Elderly Clothing Care: How to Remove Stains and Odours

Elderly Clothing Care: How to Remove Stains and Odours

Written by Mariam Farooqui & reviewed by Nicole Fernandes


It’s important to take care and make sure clothing is clean, fresh, and smells good, especially for elderly folk. The elderly may get their clothes dirty often due to various health factors but that is okay! Accidents happen and it's okay that it is common in older adults! It’s important to keep their clothes clean and fresh for their safety and health! We are here to help support you and your loved ones so we have provided you with a list and tips on how you can keep your loved ones' clothing fresh and clean and make their life and your life a little bit easier! 


How to remove stains and odours from clothing

  • Always read the instructions on the back of the clothes that tell you the things you should avoid cleaning the piece of clothing with as it may damage or rip the clothing
  • Never mix any harsh chemicals when you are cleaning the stains as they can react in an adverse way causing damage to the fabric and it may become uncomfortable to wear 
  • Waiting for the stain remover to sink in for 10 minutes minimum then put it in the laundry. Letting the remover stay in for at least 10 minutes before putting it in the laundry will most likely give a better result that the stain will be gone
  • For deeper and stubborn stains you may have to let the remover stay in longer about 30 minutes and you may have to repeat it a couple of times depending on how deep the stain is 
  • Always blot away any excess product of the stain but do not press too hard or scrub as it may spread the stain more instead gently bloat it away.
  • Then apply the remover on the stain and let it sit for at least 10 minutes or more depending on how deep the stain is. 
  • Then proceed to wash clothing under the hottest water 
  • You may need to repeat the steps if you can still see the stain and if you can still smell the odour run it through the laundry again but add half a cup of baking soda as that can help lift the smell out 


Different Products that help remove smell and stains

Here is a list of products that we recommend to help remove stains and smells from your loved ones’ clothing:

  • Diluted chlorine bleach and colour-safe bleach as they are very effective at removing stains, 
  • Household Ammonia is also a very effective stain remover and works great for urine, sweat, or grease stains! But make sure if you are using ammonia do not mix it with any other remover that contains bleach as this can produce a toxic gas that can be deadly! 
  • White Vinegar is amazing at removing stains and much versatile as it can remove a variety of stains such as urine, salt, sweat, and much more, 
  • Petroleum Jelly is good for more water-based glues or any type of adhesive that is on or ink stains the clothing! Blotting the jelly on stains and then rinsing it under hot water is the best way to go about it! 
  • Borax helps with removing tough odours but just like bleach try to avoid it making contact with the skin as it can irritate! Adding half a cup of borax to your wash helps remove tough smells and keeps them smelling fresh 
  • Hydrogen Peroxide is a household product that is wonderful to treat stains! Pouring or spraying the stain with Hydrogen Peroxide is effective to lighten up the stain and you can also one cup of it to your wash to make removing the stains more effective 
  • Lemon Juice is effective to remove urine stains and odour. Dabbing or spraying lemon juice on the stains and washing them in hot water afterward to have a fresh-smelling and clean piece of clothing 
  • Baking Soda works perfectly to neutralize the stain and smell of the stain! If you don’t like the smell of vinegar then Baking soda is a great alternative 
  • Cornstarch is also a good alternative if you do not Baking Soda as it works just as well! Recommended time to let the cornstarch set in is 30-60 minutes 
  • Dish Detergent is also a great product to use to neutralize the smell of the stain. Mixing a cup of lukewarm water and a teaspoon of detergent and then putting the product into a spray bottle then spray the stains accordingly to see effective results 


It’s normal and okay for your elderly loved ones to have stains on their clothes! Aging can be difficult but cleaning your clothes shouldn’t be! We hope these tips and lists will help you and your elderly loved ones' clothing smell fresh and look clean and feel amazing again!

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