You can also try soaking the piece in a textile enzyme cleaner. Some antique linen fans swear by the old-fashioned method of using fresh lemon juice and salt directly on a stain and then letting the linens dry directly on the grass out in the sunshine.
For severely discolored fabrics, you may need to soak them for days to remove decades of dirt. Then gently swish the linens in warm water with mild, nonabrasive, phosphate-free soap. Avoid using bleach, because it can damage the fibers. Rinse the textiles at least twice in clear water to remove all soap residue.
If linens are yellowed, add 1/2 cup oxygen bleach to 2 to 3 gallons of water (do not use chlorine bleach, which can weaken fibers). Gently agitate by hand, then let soak until the cloth appears white (this may take several hours). Rinse with cold water.
Some antique linen fans swear by the old-fashioned method of using fresh lemon juice and salt directly on a stain and then letting the linens dry directly on the grass out in the sunshine. If you give this a shot, rinse the textile out with cool water after it dries, and let dry again before pressing it.
Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda are a 1-2 punch when it comes to yellow stain removal. Peroxide is more gentle on fabrics than bleach, and baking soda quickly gets rid of any odors. Add a bit of Dawn to the mix, and you have a concoction that can't be beat.
Make a paste using equal parts baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Cover the stain and let it sit for over an hour in direct sunlight. At this point, check your progress to see how much of a dent you've made in the stain. Continue to let sit, then hand wash or launder according to care instructions.
Baking Soda & Water
If you're sure that the staining is caused by the foods or beverages you're consuming, there's a simple home remedy that can often help whiten them again. Mix baking soda and water, and brush your teeth with it every few days to supplement your typical oral care routine.
Safe Stain Removers for Vintage Garments
It is best to start with 'natural' stain removers such as lemon juice and vinegar and baking soda, for vintage items, before moving onto harsher chemicals – not only are these milder stain removes safer to use on your vintage fabrics but they are also better for the environment.
Dilute 1 part bleach to 2 parts water. Soak the stained portion of your linen for five minutes, then rub the area gently with a cloth or sponge to break up the stain. Wash in the machine as usual. You can also add half a cup of bleach along with your detergent, which will remove less stubborn stains.
Brown Stains on Bedding
The enzymes in saliva will also dry brown, and this is often the cause of brown stains on pillowcases. Saliva stains can look unpleasant, but the good news is that these stains are easy to remove as they do not contain as much oil as sweat.
Can baking soda ruin clothes? Baking soda is safe to use to clean your clothes and will not ruin them. However, it's a good idea to measure the right amount of cleaning product to use and spot test your clothes before washing them. Baking soda is a great way of getting stains and odors out of clothes and shoes.
Most stains can be lifted by making a paste with vinegar and baking soda, rubbing it on the stain, and letting it sit for about half an hour. This works great for yellow underarm stains and old stains, as well as most food and drink stains.
Which natural detergent comes out on top? Well, that would depend on its intended use. For instance, vinegar is potent at fighting mold while baking soda is great at fighting wine and coffee stains. The former is a better disinfectant but the latter is a phenomenal deodorizer.
Simply sprinkle baking soda onto a wet stain, leave it overnight and you'll be surprised by the results. Not only will the stain likely be gone, but so too will any related odors – no need for an additional paste. As long as you cover the entire area of the stain with baking soda, it should do the trick!
If you feel like it's your only option, though, start with diluted oxygen bleach and move on to chlorine bleach if necessary. Really old, stubborn stains sometimes respond best to liquid glycerin. Rub it in, let it soak and then launder again.
Cover the entire stain with soda water and add table salt to the area. Cover with boiling water and let soak for half an hour, then pop in the wash with ⅓ cup of baking soda and wash on a normal cycle. Remember, the more time the stain has to set, the harder it will be to remove, so get onto it ASAP.
Try Baking Soda + Vinegar
Sprinkle a layer of dry baking soda on the stain. Then, mix a cup of white vinegar with a cup of water and a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle. The vinegar will foam when it hits the baking soda which will clean the stain.
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Yellow stains are most often caused by a chemical reaction, such as aluminum and sweat, or plastics breaking down because of excessive heat. Over bleaching, poor rinsing, and too much or too little detergent can also cause yellowing.
You can then use either vinegar, or baking soda to attack the stain. If using vinegar, fill a spray bottle with equal parts of white vinegar and water. Spray the affected area and then gently rub into the stain. If using baking soda, sprinkle it on to a damp sponge and rub gently.
If you're looking to remove stains like sweat and makeup from your linen clothes, pre-treat it with Vanish Oxi Action Multi Power Gel before putting it in a wash. If the stain is from something like deodorant or hair dye, then Vanish Oxi Action Multi Power Powder is your go-to pre-treat product.
Home Remedy: Bleach & Water
If you don't have a stain remover on hand, dilute 1 cup of bleach with 2 cups of water, and let the stained part sit in it for about 5 minutes. Rub the area gently with a cloth, and throw in the laundry. This remover is a pro at removing stains quickly and thoroughly.