How to Remove Yellow Stains From Antique White Fabric

Antique white cottons and linens are still widely available, but many have stains.

Returning these beautiful heirlooms to their original bright white can allow you to use and enjoy them in your home. The most common staining on antique white fabric is yellowing; however, cleaning methods used for yellowing will remove most other staining on your vintage linens as well. .

Pre-soak your antique white fabric in lukewarm water. Allow to soak for 30 minutes to one hour before beginning to work on the stains in your fabric.

Combine one to two cups of a non-chlorine bleach or oxygen-based cleaning product with one gallon of very hot water. Mix well, then add one gallon of warm water to make a simple solution for cleaning.

Carefully place the antique fabric into the tub or bucket with the detergent solution. Allow to soak. Soak for several days, periodically checking on the stains. Lift carefully out of the water and rinse well with fresh, lukewarm water.

Treat remaining yellow stains on antique white fabric with a paste of equal parts lemon juice and non-iodized salt. Rub gently into the stain and allow to soak into the fabric. Place in the sun for approximately 15 minutes. Rinse well.

Roll antique linens into a clean white towel to remove excess water. Dry flat, preferably in sunlight for the whitest result.

Things You Will Need

  • Non-chlorine bleach, like Biz
  • Oxygen-based cleaner
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Large plastic tub or bucket

About the Author

With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.