This is a post I NEVER thought I’d write.
If you’re a regular here (thank you for that!), you know I have a thing for vintage linens. I even wrote an entire series on How to Care for Vintage Linens & Lace.
Many times I’ve recommended to you my favorite all-time cleaner for vintage linens: Restoration Linen Cleaner. And many of you took my advice… and got your dirty old linens cleaned up and back into circulation. Still glad about that, aren’t you?
Well, I recently came across a new linen care product: Mama’s Miracle Linen Soak. The “behind the scenes” story appealed to my sentimental side because Shelley Stewart, the face behind Mama’s Miracle, is simply a daughter continuing—and sharing—her Mama’s legacy. Her Mama would have enjoyed hanging out with us here at My Place because vintage linens, playing in the dishes, and “all things Southern” were a way of life for her, too!
I contacted Shelley, told her I’d like to compare Mama’s Miracle with my all-time favorite Restoration, and asked if she’d be willing to send me a sample. She generously sent an entire jar. Thanks again, Shelley!
The big question was: What are the dirtiest linens I can find?
Since I’ve been downsizing, there was actually only one thing that was
dirty filthy—a “beautiful” tablecloth and napkin set that perfectly fits my dining table. I bought it at auction, put it away, and only recently rediscovered it. Ooops!
I decided to compare Restoration, Mama’s Miracle and—why not?—OxiClean. I set aside the three dirtiest napkins… and assigned the (slightly) dirtiest one to Mama’s Miracle. Gotta make Mama prove herself!
For those of you who want to see what the products look like, here you go. Mama’s Miracle is super soft and fluffy—and hard to photograph! You can imagine how quickly it dissolves…
I used the recommended amount of each product in hottest tap water (or boiling water, in the case of Mama’s Miracle) and let soak for ONE hour before rinsing in cold water.
First comparison: Restoration and OxiClean
Results: Overall oxidation stains were removed from both napkins but remained along the folded hems of the OxiClean napkin.
Second comparison: Restoration and Mama’s Miracle
Results: Overall oxidation stains were removed from both napkins but remained (very slightly) along the folded hem of the Mama’s Miracle napkin and one spot in the field. However, I am confident Mama’s Miracle would have performed equally well with Restoration had the stains been identical.
Third comparison: Restoration, Mama’s Miracle, and OxiClean
Results: Except as mentioned above, overall oxidation stains were removed from all napkins but remained (very slightly) along the folded hems of the Mama’s Miracle napkin and (darker) along the hems of the OxiClean napkin.
Fourth comparison: Restoration, Mama’s Miracle, OxiClean, and an unlaundered napkin
The following comparisons are for the top two products only.
Restoration – $15.95 per 2 lbs. — approx. 52 washings — $ 0.31/wash
Mama’s Miracle – $19.95 per 1 lb. — approx. 58 washings — $ 0.34/wash
Looks like it’s a wash!
Ease of use:
Both Restoration and Mama’s Miracle are very user-friendly.
Restoration is slightly more convenient to use because it does not require boiling water. (Update: After writing this post, I tried Mama’s Miracle with really hot tap water—mine is about 130 degrees—and the ingredients activated perfectly! Depending on your water temperature, you may not need to boil the water.)
Mama’s Miracle uses less product and therefore requires less storage space while also being more cost-effective to ship.
I’ve never found a product that claims to remove stains from vintage SILK pieces—until Mama’s Miracle Linen Soak. (Restoration specifically says it’s not to be used on silk or wool.) While there are certainly new washable silk pieces, the types of stains common on vintage silk items are not the same and must be treated differently.
According to Shelley, Mama’s Miracle can be used with vintage silk pieces IF the product is activated with boiling water then cooled completely before adding the silk. (Word of caution: If asked, I’m sure Shelley would add the disclaimer that the piece must be carefully checked beforehand to ensure the fibers are stable and that no dry rot is present before attempting to clean a vintage silk piece.)
I’m going to try Mama’s Miracle Linen Soak on a small silk treasure this week.
I’ll post the before/after pics and my results here in a few days, so sign up to get new posts via email if you don’t want to miss it! I wonder what the original color of my silk treasure is… (Update: See the result HERE.)
Do you have any old beauties you need to get back in circulation? Why are you waiting? 🙂
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Don’t forget… No matter how much we may love reviving vintage linens, there are more important transformations! This Valentine week there’s an easy way to SPEAK LOVE and transform a young girl’s life. Easier than laundering linens…
I’ll be sharing this at:
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Amaze Me Monday @ Dwellings—The Heart of Your Home