Return to the Antiques & Collectibles Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Removing mystery stains from vintage crochet

Posted by linnea56 (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 16, 13 at 22:01

I am considering buying a vintage ecru crochet tablecloth I found online. I am very interested in this particular piece because it matches some other pieces I have. I am planning to use it as a bed coverlet, not a tablecloth. I have not seen it in person. However, there are stains right in the middle, which would therefore be impossible to hide. I would like to know how to remove them. I know I have done a few small stained pieces I already own, and the stains were very hard to get out without using bleach then having to re-dye them with tea. Even then, there was a trace left. It would be a huge pain if I had to bleach something this big and then try to re-dye it. I would have to do the whole thing, as bleaching really could not be done selectively. For all I know these could be years old, and may be set. They are brown and could be coffee or tea. I am motivated to do it if it is possible, though.

I am testing some small inexpensive pieces I have now, in Biz. I figure whatever stains might be on vintage crochet table linens, are probably much the same type. However, the stains on those are not budging even after soaking for 2 days in a concentrated solution. Next I will try Oxyclean. If I can't come up with a system that works consistently, I had better pass, even though I WANT this one due to the matching pattern.

Thanks for your help!

Here is a closeup of one of the stains: I asked the seller for this:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Removing mystery stains from vintage crochet

Spray with Resolve and rub gently and then soak in warm water. Repeat this procedure several times. Its worth a try I recently got rid of some real stubborn stains like this.Good luck.

RE: Removing mystery stains from vintage crochet

I'm not sure I have ever heard of Resolve. I will have to look for it.


The stains on on my sample pieces did not budge even after soaking for 3 days in a concentrated solution of Biz. Now I am trying Oxyclean. After 12 hours in Oxyclean: for 1 piece that had a minor light stain, the stain is gone. 3 pieces with more serious darker stains similar to the one I want to buy, are still there and unchanged.

RE: Removing mystery stains from vintage crochet

Forgot to tell you also try Clorox2, its a good stain remover.

RE: Removing mystery stains from vintage crochet

I've seen old ones stained with gravy too so that is hard to get out. I remember mom struggling to get her tablecloths clean after someone got gravy on them, so some could be grease stains

RE: Removing mystery stains from vintage crochet

I have had some luck with soaking in OxiClean all day, then in a solution of Dawn dishwashing liquid over night, then OxiClean all day, and Dawn again at night. This was with some old linen napkins with crochet lace inserts, of my great-grandmother's that had both food and grease stains. Those stains had been setting for at least 50 years.

It took a couple of days and there are still a few faint spots on some of the napkins, but you can't see them in ordinary use. This also worked on an old linen tablecloth.

You could also try putting the items outside on a sunny day. Sun is a very good bleaching agent.

RE: Removing mystery stains from vintage crochet

I like to soak vintage linens in Orvus Equine Soap. As Camlan wrote, drying in the sun also helps fade stains.

RE: Removing mystery stains from vintage crochet

I have wonderful luck with plain Dawn. Just rub in and let set until next washing. I don't usually have to do that though, just rub in and wash. I have gotten lots of grease stains out of tableclothes this way. And I have no idea how long the stains had been there as I bought them from garage sales or thrift stores. I have heard that peroxide with Dawn does well also, but have never tried it. And as Camlan stated, hanging linens on a very sunny day does wonders also. Good luck! :-)

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Antiques & Collectibles Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here