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Thread: Discolored antique quilt-? how do I clean it?

  1. #1
    mlaceruby's Avatar
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    I purchased 2 quilts at an auction last weekend.
    Got a steal at $5 and $10 one is an embroidered tree of life and the other is a yellow floral applique.
    Both are badly age stained in spots
    what can I use to try and remove the stains?
    they are in good shape otherwise no rips or tears

  2. #2
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    at my quilt store they have "quilt wash" it's made for old quilts

  3. #3
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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    oxyclean works well. I have soaked lod quilts like this for two weeks straight in a mild soapy solution to get them clean. I figure mild soap and give it lots of time to work.

  4. #4
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    Gentle cleaners and plenty of soaking time - not just overnight, but several nights sometimes. I put the quilt in a plastic laundry basket, and the basket in the bathtub. Squeeze the soapy water through the quilt, let soak, rinse and repeat until the water runs clear. Shower massagers can make this a lot easier.

    kwhite, you have faster fingers than mine!

  5. #5
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    Most LQS's have a product that will take the yellow out of old quilts safely. I don't know the name of it but you can call or email my LQS and find out. http://www.threadsoftimefab.com

    The people there are very helpful and I'm sure will give you the information you need. Tell them Alfreda (with a long E) sent you.

  6. #6
    Super Member TexasGurl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlaceruby
    I purchased 2 quilts at an auction last weekend.
    Got a steal at $5 and $10 one is an embroidered tree of life and the other is a yellow floral applique.
    Both are badly age stained in spots
    what can I use to try and remove the stains?
    they are in good shape otherwise no rips or tears
    I've had good luck with several of the quilt washes, let it soak overnight at least - don't rush it. Also used Oxyclean on a couple of REALLY dirty old quilts but you've got to rinse VERY very well or they will be stiff afterward. (Ask me how I know!)
    Also see the old time recom. to soak in a BUTTERMILK solution but haven't tried that one myself ... has anyone here??

  7. #7
    a regular here hazeljane's Avatar
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    On the white areas- use a fresh lemon, cut in half and rubbed in , then leave in the sun for a while. (If you have colors you don't want to fade- cover them.

  8. #8
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hazeljane
    On the white areas- use a fresh lemon, cut in half and rubbed in , then leave in the sun for a while. (If you have colors you don't want to fade- cover them.
    Lemon juice is high acid...I would think that would damage the fabric? (I could be wrong...tis why I'm asking)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlee
    Quote Originally Posted by hazeljane
    On the white areas- use a fresh lemon, cut in half and rubbed in , then leave in the sun for a while. (If you have colors you don't want to fade- cover them.
    Lemon juice is high acid...I would think that would damage the fabric? (I could be wrong...tis why I'm asking)
    My Grandmother always used lemon juice on whites that were soiled and leave them in the sun. I still have some of her linens and the fabric is fine. lemon juice does work.


    I would wash the quilts with washing soda and 20 mule team borox along with detergent. that combo gets even the dirtiest of diapers clean and it does wonder for age stains on quilts.

  10. #10
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    wow, lots of cool comments, thanks everyone

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