How To Care For Vintage Clothing

I recently had a woman buy a pair of jeans from me and three weeks later is returning them because of one wash. I was stuck between a rock and a hard space because on one hand, I also washed these jeans and nothing happened but on the other hand, I want to do what is right when a customer isn’t happy with an order. So here we are so that everyone can learn a little something about caring for your vintage items.


The infamous jeans. A problem that I had no control over.

First Comes Storage

Some vintage items are much more fragile than others. Fabrics do dry out and make it very difficult to clean. Storage is very important in preventing anything from drying out. Vintage clothing and accessories should not be kept in an attic where it feels the harshest winters and hottest summers and it should not be kept in a damp basement.

Then Comes Washing

I hand wash everything. Everything I sell is washed by me in my bathtub with the magical ingredient: BORAX. Borax is less harsh than using detergent and it takes discoloration right out. I can see the dirt in my tub afterwards — it’s both satisfying and disgusting. If there is a harsh stain, there is an all natural orange stain remover that is safe on fabrics (link below). It is extremely important to understand the fragility of vintage clothing to take care of them properly and allow them to last another lifetime.

Here are my step by step instructions:

  1. Spray stains with All-Natural Orange Cleaner.
  2. Dissolve Borax in hot water.
  3. Once dissolved, add cold water to cool down.
  4. Submerge clothing and gently move around to get the dirt coming off. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  5. After the 30 minutes you should see your item in dirty water. Give it another move around to see if any additional dirty comes off.
  6. Wring it out well and rinse with clean, cold water. Wring again.
  7. Hang dry.



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