Well, I started this Vintage Linen Care series, so I’m sticking with it. To those of you who are sticking with it, too … and enjoying it … I’m really glad. Thank you! It’s a doozie to write! And for those of you who aren’t into vintage linens, hang in there with us a little longer. There’s a promised tablescape coming this week … and a 31-day series I think we’ll all enjoy coming in October. More about that soon.
So far in this series, we’ve covered washing, drying, ironing, storage stain removal, and mystery stain removal (our term for any old, non-oxidation stains). If you’ve missed anything – or want to review – click the Vintage Linens tab above.
In my last post about mystery stains, I told you that after years of looking at stains on linens, I can usually make an educated guess about what a stain is. Recently, however, I came across a stain that was truly a mystery stain. Here’s what happened …
A friend came across a bag of old linens while cleaning out the store room of a recently-deceased elderly neighbor. She waited for me before digging through them. What a fantastic friend! (But I already knew that.)
This beauty was the exception … Believe me!
Virtually all of the linens were covered with a rust-colored stain I’d never seen before … and I felt a challenge coming on!
I took a few of the nasty pieces home to play with!
Obviously, if you’ve been a visitor here for any time at all, you know I pulled out the Restoration Linen Cleaner first.
I started with two little dresser pieces. One was in perfect condition (except for the stains), and the other had a few holes … but I was challenging myself to get out the mystery stain, and holes didn’t matter.
A long soak in Restoration removed all of the oxidation stains … and none of the mystery stain … but it let me get a better look at it. I decided it must be rust.
I didn’t want to use up all of my go-to Carbona Stain Devils #9 I told you about HERE, so I did the next soak in this. I once had several sturdy damask tablecloths that were covered in rust; I put them in the washer with this product and got pretty good results.
I knew if the Iron Out lightened the stain at all, I could be sure the problem was rust.
But it didn’t … so it wasn’t … Or was it? Was the color a tiny bit lighter? It really looked like rust.
I pulled out the big gun: Whink. This is a very concentrated rust remover that I use on rare occasions.
The stain didn’t budge. Definitely not rust.
Feeling like I was back in high school Chemistry, I lined up the Carbona Stain Devils … all nine formulations … since every stain is supposed to fall into one of the nine categories.
I cut up the already-ruined mystery stain linen … the one with holes … and placed each little square of fabric into a plastic tray I’d saved for “someday.” Then I conducted a little experiment … walking away for several hours. The SW is Stain Wizard that I told you about in my last post of this series. #10 is a different product.
Upon my return, I learned that Stain Devils #1 dissolves plastic … which makes sense because it also removes adhesive, glue, and candlewax. Obviously, the mystery stain was none of those.
But I also learned that Stain Devils #8 was removing the stain!
Then I was curious …
What could the mystery stain found in a partially-open bag of old stored linens be?
|In memory of Isabel …|
Thanks, Stain Devils, for coming through for me again!
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Next time we’ll talk about how to remove common everyday stains that get on vintage linens…
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