How To Use Mama's Miracle Linen Soak
Frequently Asked Questions
HEAT. MIX. SOAK. That’s it, but please read all instructions prior to using:
Vintage linens often have stains of unknown origin or have become discolored after being stored. This makes it difficult to determine the length of time it will take for Mama’s Miracle Linen Soak to work. A piece may take only an hour, or it may need to be soaked for a couple of days. Try to be patient: It’s better to take a little more time than to ruin something that can’t be replaced!
Handle vintage linens carefully: Avoid rubbing, stretching, wringing, and snagging fragile threads. Wash and soak by hand; do not put delicate fabrics in a washing machine or dryer. Let soaking and time do the work; there’s usually no need to rub powder directly into the stain. If the fabric is in poor condition, do not attempt to remove the stains [See “What if my fabric is torn or frayed?” in FAQs below].
- Select a container large enough to hold the item. Use 1 tablespoon of Mama’s Miracle Linen Soak for each 2 quarts of boiling water. Proportions may vary: use a little less powder for especially delicate fabrics, if desired, and soak a little longer. Or, if you want to speed up the process on sturdy cotton fabric, use a little more. If stains are especially resistant, you may even wish to reheat the water and add a little more powder; this will not harm the fabric.
- Dissolve the powder in boiling water to activate it, and cool the solution slightly before adding fabric. To soak items in the bathtub or sink, dissolve extra powder in a smaller amount of boiling water and add it to enough tepid water to cover the item [See “Why must I use boiling water?” in FAQs below].
- Soak fabric for several hours or up to several days, checking stains periodically. Pour off the first solution if it becomes extremely discolored, and replace with fresh solution. Stir gently with a wooden spoon every once in a while, and keep the fabric submerged (place a heavy plate on top to hold it down).
- Rinse fabric thoroughly in several changes of water. Blot with a towel. Dry flat or hang to dry, and iron if necessary.
Silk shrinks when exposed to very hot water. Dissolve the powder in boiling water but let it cool to a tepid temperature before beginning to soak silk fabrics. This product is not recommended for wool, which shrinks in hot water. Wool yarns made for needlepoint or crewel are not always colorfast.
PLEASE NOTE: Mama’s Miracle Linen Soak is a mild laundry product made to remove stains. It is not a laundry detergent for routine washing. It is for external use only; do not eat, drink, breathe in, or otherwise misuse this product. Keep away from eyes. The mixed solution can be reused for different items but gradually loses strength, so it should not be stored.
Because we have no control over the initial condition of your linens or how you use Mama’s Miracle Linen Soak, you are solely responsible for any damage that may occur. We are liable only for the original cost of our product. Please return any unused product, along with proof of purchase and a note stating your reason for dissatisfaction, to receive a refund.
It’s hard to say, but this product goes a very long way. Using 1 tablespoon of the powder for every 2 quarts of water, you should be able to remove stains from approximately 50 small loads with the 16 oz. jar. The smaller 5 oz. bottle contains enough for about 12 loads. You’ll need only enough solution to cover the items completely, so small items such as collars, gloves, or baby clothes take less than large items such as tablecloths or sheets. Also, when you remove items from the solution, you may add other items to replace them.
The heat of boiling water activates Mama’s Miracle Linen Soak so it can do its work. Stir the powder into boiling water until it dissolves [See Instructions in How To Use], letting the solution cool slightly before adding your fabric. If you need a large container such as a bucket or tub to hold your item, measure out enough water to cover the fabric but boil only a portion of that water; dissolving enough powder for the whole amount in it before mixing the two portions together. When removing stains from silk, you should dissolve the powder in boiling water but let the solution cool completely before adding the fabric because silk shrinks in hot water. This product is not recommended for wool or wool yarn; wool shrinks in hot water, and yarns (particularly darker colors) are not always colorfast.
