Old, vintage lace can become yellow over time, even if it is stored carefully. To give new life to vintage lace, there are several options you can try to lift some of the yellow out of the delicate fabric. Use natural methods to ensure that your lace isn't compromised or harmed when trying to whiten it. Household items can often be used to whiten lace.
Boil the lace items. Try this for smaller items such as baby clothes or lace doilies. Boil the water along with a sliced lemon and then add your lace garments. Remove the pot from the heat and let the items soak in the hot water for an hour to lift the stains and residue. The clothes will smell good, too.
Lie the wet items out in the sunlight. Sunlight is a natural whitener, and safe for delicate lace garments. Place the garments directly in the sun for no more than two to three hours at a time.
Fill a bucket with water and add either 1/2 cup of lemon juice, 1 tbsp of cream of tartar or baking soda. Add your garment into this whitening solution. Allow the lace item to soak in the mixture overnight and then hang dry the item the next day.
Don't leave lace garments out in the sun repeatedly. This could be harmful to the fabric over time.