My oh My I've gotten it dirty what to do. Here is everything under the sun to try and salvage your vintage
short of cutting and redesigning it. I have not personally tried all these methods, Be my guest.
Cleaning vintage can be timely and heartbreaking, but if its unwearable it in its condition, you gotta dtry!
The best thing is a trusted dry cleaner, but if you don't have one or the soiling is too great, here are some methods to try.
If the material is washable (natural fibers) then the first approach should be just a soaking in a bucket filled with water. Dump
the water when dirty and repeat soakings until water is clear. Many colors will run so be VERY careful. I have heard a cup of
vinegar in a small bucket (3 gallon) will stop color bleed, but I do not know if this is true. If plain water is not working step it up
to water with some gentle detergent like Dreft. Lastly is Oxy Clean. It works GREAT, but carries great risk. Oxy increases color
bleed and will eat at some fabrics. I have had success with Oxy and suffered losses, weigh your options. Follow directions on Oxy
package, repeat process for tougher stains and let soak up to 2 days per bucket of fresh Oxy. I do not know if it is safe to use
vinegar with Oxy to stop color bleed so please don't or let me know if you do! I have washed synthetics (non washables) in Oxy too.
My pieces were unwearable in their condition with no collectible value so the risk was worth it to me. I lost about half to
shrinkage, bleed and rips but the rest came out like new. Please do not machine wash Vintage (pre 1970s) I can guarantee you will
end up with weak or busted seams. If you have any information you would like to add please let me know.
Chart from a sewing book circa 1931.  Courtesy of