Cleaning delicate Crocheted Vintage Doilies and Table Runners

My daughter brought over a beautiful hand crocheted table runner and asked if I had anything that would remove the nasty stain. It appeared to have been something close to a black mold on one end and she did say that it had gotten wet and then sat in her basement a bit before she noticed it. 

NOTE: the above photo is AFTER it was cleaned! I unfortunately did not take a BEFORE picture.SEW Sorry.

Having just cleaned a beautiful wedding dress that was worn by two brides (and not cleaned) but had been balled up and stored in a large Rubbermaid container in the basement for close to 10 years, I was willing to try something.

First – a soaking in borax and warm water overnight. Second – soaking in borax and warm water overnight. Third – another soaking in borax and warm water with a little bit of OxiClean overnight. That seemed to help a bit. The stain was moving slightly. 

SEW – I knew that oxygen was good for removing mold and was great for removing stains, maybe just OxiClean? After soaking three more times in OxiClean and warm water, and the stain was still visible, I decided to try another method.

Out came the crock pot. I love my crock pots!

Filling it half full of water and set on low, I waited until the water was heated and then added one scoop of OxiClean whisking it until dissolved. Once dissolved the table runner was submerged in the hot water and the lid went on.

Several hours later – as in overnight and yes the crock pot was on low – the stain had lifted quite a bit! There were only two small spots that were hardly visibly but I could still see them. 

SEW I repeated with fresh hot water and OxiClean and a second soaking overnight and that did it, NO STAIN!

I rinsed the table runner three times in warm and cool water and then rinsed again with a vinegar and water rinse – to remove any residues left.

Amazing! I wish I had taken a picture of the table runner before my first attempt to clean this delicate hand crocheted table runner, but I didn’t. SEW trust me – it was nasty.

And now to gather up my vintage hankies and doilies and give them all a good soaking in the Crock Pot with an OxiClean soak!


  1. can you use this method to clean the crockpot itself? I have a white crockpot with hard-to-remove stains from cooking beans and other foods. I see that the oxiclean cleaned the doilies. did it also clean your crockpot? is it safe to continue to use the crockpot for cooking. I haven't used oxiclean with any dishes before.

    I found that somebody else used oxiclean too (but with the crockpot turned off):

    Please advise. Thank you!

  2. Nancy,
    Not sure about the Oxiclean cleaning a white crockpot with hard-to-remove stains and other foods. I do use my crockpots for cooking beans but the beans have not stained the inside of the colored crockpot - yet.
    After soaking anything in the crockpot with Oxiclean, I clean and rinse the crockpot well and still use my crockpots for cooking. I have read several posts/columns on how people clean their coffeepots and other items with harsh chemicals and still use for coffee and eating.
    I have NOT used Oxiclean for cleaning dishes, Oxiclean for dishwashers is available but I have not had a need to use it.
    Good luck.

  3. I have a lot of kitchen hand towels that might benefit from this crockpot-oxiclean-water cleaning method. I'll give it a try. Thanks for posting!

    1. How did your hand towels come out? Post a picture if you can. Thank you!