Persistence pays off: Cleaning vintage textiles

Life Lesson #7: Persistence pays off


Yesterday, Lori–a My Place to Yours reader from Ohio–shared how she wanted to restore some of her family’s treasures for use as centerpiece items at her daughter’s upcoming wedding. If you missed Part 1 of this story,  take a minute and read it now…so these pictures will properly impress you. 🙂  Go ahead. We’ll wait.


When last we were here, Lori was soaking her Dad’s naval hat…plus two runners and a baby dress from her Mother-in-law…in a sink of hot water to which she had added my all-time favorite linen cleaner: Restoration. So how did she do? Did her persistance pay off?

Vintage Navy hat

How about we let Lori tell us the rest of her story? …


The gloves, dress, and one of the runners came out great after a couple of hours.



One of the runners had some rust-like areas. Susan has highly recommended the Stain Devils solutions by Carbona. I pulled out the one for rust knowing there was a possibility the stains weren’t rust at all. I rubbed the Carbona into the stains. It seemed to be helping, but they didn’t completely disappear. I then threw the piece in my washing machine–and after one wash cycle, the stains were completely gone.

Stain devils rust


My Dad’s hat was another story… On the inside of the hat is a label that runs from front to back–and no way to keep the label from getting wet when I soaked the hat. When I removed the hat from the Restoration solution, the ink from the label had run onto the clean white fabric…and now I had a different type of stain. If you look closely, you can still see a slightly pink mark at the top left of the hat.

Vintage Navy hat ink


But I wasn’t about to be defeated, so I once again pulled out the Carbona Stain Devils–this time using the one for ink. I wasn’t completely successful, but I did manage to get most of the ink stain out. Now my Dad’s hat is presentable.

Clean vintage Navy hat


The runners are now washed, ironed, folded, and stored with my other linens. They have a place on my tables for future tablescapes. The baby dress is also in storage for now. It has made an appearance along with my Mother-in-law’s baby shoes in some of my vignettes in the past, and I’m sure it will do so again in the future.


I would really like to encourage any of you with fabric cleaning dilemmas to contact Susan. She really is an excellent resource and was a tremendous encouragement to me. Restoration and Carbona now both have a permanent place in my arsenal of cleaning products. I’m an avid follower of Susan’s. I love her fabric tips!

So there you have it: proof that persistence really can pay off! What a gift Lori has given her daughter (and future generations) by restoring their family treasures. Since Lori is a longtime reader here at My Place to Yours, she knows how to properly store her items so they’ll stay looking good for years to come. Great job, Lori! And best wishes to your daughter and her soon-to-be-husband as they begin their journey together. 


Is there a project at Your Place that could benefit from a little persistence? Do tell! My Place to Yours readers are the best… We’ll be here to cheer you on!

Did you miss any Life Lessons? They’re all listed HERE.