Beverley asked: “How can I remove a yellow sticky tape mark from a cotton pillow slip? The pillow slips are in very good condition but are about 40 years old. I recently took them out of the box I received them in and found yellow marks where sticky tape was used to package them. As they were given to me by my grandmother I am keen to remove the marks and use them. They have a small amount of embroidery on them in yellow cotton.”
Hi Beverley, considering the age of the pillow slips we would recommend hand washing in Woolite, in cold water before attempting any other spot removing tips. Always test cleaning tips in an inconspicuous spot as many factors play into whether a particular solution will work for your unique situation – especially with irreplaceable items like you have.
- Fill an appropriately sized container or sink with enough cold water to cover the soiled articles and still allow them to move around.
- Add the Woolite – Reference the label to determine how much to add to your container by volume.
- Add your items and allow them to soak for at least a half-hour. Gentle kneading may also help get them clean.
- Gently rub the areas with the tape residue on them between your fingers to release the adhesive.
- Rinse with cold water and lay flat to dry.
Spot Cleaning the Area
There are several methods for removing the tape residue. Again, we would recommend that you try these tips out in a small inconspicuous spot first, just in case.
- For a gentle solution, ‘Un-Du’ is an adhesive remover available in the scrapbooking section of most craft stores.
Simply soak the tape residue with Un-Du, gently scrape it off, allow the pillow slips to dry and the residue should be gone. *Note: Un-Du is not sold in California.
- As your pillow slips are cotton, you can also try Goo Gone, which is available at most supermarkets and department stores. Wet a cloth with Goo Gone and gently rub to remove the residue. Rewash the pillow slips normally to remove remaining Goo Gone and allow them to air dry. *Note: Do not use Goo Gone on fine materials like leather, silk or suede.
- Spot treat the area with rubbing alcohol. Then rub the area with a dry finger to remove the residue.
Seeking Trained Help
If worse comes to worse you can also look around in your area for a dry cleaner that specializes in cleaning and restoring vintage or antique clothing. You want to look for someone who has experience with antique quality material. A lot of times you can find a cleaner who will clean and preserve wedding dresses, and if they can’t do it they could probably tell you who can.
What Not To Do
- Do not scrub the area with a bristled brush, it will damage the material.
- Do not use harsh chemicals as they may destroy the fabric