Mary asked: I’ve had linens, bed linens and towels in the airing cupboard and now find that where they were folded, are large, brown burn marks. I can boil wash the white towels, but not the coloreds. Is there any way to remove these marks? Thank you for your help.
It may not be possible to remove all burn marks from clothing, depending on what type of fabric is scorched, how old the stain is, and how dark or severe the marks are. Scorch marks in wool, for example, actually burn and shorten the fibers. Dark or brightly colored fabrics are harder to restore than lighter ones, while burn marks aren’t likely to come out of silk at all. In most scenarios, this method will improve the look of the burned clothing but don’t forget to spot test before you begin.
You Will Need:
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Cold water
- Clean white cloth
Steps to Remove the Marks:
- If the scorch mark is fresh, soak it immediately in cold water for at least 24 hours. Often, this will remove the marks. If not, continue with the next step.
- Wet the scorch mark with hydrogen peroxide. Remember to spot test first. Peroxide may fade some fabrics and/or colors.
- Wet the clean white cloth with peroxide, then place it over the scorched fabric.
- Iron lightly.
- Repeat, keeping the cloth moist with peroxide, until the stain is gone or until you no longer see improvement.
Additional Tips and Advice
- As an alternative, rinse with white vinegar then water and repeat until the stain is gone (or you no longer see improvement).
- One more trick is to cover the burn mark with lemon juice and lay it out in the sun. This causes a natural bleaching effect, but it may fade fabrics, so spot test first.
- If there are shiny spots on the fabric, which are often caused by ironing, those are actually places where the fabric melted; they are not burns. Unfortunately, melted fabric spots are permanent. See our guide How to Remove Shiny Iron Spots from Polyester for more information.