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How to Remove Mildew Stains from Vintage Satin

Submit an Entry: Your Laundry Questions and Answers

By LynetteSilva

My Laundry Question

How can I remove mildew stain from satin?

Share a Little Background Info

Mom's wedding dress - probably from 1950....had it dry cleaned, but it still has a few mildew stains (probably from storage) on the train of it. It's beautiful and hand sewn (likely by my grandmother), except for those stains.

Lessons Learned

  • Took it to dry cleaner. Scared to try anything myself without expert advice.

Fabric Content of Item (if appropriate)


Mary Marlowe Leverette, About.com Laundry & Laundry Rooms, says:

I, too, am hesitant to recommend any stain removal process for the mildew stains because I don't know the fiber content of the fabric. Satin is a weave technique that gives the glossy look. It can be done with acrylic, silk or even cotton fibers.

I would return the dress to the dry cleaners and point out the stains. Go to the main store of the cleaners - not a drop off site - and ask to speak to the manager. They may be able to remove the stains.

If you are willing to risk treating it yourself, I would use a solution of one part hydrogen peroxide to one part water. Working from the wrong side of the fabric, use a cotton swab to dab the solution on the mildew stains. Do not rub and do not saturate the area with the solution. Keep the wet area small. Blot up the solution with a clean white cloth. Repeat until no more color is transferred to the clean cloth. Allow to air dry.

If you cannot remove the stains, you may be able to have the train shortened to remove the stained areas. Good luck!

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