It is not surprising and odd that vintage clothing could have multitude of different stains. Such ‘dirt’ could have accumulated through years of journey. The items could be second-hand, and could have been owned by many other people before landing to your wardrobe. Do not worry about those undesirable blemishes and stains. If the garment is still resilient and durable, you could still proceed to washing them like any other clothes you have. However, specific measures could be taken to deal with any form of stain.
Here are several guidelines that would help you remove different kinds of stains in your vintage clothing. Take note that these tips are apparently based on natural methods and products available. These procedures would also not cause any damage to the fabric of any vintage garment. Before you resort to chemical dry cleaning, it would be better if you would first try out these recommended measures.
To remove bloodstains, rub the affected area with toothpaste (plain or white) before rinsing very carefully and well. Avoid using toothpaste products with gels or artificial colors for this method. Such colors might create additional and worse stains on your vintage clothing. A little amount of toothpaste would do. For makeup stains, it would be effective if you would rub the surface of the stain with a white bread slice. It really works.
Perspiration marks could leave unlikely stains especially on the armpit area. To remove such stains in vintage clothing, prepare a paste from a mixture of water, salt, and baking soda. Rub the mixture into the perspiration stain before rinsing carefully and well. As an alternative, you could create a paste made of cream of tartar, water, and crushed aspirin. Rub the paste into the stain and leave it for at least 20 minutes. Then, rinse the garment. Take note that perspiration stains are always permanent in vintage clothing made of linen and silk so it is not safe attempting to remove them.
For rust stains, stretch the clothing while immersing it into a pot full of boiling water. Then, sprinkle the garment with fresh lemon juice before rinsing well. Repeat this procedure for several times or until necessary. Try not to use pre-packaged lemon juice because such products contain preservatives and additives that could post unlikely effects to the fabrics. You could also alternatively steam the stained surfaces using a kettle or steamer. Cover the rust stain areas with cream of tartar as you do so. Immediately rinse the garment.
If there is ring around the garment’s collar, rub it with very mild shampoo. Leave it for a few minutes before rinsing. Yellow-colored stains could be removed more effectively using bluing shampoos that are used typically for gray hair. If there is grease, apply enough water without using any detergent. The grease would go off after a few minutes of soaking the garment in running water. There are also several specific grease-removing products in the market.
For unknown stains in vintage clothing, rub the affected area with hydrogen peroxide (diluted) before rinsing well. It would also help if you would rinse the area with a mixture of glycerin and diluted ammonia. For unlikely mildew, just let it stay there. Mildew could not be possibly removed in any garment, specifically vintage clothing.