Invisible Stains

Many stains that are caused by food, oily substances, or beverages may become invisible when they dry. But later on, with exposure to heat or the passage of time, a yellow or brownish stain wilt appear. This is caused by the oxidation or carametization of the sugar in the staining substance. It is the same process that makes a peeled apple turn brown after exposure to air.

You can help the drycleaner do a better job by pointing out such stains when you take a garment to be cleaned. The cleaner often treats these stains prior to cleaning, since the heat of drying or finishing may set the stain.

When an oily substance is exposed to heat or ages in a garment for an extended time, it also oxidizes. This type of stain can be distinguished by the irregular “cross pattern” the oil makes when it follows the fabric fibers. Oily substances are successfully removed in drycleaning unless they are left to oxidize. Once they become yellow or brown, they become much more difficult to remove.

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