Removing stains and spots has always been a problem. Here is how they dealt with most stains and spots according to an 1890s book.
How To Remove Stains And Spots
Children’s clothes, table linens, towels, etc., should be thoroughly examined before wetting, as soap-suds, washing-fluids, etc., will fix almost any stain past removal. Many stains will pass away by being simply washed in pure soft water; or alcohol will remove, before the article has been in soap-suds, many stains; iron mold, mildew, or almost any similar spot, can be taken out by dipping in diluted citric acid;then cover with salt and lay in the bright sun till the stain disappears.
If of long standing, it may be necessary to repeat the wetting and the sunlight. Be careful to rinse in several waters as soon as the stain is no longer visible.
Ink, fruit, wine, and mildew stains must first be washed in clear, cold water, removing as much of the spots as can be; then mix one teasponful of oxalic acid and a half pint of rain-water. Dip the stain in this and wipe off in clear water. Wash at once, if a fabric that will bear washing. A tablespoonful of white currant juice, if any can be had, is even better than lemon. This preparation may be used on the most delicate articles without injury. Shake it up before using it. Mark if “Poison” and put it where it will not be meddled with.
Vinegar of the Four Thieves was a recipe that was known for its antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic and antifungal properties for years. It was even used to cure the Bubonic Plague. See Thomas Jefferson’s recipe in VINEGAR OF THE FOUR THIEVES: Recipes & curious tips from the past Now in paperback, makes a great gift!