It sounds impossible, but there is such a thing as an invisible stain. These kinds of stains are a particular challenge to drycleaners because they usually don’t show themselves until after the garment has been cleaned.
According to the National Center for Garment Analysis, these stains are difficult to remove because they have had the time to ‘set’. When the spill or mishap initially happens, it appears not to have left a stain. Understandably, the consumer forgets about the incident and doesn’t bring the garment in for cleaning quickly. In the meantime, atmospheric conditions cause the stain to oxidize, much the same way an apple that has been cut open turns brown when exposed to the air.
After cleaning, the stain clearly manifests itself, and voila!, Explaining to a valued customer that a stain on their garment was cause before the garment was brought in, and the invisible stain didn’t show until the garment had been laundered, is never an easy thing to do.
There is a lesson to be learned from this, if there is any spilled coffee, tea, or other stains on a garment, bring the garment in for cleaning promptly. It is also helpful to know what might have caused the mishap. The chances for successful stain removal are increased the sooner we have the opportunity to begin the correction process.