It’s a whole lot easier to get rid of unwanted guests before they become permanent residents. Faint stains or stains “invisible” to the naked eye may show up only after the garment is cleaned. Mysterious stains can sometimes appear on clothes after a period of time making it risky to store garments that have not been properly cleaned. Club soda and water are good short-term solutions to stains, but they do not remove all of the staining material. The best defense against these problems is to make sure you to tell the counter staff at Pride Cleaners about any stains or spills when dropping off your clothes.
The Drycleaning & Laundry Institute, the trade association for professional dry cleaners to which we belong, conducted several tests to show how hidden stains can resurface after cleaning if not addressed prior to cleaning. By spilling a juice beverage on the sweater shown below the Institute observed there was no visible stain after it dried. Then, the Institute cleaned the sweater and the heat of the cleaning accelerated the oxidation of the sugars and tannin residues that were in the juice. As seen in the second picture, the “invisible” stain is readily apparent after cleaning.
Some “invisible” sugar from a juice beverage turned the affected area yellow during cleaning. It is always best to inform your dry cleaning attendant of any such problems so they can clean your garment properly.
Next, the Institute stained a blouse with an alcoholic beverage that oxidized and left a faint stain. In this case cleaning removed the stain, but the next picture shows the loss of color that resulted from contact with the alcohol. Some products that contain alcohol include perfume, skin freshener, after shave, cologne, hair spray, lotions, and some medicines.
Alcohol left a faint mark on this shirt pocket. After cleaning, the alcohol was removed, along with the color in the affected area. Prevention: thoroughly rinse affected areas; bring the garment to the dry cleaners as soon as possible.
What To Do
The best short-term prevention is to thoroughly rinse all affected areas with water, taking care to NOT RUB, but BLOT the stain. This will help in the short term but you should then try to get the garment to us as soon as possible. And most importantly, please inform the clerk at Pride Cleaners of any spills when you drop off your clothes so we can attend to those stains properly and hopefully prevent any delayed staining, permanent damage, or color loss.