As you may, know, I have a special spot in my heart for vintage linens. While bed sheets are what make up most of my collection, I'm pretty sweet on tablecloths too.
This weekend, my friend Elizabeth invited a few mamas to join her at an estate sale. It was such fun! I picked up the two tablecloths above. When I first saw them, I loved the prints, but they were fairly stained. A woman there - an antiques dealer - heard us discussing how to clean them, and she offered up a little advice. At just a couple of dollars each, I thought I would bring them home and try my hand at reviving them.
Her technique worked so beautifully, that I couldn't help but share.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. You'll want a big enough pot and enough water to completely cover your fabric. When the water is at a rapid boil, add at least 2-3 TBS of baking soda (I used about 1/3 cup). The water will bubble wildly for a few seconds while the baking soda dissolves.
Remove the pot from the heat and put your fabric in, of course taking care not to splash boiling water on yourself! Let your fabric soak. One of my tablecloths was rather stained, and I let it soak overnight - and then did a second treatment the next day. The water in my pot turned rather brown as it drew out the staining from the table cloth. Once I was satisfied, I drained the water, wrung the fabric by hand, and hung it on the clothesline in the sunshine to dry.
If you try it, I'd love to hear how yours turn out!