If you're like me, you love vintage scarves for the versatility they can add to your wardrobe. Just as with all vintage clothing, I find the quality of vintage scarves to be much better than modern ones unless you're talking about a high end designer like Hermes whose quality has been consistent over the years. But you don't have to have your vintage scarves dry cleaned! I hand wash most of mine at home (exceptions would be those high end designers). Today, I thought I'd pass along my trade secrets about how to wash your vintage scarves.
The most common stains you'll find on vintage scarves are from makeup, perfume and food. Even if a scarf looks clean, I would recommend that you wash it before using it. And don't iron a vintage scarf before cleaning! The heat of the iron will often reveal invisible stains and will set them in permanently. Hint: To avoid getting food stains on your scarves, turn them to your back or remove them entirely while eating.
3. If your scarf is older than the mid 70s, test a tiny drop of whatever cleaner you are using on an inconspicuous spot. Let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse to see if the dyes fade. If so, skip steps 4 and 5 and just do an allover wash with no concentrated stain removal.
7. Lay the wet scarf out on an absorbent bath towel. Lay it flat with no folds or wrinkles.