One of my favorite things to do is find some beautiful piece of vintage something-or-other that needs major TLC and fix it all up so it looks shiny and new.
Here are a few things I use to bring vintage pieces back to their former glory. But first, one note of caution! Use all these things with care. They're all strong stuff!
**********One quick note: you probably already know this, but you can't wash anything with a lining that's made of a different material! For instance, a beaded cashmere or wool sweater with a chiffon or satin-type lining. Usually the lining will shrink. Sometimes the outer part shrinks and not the lining. Either way = very bad. Take these items to a dry cleaner. You say your dry cleaner won't clean beaded things? Find a "theatrical" dry cleaner.**************
The Biz is remarkable stuff! I use that only on cottons and polyester-type, man-made materials. You can soak things for hours, even days...Biz is an enzyme wash and it works incredibly well on the type of yellowing you get on fabrics that have been stored away for decades. The Soft Scrub I use with the toothbrush only on tough, white fabrics that have resistant stains...like a vintage tablecloth. Scrub it on the spot, wait a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
The "Miracle Cleaning Eraser" (generic Magic Eraser) is great to take little scuffs off of glasswear, ceramics, and it takes magic marker/sharpie off of things, just be careful to use an extra-light touch...it's abrasive & it'll take the shine off, too!
Baby wipes are for things that can't be washed, like a fabric-covered handbag or belt, or a hat. They gently remove surface stains and don't seem to leave a residue.
Hot glue gun...I use this to stick down shoe insoles that are lifting at the heels. Also for lots of other things where you need instant adhesion. Watch your little fingers, though! that stuff's like napalm!
I have lots more tricks up my vintage sleeve, but I'll save some for another post...
I hope these things help :-)
Does anyone out there have tricks for cleaning & fixing up vintage items? Feel free to share!