Whether you have fine family heirloom pieces or something with character you picked up at an estate sale for a song, you’re eventually going to have to wash your antique linens. Even with advanced settings on today’s washing machines, you still may want to address fragile fabrics by hand.
Sunlight: What could be easier than sanitizing and removing stains… with sunlight! (Just don’t do it too often with fragile pieces, because they can start to break down). Simply lay your old lace, curtains and other fine linens on the grass in the sun for a few hours. Dirtier pieces can be dampened first.
Boiling: If that doesn’t do the trick, fill a pot with water and bring to a boil on your stovetop. Drop in linens and let steep until stains lift.
Detergent and Borax: Mix dishwasher detergent and borax together until you get a thick rubbing paste. Rub into soiled linens, then rinse clean.
Peroxide: If you have stubborn stains, try spraying them with peroxide, then rinsing with water.