In retirement, I have purchased way more sewing machines than I need. Too many need repairs – by my hubby. He trolls the Internet for hours looking for ways to solve mechanical problems. We may have white hair and hands with brown spots, but we still enjoy the challenge of fixing one more sewing machine, toy or appliance.
A couple years ago, I stood back and studied a sewing machine hubby had fixed. “It works, but it does not look very pretty with that yellowed plastic casing.”
He agreed. We did not have a solution until I stumbled across the Facebook page and video of one couple who restores older machines to sell. They proudly presented an older machine, “It looks great, and we guarantee it will work. It used to have deeply yellowed casing, but we have a way to revive the yellow.” They hinted at a secret restoration process that they use on the machines they sell.
“I wonder if I can find that technique,” I said typing in “clean yellowed plastic”.
No problem. “Look at all these videos on how to restore yellowed plastic,” I said, turning the computer screen to hubby. He knows the benefits of Youtube videos. He finds all sorts of solutions for repairing, building or fixing many household items and vehicles.
The secret ingredient was hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The stuff washes out blood stains and erases age stains on plastic and more.
We carefully followed the guidelines for using hydrogen peroxide to fade the yellowed machine. The process involves a closed, sealed plastic tent that doesn’t touch the machine as it rests on a platform for a steambath of hydrogen peroxide on a sunny day. The ultraviolet rays of the sun enhance the process.
Having discovered the magic of H2O2, I ventured to utilize the process on fabric. First I tried it on a Gunne Sax dress from the 1960s. The pale blue dress with ruffled bottom tier had hung in a closet for a long time after being worn once or twice. The edge that had once touched the ground was stained brown.
Washing did not remove the brown spots.
Magical H2O2 did.
I placed the dress on a hanger and hooked it up on a tree. In a couple hours, I could see fading, but with rainy weather expected, I transferred it to the shower where I sprayed it two or three times a day with hydrogen peroxide until the hem looked as blue as the rest of the dress. Better than bleach!
“I wonder how that will work on the cross stitch pieces from yard sales?” I mused. Hubby just nodded, “You can always try.”
I did. I washed the cigarette and dust stained pieces in Dawn dish soap, let it dry and then sprayed it with hydrogen peroxide. With a couple of treatments the pristine white aida cloth returned!
I just had to show it off to somebody. So I sent a picture of before and after to my son. “I think this would make a good illustration of being cleansed from sin,” I said. The first picture showed a group of men out in the woods hunting. They apparently walked through a brown smog. The after treatment picture revealed a lot more details of a clear crisp day in the woods in the original cross stitch. The hydrogen peroxide had cleansed it completely.
“Astounding,” I said.
I have since used it on badly stained, linen tablecloths and brown spotted fabric. So, even though we are old enough to have white hair, we can, and have, learned a few new tricks.