It can be quite the dilemma to own an antique gown that must be cleaned. Even gown that are properly stored and cared for can become soiled and have to be cleaned to restore and hold their value. You can care for and clean your vintage textiles at home without spending the time and money it takes to have them cleaned by a professional.

1. Fill a bathtub with lukewarm water. The water should be warm enough to comfortably place your hands in but not so warm that it could potentially harm the fabric.
2. Dissolve one cup of Woolite in a bucket filled with hot water.
3. Pour the Woolite solution into the bathtub.
4. Lay the garment flat down into the bottom of the tub. Allow the water to run through the fabric as the garment rises to the top of the bathtub. Linen and cotton garments should be left for no longer than 30 minutes. Wool items for even less time.
5. Gently work at any stains with a sponge.
6. Drain the tub and rinse the garment with a showerhead. If you do not have a showerhead, fill the tub and allow it to drain six to seven times, until the garment is completely free of soap.
7. Lift the garment gently out of the bathtub and allow the water to drain from it. Do not wring or squeeze the piece.
8. Wrap the garment in a towel and gently press it to remove any excess water.
9. Place the garment on a wood or any other strong hanger and allow it to drip dry over the bathtub. Never place the garment in the dryer. Heavier garments, such as those made from wool, can instead be placed on a drying rack.
10. Press the garment carefully after it is either dry or mostly dry. Test the garment on the inside or a seam to find the proper setting on the iron.
11. Hang the garment on a padded hanger and allow it to completely air dry before placing it in storage.