Kathy asked: I have a porcelain, Franklin Mint Queen Guinevere bride doll that got badly stained by mice while in storage. Her dress is covered in urine stains, and the metallic tissue of her shirt and sleeves has numerous green spots where the urine tarnished the copper threading. Do you have any suggestions as to how I might proceed or what cleaning agents can eliminate the green? Thanks for any help you can give.
Vintage fabrics and laces prove especially difficult to clean because they are fragile and easily damaged by cleaning chemicals. This cleaning technique should be safe for stain removal on the most delicate vintage fabrics. Use extra caution if you’re cleaning a multi-colored dress or one that is not proven to be colorfast.
You Will Need:
- 2 cups sea salt
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 3 gallons cool water
- Clean wash tub
Steps to Remove the Stain:
- Combine the sea salt, vinegar, and water in a clean wash tub. For best results, do NOT use a metal tub.
- Swirl or agitate the water to mix the ingredients well.
- Submerge the dress in the water, taking care not to fold or ball the fabric.
- Soak for 24-48 hours.
- Remove from the cleaning solution and rinse well with clean water.
- Repeat as necessary until stains are gone.
- Air dry.
Additional Tips and Advice
- This method should clean and deodorize the dress. Always spot test first to ensure the fabrics can tolerate the cleaning, and you will achieve desirable results.
- Avoid using bleach on vintage fabrics unless they are in excellent shape. Bleach can weaken or damage fabrics.
- If you notice stubborn metallic stains (rust tends to be orange, copper appears as a green stain) you can apply a paste of Bar Keepers Friend and water. Apply the paste directly to the fabric, allow it to sit for a while, then rinse it out with clean water before the paste dries. Use extra caution on colored fabrics, and always spot test before you begin.