A Matter of Time

Finding out that your clothes or fabrics have been on the receiving end of a stain rarely happens at the moment of impact. Many stains are only discovered some time after, when they're dried in, and when removal isn't as simple as flushing them with water before a wash. In cases like these, it's useful to know what to do. We've put together some stain removal tips, depending on the length of time the stain might have been on, so think back to when you wore that stained shirt last, as it could help you figure out how to remove it.

The moment it sticks

With many stains, if you become aware of them as they happen, the best course of action is to flush the area with water. For some stains, like blood stains, cold water is best, but for many others (such as grease stains) warmer or hot water can do the trick - check our stain solver for an idea of what works best.

If a tap is not available, but you happen to have napkin or paper towel on your person, then dab away from the stain to remove the excess. This is a little different to rubbing it, as the latter can mix the stain into the fabric, and even potentially make the stain bigger! Dabbing draws off the extra parts of the stain, whilst keeping the size of the stain the same.

From there, once home, you can use the tips that follow below.

A few days later

Normally stains are only discovered when you're changing, or even when you're putting clothes in the wash pile. It's at this time you may look at the back of your t shirt, or the hem of a skirt, and think "has that really been there the whole time?"

When this happens, it's no longer as simple as a flush and a dab, because the stain may well and truly be dried on. Instead, you'll need to wash it immediately, focusing on pre-treating the stain. Vanish Gold Oxi Action Powder will work well on most stains on coloured clothing, but take a look at the stain solver if you're unsure.

The general rules of pre-treating with Vanish are as follows:

Take 30g (1/3 lid) of powder and mix it with full lid of warm water.
Mix this vigourously.
Apply the solution directly to the dried-on stain, covering the surface of it only.
Rub the mix into the stain.
Leave for a maximum of five minutes, before washing off and placing in the washing machine.
Finally, turn on a normal wash. You can even add a dose of Vanish powder to the wash to help tackle any other hidden stains.

Weeks after the event

Some stains can lie for weeks without being noticed, especially if they're rarely worn or used. These stains can be somewhat harder to remove, and will need more time to work out. In the case of long standing stains, it's best to soak the item. Try Vanish Gold Oxi Action Powder. Here are the steps:

Add 30g to seven litres of warm water, and leave the garment to soak.
For colours, soak for up to two hours.
Whites can be soaked for two hours or longer.
After the soaking, wring the items out, and add them to the wash.
As you can see, Vanish has the potential to take care of stains, even when they're not fresh. If it's not effective first time, then try repeating the procedure again, and for more stain removal tips, take a look at the rest of our articles.