If you drain your soaking container and some of the laundry still has has stains or discoloration, repeat the soaking process with “restoration” or other “oxygenated cleaner.”
When the soaking is finished, drain, then refill with water and some clear white vinegar which pulls out soap residue. I use a good splash in my large Victorain clawfoot tub, probably about 4 – 6 ounces. Again, let it soak for 10-20 minutes and swish occasionally. Drain again.
Refill with water. If the water is quite cloudy, rinse another time and refill. Normally, I do not have to do this unless the items were extremely filthy. For 100 years of storage stains, one rinse is usually all I need.
1. soak with “restoration.”
(optional) 1b. re-soak with “restoration.”
2. rinse with water to which a little white vinegar has been added
3. rinse in clear water
(optional) 3b. rinse in clear water a second time.
4. drain away the water
5. drape items on a clothesline, from showerhead or against the side of the tub just until they are wet but not sopping wet.
6. let items drip until they are nearly dry but still a bit damp. you can leave them against the inside of the tub, hang them from something or lay them out on your grassy lawn. (if you hung them outdoors on a line, you have skipped this step.)
7. when dry to touch but a teensy bit damp, gather them, bring them to your ironing place and put them inside a plastic bag to keep them evenly moist.
8. get out your iron…. GO!
9. make sure your iron is clean. make sure it is hot. since I never ever ironed anything in my life until I developed a passion for antique linens, I bought a vintage ironrite rotary mangle iron and taught myself to iron. It arrived with its original booklet and the instructions are what I followed. Sorry, i can’t speak to using a hand iron. Found them frustrating; I don’t know how.
10. do not use steam. the cloth should be slightly damp and that will release steam.
11. choose pieces to iron that you are in the mood to iron. If you are in the mood to tackle a sheet or tablecloth, do not iron tiny things like handkerchiefs! save them for a “small day!
12. heat and pressure are the two things that you will exert on the items. tug corners and designs gently into place with your fingers.
13. use starch if you like but only when you will be using the item in the near future. otherwise, the starch may attract moths or mice that eat it and the fibers that happen to get in the way. I do not starch anything. the intense pressure and heat from my mangle iron provides a crisp finish.
13. fold when cool.