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Here’s how to remove old stains from clothes – Step by step

Step 01: Prepare the fabric for washing by first carefully scraping off any solids that may be present.

Step 02: Choose a powerful detergent such as Persil® ProClean® Stain Fighter. Make sure that the detergent and stain remover match the fabric type and color of the garment. Soak the stain and then rinse. The water should be lukewarm, never hot.

Step 03: Machine wash the garment. Follow the instructions on the care label and select the warmest possible wash for your clothes.

Done! Check immediately after washing to see if the stain is still visible. If this is the case, repeat the treatment immediately.

Top tip from our pros: Soak particularly stubborn stains in a detergent solution for several hours, preferably even overnight, before washing your clothes.

Remove old stains in clothes effectively

Didn’t spot a stain in time? Or maybe you didn't have time to take care of it right away - don't worry, even old stains can be removed from clothes with a bit of preparation. We’ll show you how.

Choose a detergent and a stain remover

Using the right detergent and stain remover, you’ll be able to treat the stain as if it were fresh. A good choice for stubborn stains is the Persil Pro Clean Stain Fighter detergent, available is a liquid detergent or in handy detergent Disc form.  A special stain removal product such as the Persil® ProClean® Stain Fighter can help remove old stains out of white clothes, which can be more difficult than dark clothes.

Pretreating the Old Stain

Before you start pretreating stains with a stain remover, you should first allow the stain to soak in your preferred detergent and water for some time, so that the top layer of the stain comes away from the textile fibers. After that, you can apply the stain remover and let it work for a few minutes. Rinse the stain remover thoroughly afterwards and now you can carry on with your normal laundry routine.

Washing and rinsing

Make sure you check whe washing instructions, but we recommend to wash your clothes in warm water - either by hand wash or with the right setting on your machine. Do not wash in hot water, as this can cause the stain to set even more.

Check the stain

Is the stain gone? If not, repeat the above steps and wash the garment again. Getting old stains out of clothes can sometimes take a long time. You may have to repeat the steps several times to get rid of a stain completely. Try not to let your clothes dry between washes until the stain is out.

Removing old stains in clothes made from delicate fabrics

Always read the instructions on the care label before treating and washing a garment. Some garments require special care with a mild detergent. Wash them by hand or with a special washing cycle for wool and delicates in your washing machine. If you need a stain remover, always test it on an inconspicuous place before using it.

Different types of stubborn stains

There are different types of stains. Some of the trickiest to get out are caused by:

  • Blood
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee and tea
  • Crayons
  • Deodorant
  • Dye, varnish and paint
  • Grease and oil
  • Sweat
  • Make-up
  • Ink and ballpoint pen

Before you try to remove an old stain in clothes, you should always know what kind of stain it is in order to be able to treat it effectively. Is it a stain with a water, oil, or protein base? Once you know this, it’ll be easier to treat the stain effectively depending on what caused it.

Remove old stains in clothes of different types of fabric

Some types of materials require more attention than others when removing old stains in clothes. Cotton and linen, for example, are robust materials. When applying the detergent and stain remover, it takes quite a long time for the detergent to get into the fibers. With these types of fabrics, you’ll need a longer pretreatment. Other fabrics like polyester are more durable and can be machine washed. Test your preferred stain removal product on an inconspicuous part of the garment in question is always a good idea, regardless of fabric type.

Tip: Patience and the right tools are the secret to success for in removing old stains in clothes. Regardless of whether you are dealing with water or oil-based stains, grass or mud stains: Always adapt your detergent and stain remover. You’ll also need to adapt the soaking times and wash cycles to the type of stain as well as fabric of your clothing.

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