The Daily Telegraph - Saturday

Debora Robertson shares the secrets of dazzling linen

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Dear Debora,

QPlease could you advise me on the best method to clean stains made by insect and bat droppings on a white cotton altar cloth.

Marilyn Barker-Wyatt,

East Yorkshire

Dear Marilyn,

AFirst, you need to be careful with bat droppings as they turn to powder very quickly, and inhaling the dust is dangerous, so put on a mask and gloves before you start. Bat droppings are very acidic and can eat through fabric, so act swiftly. Gently brush up any debris; then, with an old toothbrush, work some stain remover into the marks and leave for an hour, before putting through a hot wash to which you have added another scoop of stain remover. Dry the altar cloth on the line where the sun will help to bleach the marks further.

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