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How do you remove rust stains/ yellow spots from antique quilts?

A couple of us are looking for help with stains on antique quilts. I have a quilt from the 30's that has yellow stains on it and Lauren has a quilt that has rust spots. My quilt I know is not that expensive but it came from my grandmother's house and I was just trying to clean it. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks- Robin

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Comment by Pam/NY on June 30, 2010 at 3:22am
My grandmother use to brighten her light colored clothes by laying them on the dew covered lawn and then roll them up and put them in the freezer until they were frozen! Crazy as it sounds, she had the brightest white clothes in town! lol I buy a lot of antique tops and usually, I spot clean the rust spots with a q-tip and lemon juice or sometimes clorox, wash them in a front loader with tide first and if they need something more...soak over night with amaze. They do brighten up!
Comment by christi on June 29, 2010 at 10:30pm
There is also a product called Amaze that I have used. Amaze is in the laundry eisle of the store and used to clean baby clothes and remove stains from them. You could try it. I have a front loader so I tend to use it as a hand wash soap. If you have a front loader and plan to wash you quilt in it don't put your soap in the dispenser, take and gently pull back the rubber at the bottom of the opening and put your product in there. This way the water will mix with it better than comming from the dispenser. I have some of my clothes marked by putting oxiclean in the soap dispenser because it isn't disolved before it makes contact with the washer's contents. Since doing things this way I haven't had anything wrecked.
Comment by Gayle/La. on June 29, 2010 at 8:08pm
Hey Robin, there was an old household product that my Mom used to use called "Whink". It was good on all colorfast fabrics and a lot of other things. She used to say to "dampen a spot and drip a drop and then to blot it off after it had time to work". I don't even know if they still make it but she used that stuff all the time on rust spots.
Comment by Lynn Staudacher on June 29, 2010 at 7:37pm
Grandma's secret should work for you or you can cut a lemon in half, rub it on the spot then sprinkle a little salt on it and rub it in. Then set your quilt in the sun. A owner of a quilt shop told me that little secret. She says it work.
Comment by Pati Cook on June 29, 2010 at 7:02pm
Stains can be tricky to get out. If you are willing to risk washing the vintage quilts I would like to suggest Biz or OxyClean (as long as there is no silk or wool involved. Enzyme detergents/additives work on protein in stains and silk and wool are both protein fibers.)
Don't agitate if you use the machine..... just dissolve the powder then gently add the quilt. Use delicate cycle and let soak, spin gently, rinse at least twice and see if that helps any.
There is also a product called Soak which is a non detergent cleaning liquid.

If your quilt is fragile at all, it is probably best to just spot clean and try to lighten the stains.

Have fun,
Pati, in Phx
Comment by Prairie Quilter/NE on June 29, 2010 at 7:02pm
Check out a product called "Grandmother's Secret" and see if that might help. I have a bottle, but haven't used it on any antique quilts yet. It is advertised as a safe stain remover for old textiles, but there is probably a natural home remedy just as effective. A quilt restoration expert like Nancy Kirk of Omaha (you can find her on the internet) could help you. I'll be interested to hear the advice of others.
Comment by Linda Hughes on June 29, 2010 at 5:27pm
I can't help you but I'm interested also in any suggestions. I have a quilt my great grandmother made probably in the early 1900's - it's in great condition except for some small rust spots.

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