Indiana Dry Cleaning Tip: The Mystery of the Disappearing Stain

In the famous Edgar Allen Poe short story, The Telltale Heart, the murderer was convinced he’d covered his tracks.  “There was nothing to wash out – no stain of any kind,” he’d told himself.

Have you ever spilled something and had the stain disappear, leaving no sign of champagne, soda, or food? 

Telltale Stains Too Late To Fix

Weeks or even months or years later, a yellow or brown stain magically appears at the very spot of the original spill. How did that happen?

At Classic Cleaners, we see many such unwelcome “encore appearances” of stains.  Clear alcoholic beverages often don’t appear to have done any damage at the time they’re spilled on a dress, jacket, or trousers.  But, stealthy as “telltale hearts”, back come the telltale signs of  past spills of tea, coffee, soda, or champagne, white wine, or fruit juice.

Speaking of fruit, you’ve seen a peeled apple turn brown. No real mystery,  just science – the brownish color is a result of the sugar in the fruit oxidizing or “carmelizing” when it’s exposed to air.

The problem with carmelizing on clothes, though, is that time and heat help set in those reappeared stains, and the more time that passes, and the more heat there is, the harder it becomes to ever get those stains out of the fabric.

Spills happen on the happiest of occasions.  But for there to be a happy ending to your Telltale Stain story, remember these three rules:

  • Blot – don’t rub! – the stain when the spill happens.
  • Even if you see no signs of the spill on your garment, as soon as possible, bring it in for dry cleaning!
  • Tell all!  Make sure your dry cleaning professionals know exactly what happened.  That way, the stain can be pre-treated before the garment is exposed to any heat in the dry cleaning process.

The murderer thought he’d gotten away with the crime, but the Telltale Heart “reappeared”, revealing the terrible truth.

That’s why Classic Cleaners’ word to the wise is:

If YOU don’t tell the truth about your stains, your stains will tell the story for you.  And, by then, it might be too late to restore your special garment!