bucket or sink with warm water to cover your vintage linens.

Add 3-4 tablespoons of the Retro Clean powder for each gallon of warm water used.

Soak your washable vintage textiles in the cleaning solution for 48 hours. Then launder and press.

Follow the directions on the package for further details.

How to Safely Bring Age Stained Textiles Back to Life

This vintage tablecloth was actually clean within the first 24 hours of soaking, so I went ahead to the next step, washed it on a delicate cycle in the washing machine, and left it to air dry.

How to Safely Bring Age Stained Textiles Back to Life

And then pressed the tablecloth nicely for display.

Blue Iron

Now I’m able to display my vintage linens beautifully without having to hide those ugly yellow-aged stains.

Lemonade Set

See more in the post, Romantic Antique Table Setting with Thoughtful Design.

Romantic Antique Table Setting with Thoughtful Design

I also recently cleaned some white linen curtains that had been yellowed by the sun too.

After 48 hours of soaking in the Retro Clean, they are back to their brilliant white selves.

White Linen Curtain Textiles

I hope this tip was useful and here’s to fabulous-looking vintage textiles and linens!

March: In Like a Lion

This winter has been so mild here in Vermont. But I’m starting to think it’s going to be a very snowy spring. Today we’re predicted to get up to 11″ of snow.

See more of this sunroom view and my new creative space remodeled in the post, Sunroom Home Office Inspiration: Triple Purposed with Craft Space.

I’m so glad you dropped by, and if you are new to my blog, welcome! I hope you enjoyed your visit with us here today at our Home in Vermont.

Be sure also to check out our Home in Coastal Maine, where we spend summers and weekends when we are craving a walk on the beach or a visit with old friends.

How to Safely Bring Age Stained Textiles Back to Life

I’ve created the above custom pin just for this post!  Hearing from you makes my day! Your comments mean so much to me! Please join me on Instagram & Pinterest to see more!

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      1. Ty for your Retro Clean tip.. 👍🏻

  1. I’m very interested and have ordered. Thanks for this tip. My question is did you then launder with your regular detergent or did you use the Retro Wash detergent in addition to the soaking Retro Clean?

    1. Hi Colleen I washed them on a gentle cycle with an organic pod, which is our everyday detergent. There’s not a stain to be found:)

  2. I will be ordering pronto!!! Thank you so much for the link, and the review! Any idea how to remove gel ink (pen) from an off white tablecloth? The pen got rolled up (and washed) after a large family dinner :^(

    1. I’m so glad it was helpful. I don’t know, unfortunately. But my first try would be this Retro Clean and let me know if it gets it out. Since it soaks for 48 hours there’s a good chance it will, good luck!

  3. Ann
    I can’t wait to try this. I have a recipe that a lady gave me but it calls for biz powder and it is hard to find now. It sounds like this works the same.

    1. It works great Rachel, you should definitely get some and try it out!

  4. Great tip, Ann! I will definitely keep this in mind! Love your pretty blue and white table linens!

    1. I’m so glad you like it Barbara, let me know how you make out with it. I’m sold!

  5. I picked up Retro Clean at a quilt shop in Chester, Vermont to use on the precious quilt that my grandmother had made 50 years ago. It worked beautifully!

    1. Wow really? In Chester? That’s so good to know, as it took a while to arrive. Thanks for letting me know!

  6. Rachel Smith says:

    Definitely going to give the a try. Thanks for the tip!

    1. I’m so glad, you’ll love it Rachel!

  7. Marlene Stephenson says:

    Thanks Ann, I am so happy to find something that works. I love old linens with beautiful hand work on them. Pinned it.

    1. This worked beautifully Marlene, I’m more than pleased with the outcome! Have a great weekend!

  8. I am ordering right away. I have an old slipcovered couch that has yellowed from Sun. I am going to try and get it white again! Thanks, Ann!

    1. Thanks Kathy, It has worked so well for me. Let me know how you make out! It’s great stuff!