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Rescue Stained Vintage Linens

Updated on June 16, 2014

You must try "Mama's Miracle Linen Soak":

I was scheduled to  co-hostess a bridal shower I promised to bring my white tableclothes. I went to the linen closet and discovered --Low and behold-- those table linens looked horrible. They had stains galore that had only gotten worse over time. Yes, I did wash them after I used them, but did not see the dingy yellow and brown stains. The only excuse I have for not noticing those blotches is that I might not have had my glasses on. 

Luckily, I had just been introduced to a product that could truly be a miracle rescue! An old friend of mine, Shelley, had heard that I wrote product reviews on Squidoo. Shelley called me to share her new business venture, Mama's Miracle Linen Soak, which is based on her own mother's time-tested recipe for cleaning heirloom linens. I won't tell you the whole story about her mother, but I will suggest you read it for yourself by clicking The Story of Mama's Miracle. You will fall in love with Shelley's mother and learn how to take care of those beautiful fabrics that are meant to be passed along for the generations to come.

To make a long story short: 

Shelley gave me a jar of the linen soak for me to try. 

Three tablecloths, one hankie and a doily later, I am here to tell you that this product works! It restored the dingy vintage fabrics to a beautiful shade of white. The cotton tablecloths were no longer dingy; the hanky was a beautiful shade of creamy white. 

 I did discover that it will not remove rust stains, but it did remove those little brown age spots that just seemingly appear out of nowhere. 

I must warn you, that one might need patience for the tough stains to disappear. The hankie was resurrected after two hours of soaking; the doily was white almost immediately (but the rust stains did not go away!); the cotton embroidered table linens took a whole 24 hours to brighten up. 

How to get your linens a new life:

I won't go into the steps for brightening your vintage linens. Shelley does that on her page How to Remove Stains from Old Linens much better than I can. I will share some hints with you, however, that I learned during my own use of Mama's Miracle Linen Soak.

  • I used a 5 gallon, plastic "pickle" bucket. See it in the photos.
  • Since I was using a 5 gallon container, I tried making a concentrated solution in a pot to mix with warm water in the  5 gallon bucket. It turned out that the 10 tablespoons of granules did not like being crowded and some of them did not dissolve in 1 quart of boiling water. My concentrate was just too concentrated.
  • Rust stains did fade after 2 days, but were still slightly visible (see photos).
  • Grease stains faded as well, but did not completely disappear.

Below you will find 2 of my photos that show you before and after photos of my own vintage linen hankie. Note the brown spot on the folded handy in the lower left. In the second photo, the spot is gone. I photographed the hankie on the same piece of white paper. I also included one image of a vintage lace bibb that Shelley sent me to use. I saw the bibb before she cleaned it with her Mama's Miracle. Her photo is so much better than mine pictures--she has a better camera!

Photo Gallery

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Before and After. Photo by Shelley Stewart
Before and After. Photo by Shelley Stewart
Before and After. Photo by Shelley Stewart

You can buy a smaller size of this unique cleaning product:

Mama's Miracle Linen Soak 5 Oz. (Enough for approx. 12 batches) (5 Oz.)
Mama's Miracle Linen Soak 5 Oz. (Enough for approx. 12 batches) (5 Oz.)

A smaller size if you do not have a lot of fabric to refurbish.


Do you collect vintage linens?

If you do, then I highly recommend Mama's Miracle Linen Soak.

I have tried this soak myself, as I have explained, and I am extremely satisfied with the results I got. I am so satisfied, that I am willing to put my wedding dress in the bucket! Yes, I stored my wedding dress in the attic (a big no-no!) and it was yellowed and stained so much so that I was about to throw it out. Now, I have the confidence to dip this once white gown in Mama's solution to see if it can be restored. I have nothing to lose!

I hope you will purchase a jar or a bottle and give your linens a chance at a new life, too.


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    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 3 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Sounds like a miracle product indeed. Is there also a product that will take those yellow & brown spots out of white cotton and/or a cotton/blend? I'd sure like to know. :)

    • Pawpawwrites profile image

      Jim 3 years ago from Kansas

      What seems like junk to one person, is a priceless heirloom to another. Nice to know there is a way to save those family vintage linens.

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 3 years ago from Missouri

      I have purchased some vintage linens at an auction and needed to find a way to brighten them back up. This is so helpful. Thanks.

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 3 years ago

      @SheilaSchnauzies: Please do try this Miracle Soak. It did make the Crochet doily much brighter.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 3 years ago from Colorado

      This sounds like the perfect product for those of us who love heirloom linens. Happy to know about this restoration cleanser. Congrats on your feature!

    • SheilaSchnauzies profile image

      Sheila 3 years ago from Omaha, NE

      I was so intrigued by your lens just had to click in! I am a crochet designer and have an extensive collection of heirloom doilies, embroidered items, tablecloths, and other pretties. Many are stained and yellowed and while I've had some success restoring some of them, i need something reliable that really works! I may just have to try this! Thanks, and gave you a boost in lens rank as Squidoo's Creative Crocheter Contributor! All crocheters should see this!