How to Clean & Care for Antiques: Scorch Marks on Linens

Hi everyone! I hope you had a great week-end. I had another [mostly] shopping free three days. My sweet daughter attended her Junior-Senior Banquet on Friday, so we spent part of the day getting ready. (Look for a sneak peak in a photo at the end of the post.) Saturday I drove out to my antique booth and conducted a major overhaul. I moved in a large metal-topped, vintage table and that required a lot of rearranging in my relatively small space. But today I’m going to share a little secret about how to remove scorch marks from fabric, especially old fabric, which often seems to scorch very easily.

Iron Scorch mark on linensI know many people now-a-days don’t do much ironing. In fact, when we remodeled our master bath, I considered taking out our ironing board altogether, but in the end, we built it into the wall, so it would at least take up less space.

Scorch mark on linen (2)Linens are not one of my biggest sellers, but I still buy them fairly frequently if they’re priced low and in good shape. I try to avoid ironing them if at all possible, because I’ve been known to scorch them on occasion pretty regularly. I think vintage linens, especially fine ones, cannot withstand high temps like modern fabrics can. For this post, I purposely scorched a piece of a vintage towel that I had cut up for rags because of its poor condition. So, are you ready for the secret to fixing a scorch? Drumroll please…

Hydrogen Peroxide bottle (2)
Simple, household hydrogen peroxide. Crazy right?

Pouring hydrogen peroxide on scorch mark
Pour a little directly onto the scorch mark, being sure to douse the brown “stain” entirely.

Scorch mark gone on linen
Then iron over it, back and forth, carefully, until the peroxide has dried completely and your scorch is gone–like magic!

Scorch mark on vintage apron
It can even remove, or at least partially remove, old scorch marks you might find on some pieces that you pick up at sales. See the brown mark on this vintage apron? I had no way of knowing if it was actually a scorch mark, but I thought I’d give it the peroxide treatment and see if that might help.

Scorch mark diminished on vintage apron
And while the mark didn’t disappear, it has been lightened to the point that when wearing the apron, you don’t notice the spot at all. Give it a try next time you find (or happen to create) a scorch mark and let me know how it goes–

 [More] How to Clean & Care for Your Antiques:
Dry Wood
Rusty Metal

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Bye for now,
Here’s the photo I promised. My sweet daughter is in the green dress. Beautiful, right?
Jr-Sr Banquet

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  1. I really appreciate all the good advice, tips, and price (cost vs what it sells for) comments! Thankyou!! I look forward to your posts!

    1. You are so very welcome, Gladys!! Thanks so much for the encouragement; I appreciate it so much–I really do 🙂

  2. My grandmother swore by lemon juice and sunlight, which is what I do as a last desperate measure with old linens. Or I put them into the scrap pile…for future projects. Grins, Thanks for this tip though, will try as soon as I actually find my ironing board, lol. Sandi

  3. This is a good tip, and I’ll give it a try. Might have a few pieces with “old” scorch marks on them. The girls are all so pretty. I love their dresses! So nice to see young women dressed up.

    1. I’d love to hear how it goes for you with your “old” scorch marks 🙂 Yes, the girls ARE pretty, and they all looked fabulous for the banquet, so nice of you to say–

  4. Thank you so much for this!! I have and I love old linens, but this is always a concern, so its good to know!
    Your daughter is very pretty and its fun to see the girls all dressed up and the colors. 🙂

    1. You’re welcome, Karen, and thanks for the sweet comment about my daughter (I agree with you!) 🙂

  5. I knew you would identify your daughter so I skipped to the end to see if I could pick her out. I did. She looks very much like you. Very pretty young lady and her green dress is lovely and complements her completion beautifully. Seeing her photo brings back memories of my youngest daughter’s high school days. Now she moving to Coral Springs Florida. When the opportunity came up she asked me if she should go and even though I will miss her terribly my advise was to go for it. Other than college she has lived within a 15 mi radius, she isn’t married or in a serious relationship. Time to for her to spread her wings. She was worried about leaving me but I reminded of my many frequent flyer miles accumulated before my retirement that I need to use before they expire.

    1. There is definitely a family resemblance 🙂 I do agree, that shade of green, in particular, looks so nice on her. I hope I bless my daughter in the same way you have yours–giving her the freedom to follow her own path, wherever it may lead. (And I’m sure Coral Springs is a perfectly lovely place to visit!!)

  6. Hydrogen peroxide is also a great stain remover for old ironstone and transferware dishes!! pour it on and let it sit!
    Thank you so much for your time to give us so many good hints and information. You are a great resource!

  7. Diana, what a great tip! I use peroxide for other stains but haven’t tried this one. Aww your daughter looks beautiful!

  8. I love that you gave us a household product as the solution to a common problem. I probably wouldn’t go out and buy a special product to fix old linens! I also didn’t realize that I may be scorching my own linens without knowing it…..yikes! Your daughter and her friends are lovely. I remember those days!

  9. Saving this helpful tip! I have TONS and TONS of vintage linens… and I used to sell them by the armful… but stopped doing it because I always ironed them before bring to the booth where I would “ruin” some of them with scorch marks. Doesn’t ironing take forever? Now, can you give me an alternative to ironing? 🙂

  10. That is a fabulous tip Diana! The next time I see a scorched piece at the thrift store I’m going to pick it up and try this instead of passing it by.

  11. Thanks for the great tip on cleaning linens.

    And yes, your daughter is a beauty!

    Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  12. This is a tip I haven’t heard about. I’ll have to try it. I have passed up linens I liked at estate sales because of stains, but it’s so hard to find a pristine one anyway.

    Your daughter is lovely & I agree with the others, she looks like you! How fun to have a daughter at this stage of life. How fun to have a daughter, period…LOL.

    Diana, hope you give us a tour of your booth sometime. That would be fun to see!

  13. Pingback: How to Clean & Care for Antiques: Cutting Boards

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