How to Treat Older Stains - dummies

By Gill Chilton

If you can soften or totally wet your old, but previously untreated stain, there’s still a chance that it can be cleaned away. You can relax because it won’t seem old to the stain solvent.

Liquid glycerine can successfully soften most food-based stains. Apply it neat or, on delicates, mix it with an equal part of water, then leave it an hour to soften. Rinse off, and begin stain treating.

The hardest stains to shift are those that have been set by heat. A stain that has been through the drier is unlikely to come out. Of course, there are exceptions as well as new ways to look at an old problem.

For example, if a hot drier has set a bloodstain, you may want to consider bleaching it away. At this stage, it’s also worth buying a proprietary stain remover especially for your stain type, though this is an expensive way of doing things.

Today, bio-detergents are so good that they get at stains like chocolate, wine, coffee, ice cream, and grease that needed a specialist remover 20 years ago. To give the detergent its best shot, remember not to overload the machine and choose the hottest programme safe for your item.

If you’ve already had a good go at removing a stain, it takes persistence to keep coming back to it.