Old stains on textiles are often a mystery. What is the stain? Is it oil-based or water-based? How long has it been there? Has someone already tried another product to remove it? Has someone set the stain by putting the item in the dryer? Who knows! If the problem is still there after soaking for a day or two, you can always repeat the process with fresh solution. Although Mama’s Miracle Linen Soak does eliminate the vast majority of stains, some may never come out. When the fabric dries, the stains will usually be far less noticeable. And finally, if the linens mean a lot to you for sentimental reasons, try to accept that they are simply showing their age and love them anyway!
As long as the fabric is intact, then christening gowns, baby blankets, and other heirloom garments may be safely soaked. Mama’s Miracle removes even old stains and discoloration, eliminating the dingy color and musty smell that stored clothing sometimes develops. Soaking often restores fine batiste, linen, organdy, and cotton to its original whiteness. Silk garments are especially delicate. For washable silk, it may be best to use a weaker solution and soak longer; try using 1 tablespoon of powder per gallon of water, letting the water cool before adding the silk. If that doesn’t work in about 24 hours, add another tablespoon.
Yes, Mama’s Miracle Linen Soak is gentle enough to use on any water-washable fabric, including high thread-count sheets, table linens, lingerie, clothing, or anything else requiring special care. Simply follow the instructions in How To Use to remove stains, and then wash as directed on the product tag. Soak stubborn underarm stains in the solution to restore original white. Mama’s Miracle Linen Soak also removes stains from spilled red wine on clothing, table linens, or liturgical church linens such as altar cloths.
We do not recommend using Mama’s Miracle Linen Soak on wool, primarily because the hot water necessary to dissolve the product and remove the stains will shrink the wool. It is possible to cool the solution before using it, but there is still some risk that the wool will fade. Yarns used for vintage crewel and needlepoint were not always colorfast, and some colors, particularly darker ones, will run. Consider dry-cleaning wool instead. Or, if this is not an option, cool the solution completely and soak only an hour or two before rinsing the wool, blotting it well, and drying flat.
Delicate-looking lace and other trims, surprisingly, hold up better than fabric. Changing temperatures, humidity, or exposure to the sun can weaken textile fibers over time. Dry rot caused by poor storage conditions even causes fabric to shred. Thin cotton batiste (left, in an Edwardian dress) and silk are especially prone to this damage. Tiny holes (right) usually won’t enlarge if you leave them alone, but larger tears or holes indicate that the fibers are very weak. Do not try to remove stains from badly damaged fabric—it rarely has a good outcome. If the trim is still intact, then cut it off of the damaged item, remove stains if necessary, and use it to trim something else. “Cutter” is the term applied to linens that are already damaged, meaning that some parts are salvageable but must be cut off from the damaged portion in order to be used. We suggest some excellent ways to use these cutter linens to make lovely new items—see the Made From Damaged Linens board in Our Favorite Ideas section.
Unlike commercial bleaches and strong oxygen-type stain removers, Mama’s Miracle Linen Soak is gentle and much kinder to fabrics. Those stronger products may remove discoloration but they will also damage the fibers and eventually ruin the item you are trying to bleach. Soaking in Mama’s Miracle does take more time, but your heirloom linens will stay in good shape—so you can enjoy them and then pass them along to another generation.
Although it is a time-tested formula, Mama’s Miracle Linen Soak is a new product that has only recently been offered to the public. It will take a while to develop an extensive network of stores that carry it, but we invite your suggestions. In the meantime, you can buy it on this website using our easy Shopping Cart feature.
We have added a feature called Our Favorite Ideas on the left side of our Homepage. Click on this button and it will send you to our Pinterest Boards, where you will find hundreds of ideas for using vintage and antique linens for decorating, crafts, and entertaining. You’ll also see boards on The Art of Needlework (to help you identify and repair your linens), Buttons & Embellishments (to help you appreciate their infinite variety), Vintage Clothing Favorites (to help you identify period clothing) and finally, Made with Damaged Linens (to help you upcycle items too damaged to use for their original purpose). We welcome your suggestions for other topics that interest you.
You might also enjoy our Mama’s Miracle Linen Soak page on Facebook, where we showcase even more great ideas and sometimes offer special pricing to those who “follow” us. Check back frequently because these deals last a very limited time.