How to Clean Vintage Clothing - A Quick Guide.

I thought I’d run up a  quick guide to washing your vintage clothes for the first time. When there's no care label to guide you it can be a worry that you might damage your new threads. It should be noted that every garment is different and you should always follow washing labels or instructions if you can. If buying from a vintage Shop you can always ask the seller if they have any advice for the best way to clean your new purchase. They'll usually have the experience and expertise and know what works best based on the fabric type.

But if in doubt i would say play safe and hand wash.

Wash with love and care


1) Fill a bowl or sink with warm water (cool water is better than hot). Add a cap full of silk and wool detergent, or a cleaner specifically made for hand washing delicate fabrics. Wash the garment on its own or with similar colours just in case the colour runs.

2) Now pop off and have a cuppa while you leave it to soak for at least 10 minutes to allow the detergent to do its thing and break down the dirt. If that musty smell is a worry then you can add a small cup of distilled white vinegar to the ratio of 10% vinegar to 90% water.

3)  Gentle rub the fabric together and move to one side.

4) Empty the dirty water and refill with cold water. Then add your garment to the cool water and squeeze with care to remove the remaining detergent. Repeat under running water to ensure any residue has been removed.

5) Now you need to remove as much water as possible, but gently ring the garment over an empty sink. Be careful not to be too aggressive when handling wet fabric as it can easily warp out of shape.

6) Once you've rung it out, leave it to dry. In the open air is best, if weather permits.  This will also eradicate any vinegary smell, which should have dissipated completely once the garment is completely dry.


Now you should have a clean and fresh outfit that is ready to wow all your friends.

If you need to iron the garment once dry, choose the lowest possible heat setting and test first on a small, hidden area to see how the fabric responds to heat. You can also use a tea towel between your garment and the iron as extra protection. Most of the time if the garment drip drys it doesn’t need to be ironed. Also hanging your garment in a steamy bathroom is a top tip for getting those pesky creases to drop out without to much fuss!

I hope you found this blog from The Strawberry Vintage Store helpful and you continue to enjoy your vintage wardrobe.


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