To wash or not to wash? That is a question you should always ask yourself! Most vintage items can be machine washed on a gentle, cold cycle. But any item, vintage or antique, of value or of significance should be handled professionally.
These textiles are ones you should NEVER wash:
These textiles should NEVER be dry cleaned:
Can’t wash it or dry clean it? Try brushing it!
Having an assortment of brushes can be very handy while cleaning.
If smell is your problem, the sun a great, gentle way to rid a textile of odors and mold. It’s important to carefully hang your garment in a clean area that is cleared of any potential harm. It is recommended that you don’t leave the item out for more than an hour. If it does need more time, be sure to rotate it, so bleaching doesn’t occur.
If the sun can’t do it, a 50/50 mix of water and vodka in a spray bottle works great. Alcohol will kill mold and neutralize odors. You may need to spray a few times to get the smell out.
Freezing is a great way to keep sweater fibers from fuzzing, removing dust, killing pests, and neutralizing odors. It is best to fold or wrap the garment in acid free issue or muslin, to absorb any condensation. Then seal it in a plastic bag, removing as much air as possible, then duct tape it closed so there is zero chance of air coming in. It will take about a week to kill any pests and mold. After a week remove the bag from the freezer and allow it to slowly come to room temperature. Remove it from its wrapping and examine the garment, then brush or vacuum away any dirt or bugs.
There are so many more tips and tricks out there and it is best to educate yourself before taking any action on cleaning your garment or textile!