How Do You Clean Vintage Clothing?

If you need to find a good vintage garment dry cleaning service in Maumelle, stop by Hangers Cleaners. We take great care to clean vintage clothing and do our best to restore it to it’s former glory. Stop by with your garment and we’ll talk about your best options.

Do you have a vintage garment in your closet that hasn’t seen the light of day for a while because you are unsure how to get it clean?

The world of vintage clothing is fascinating, full of stories and family history. Unfortunately, these garments are the most difficult to clean.

Your vintage garment didn’t survive the 80s only to be snagged by a zipper in your washing machine. Here are a few tips for cleaning vintage clothing from the team at Hangers Cleaners.

  1. Determine what needs attention. A stain or a foul smell?

Take your vintage garment out and determine the most significant blemish. Too much time might have passed for you to make a good identification on what made the stain, but that doesn’t mean it is there forever. There are some very gentle, all-natural stain-removal methods that you can read about right here on this blog.

If you can, start the stain treatment in an inconspicuous area to see if the garment reacts poorly.

Does your garment smell bad? Some fresh air will help get the stale smell out without any chemicals. This might not work if your garment is white or beige. Those colors tend to yellow in direct sunlight. For these garments you can hang them, freely, somewhere inside. To help eliminate odor, place a bowl of vinegar next to it. Vinegar is great at neutralizing odors. Leave it hanging out for a few days.

  1. Know when it’s time to take it to a dry cleaners.

Your time is valuable. If you have a garment you know is going to be time consuming to clean, it might be better for you to take it to a professional. You don’t want to get half-way through the cleaning and drying process and realize you don’t have enough time or energy to finish.

It’s also a good idea to take it to a dry cleaners if you are unsure how to clean the fabric the garment is made out of. Even more so if you can tell the garment is made from several different kinds of fabrics.

The care tag might have gotten lost over the years or become illegible.

  1. If you can’t fix the stain, can you camouflage it?

It’s not the end of the world if the stain or eyesore on your garment is irreparable. Brainstorm ways you could camouflage it. Accessories? Minor adjustments.  

We don’t recommend doing anything too drastic to cover-up a stain without some research first. Get advice and make sure you’ve considered all options.

  1. Stay away from the washing machine.

The washer and dryer you throw you regular garments into is not gentle enough to safely clean your vintage garment. If you know the garment is vintage, it’s always best to assume it needs to be hand washed. Dry the garment carefully so the garment doesn’t stretch.

If you are dealing with a garment that is just on the edge of being vintage, you might be in the clear. Linen and cotton garments tend to be pretty durable.

If the garment smells stale, like mildew, it’s not strong enough for the washing machine. You can also tell by how the fabric feels. Does it have a dry feeling? Better hand wash it.