Perhaps you have had the great misfortune of buying a used item only to find a stain someplace on it. Or you’ve only now noticed a stain from last week’s dinner party. Before you get your damp cloth or cleaning chemicals, there’s something you should try.
If a stain is new, it’s best to clean it quickly to keep it from setting it. But if the stain has been around a while, it’s likely dried out, and many stains are made of particles that break apart once dry. So before putting any liquids on the stain, get out your vacuum cleaner and go over the stain a few times on the highest setting. If your vacuum has optional heads, try both a brush and a direct suction head. Doing this may break up the stain particles and pull them from the fabric. Some stains can even be completely removed this way! But even tougher stains will at least be loosened and better prepared for the next stage of your cleaning process.