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Some stains on porcelain can be removed by applying cotton wool swabs soaked in a solution of 20-volume hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of ammonia. The swabs should be left in position for an hour or two, but not allowed to dry out. Place the object in a plastic bag to retain the moisture and check from time to time to see if the swabs need re-soaking. This solution should not be applied to pieces with a gilt or lustre decoration. Never be tempted to soak stained pieces in household bleach, as this may give a good result initially but will eventually lead to yellowing. Calgon, however, is safe for soaking appropriate pieces.