I know I've blogged on this subject before but amazing is the right word for the last group of vintage clothing that I washed. I recently purchased two 20s era doorman and waiter jackets. Here's what I did.
If they smell (which can be a disaster) I soak items first in Borax for several days. Change the COLD water frequently. Whenever the soaking water is dirty, change it.
Hang the garments outside on your clothes line or a chair with a towel over it. Again do this for several days but don't forget about it! You don't want a bird making a mess on your recently soaked item. Repeat the sniff test, if all is good then back to the sink.
Another COLD WATER soak. Repeat with Borax and then add just the smallest amount of Oxiclean powder. I don't have a specific amount because I never measure anything. Small amounts are best because you don't want to damage your clothing. I have accidentally ruined cottons by soaking too long. I would advice checking your clothing after the first hour. If the water is dirty then change it and add the same mixture as above.
Next check. The water is clean! However remnants of stain remain. In this particular case I believe the stain was blood or lipstick. Now it's a bit more tricky but you are up to the challenge!
Got vinegar? Of course you do. Soak (cold water)the shit out of that stain with vinegar and rub a bit of baking soda in the stain for good measure. Put it back in clean water with NO Borax or Oxiclean. Again give it an hour and keep checking. If the stain is slowly fading then repeat vinegar and baking soda.
Honestly keep repeating #5 until your item is stain free.
Hang STAIN FREE item out on your clothing line. With all the soaking you should have had time to set up a clothing line :)
UPDATE: Lipstick removal is an entirely different technique, however as you can see from the photos, this stain removal technique worked just fine.
FYI—The 20s era doorman's jacket can be found here: www.callmeclevervintage/estyshop
Please please send post before and after pics in your comments. This full time seller and laundress gets great satisfaction out of seeing things come clean :)