Invisible Stains

Hypothetically speaking, you have a shirt that looks absolutely clean, until you iron it. Once you iron the shirt, yellow patches start to show up on your previously clean shirt. What do you think caused these stains to come when there were absolutely no stains or marks on the clothing item prior to the ironing? They’re known as invisible stains.

What Are Invisible Stains?

Although it might sound highly unlikely to someone who has never heard of an invisible stain before, they actually do exist. Invisible stains are stains that are caused by beverages, oil substances or food. The stain might be rather visible when it’s wet, but once it dries up, it becomes invisible meaning that it disperses into the fabric.

After some time has passed, the stain will show up either by being exposed to heat, or as time passes and the stain is normally brown or yellow in color. The physics behind this is the process of caramelisation of sugar or oxidation that is present in the staining matter. Simply put, the process is the same as it would be if you leave a peeled apple in open air – it’ll turn brown.
Stains that result from oils are specifically challenging and highly stubborn when trying to get rid of. Often times, dry cleaning is the ideal way to get rid of these stains with the least bit of effort.

How Do Dry Cleaners Get Rid of Invisible Stains?

Dry cleaners are practically trained and know all there is to know about the process of getting rid of stains and similar nuisances. Invisible stains, particularly, are not the kind that will go away with the regular dry cleaning and ironing procedure that takes place for most clothing items. For the purpose of removing invisible stains from any piece of clothing item, dry cleaners ensure that they treat the stain specifically, before they put the clothing item through the normal procedure of dry cleaning.

However, if the invisible stain is given the time to oxidize, there’s a high possibility that getting it off the clothing item will be a serious challenge even for the dry cleaner. This is because once the stain is oxidized, it’ll turn brown or yellow and it will become almost impossible to remove it from the clothing item. This happens most often with oil stains and is caused because of the irregularity of the ‘cross pattern’ formed by the oil as it moves along the border of the stain following the fibers in the fabric.

Always Inform Your Dry Cleaner about Invisible Stains

When you’re giving your batch of laundry to the dry cleaner, examine each clothing item in order to ensure that there are no invisible stains present – at least, to your knowledge. In case you do know that your clothes will have invisible stains, inform your dry cleaner beforehand so they can treat the stain before anything else. This way, once the clothing item is pressed, there will be no stains on the clothing item and you won’t have to face the hassle of going back and forth.

R&R Fabricare has been dry cleaning Canberra since 1933. We are one of the oldest and respected names in the dry-cleaning industry and that continues today with a fresh new look. Combining experience with local knowledge and a friendly staff to assist you with your dry-cleaning needs.

Contact us on 02 6286 3695 or visit one of our 3 Canberra locations at Yarralumla, Mawson and Weston for all your dry-cleaning needs.

Busting the Myth – How Dry Cleaning Actually Works


A lot of people have a lot of misconceptions about dry cleaning and the ways in which the procedure is carried out. Although some of these myths are true to the bone, there are tons of them which simply are nowhere near the truth. However, if you’re new to the system, you might be under the impression and mistake these myths to be the truth when they’re absolutely false in reality.


Myth # 1: Are My Clothes Washed?

Yes, they are, but not in water. The dry-cleaning process uses synthetic solvents and spotting agents. The cleaning medium, think large front load washing machines. Dry cleaners today have access to advanced washing technology called wet cleaning, to handle those “do not dry clean” garments and furnishings. Some clients prefer a “solvent free” cleaning method and at R&R Fabricare Canberra, we offer that choice.

Myth # 2: Dry-Cleaning harms my clothes and shortens their life…

Wrong – The dry-cleaning process actually extends the life of your clothes by removing the abrasive dust and dirt particles plus general soiling. We can dry-clean a tissue and it comes out of our machines as a tissue, imagine that in your washing machine (and the mess it makes). The dry-cleaning process does not  swell or distort the fibres in the fabrics.

Myth # 3: Colours run and garments shrink in the dry-cleaning process

Yes, they do run (bleed) and they do shrink, at times. Dry-cleaners cannot prevent this from happening because the manufacturers are supposed to pre-shrink and pre-wash the fabrics to avoid this. Many do not as it cuts their production costs, leaving us and you- the customer to deal with the problem.

Myth # 4: All Dry-Cleaners are the same – WRONG! Dry-Cleaning is expensive – compared to what?

Your clothes are a personal possession and a big investment. You chose a reputable mechanic to service your car, your wardrobe should be no different. Choose a dry-cleaner that is a member of the DIA – The Dry-Cleaning Institute of Australia. DIA members have quality standards to keep, and are bound by a code of ethics.

R&R Fabricare has been dry cleaning Canberra since 1933. We are one of the oldest and respected names in the dry-cleaning industry and that continues today with a fresh new look. Combining experience with local knowledge and a friendly staff to assist you with your dry-cleaning needs.


Contact us on 02 6286 3695 or visit one of our 3 Canberra locations at Yarralumla, Mawson and Weston for all your dry-cleaning needs.

Dry Cleaning Drapes

Drycleaners often encounter difficulties when cleaning drapes. The Household has many different environmental conditions, which contribute to the deterioration of the fabrics.

Water damage from window condensation, prolonged exposure to moisture, humidity and sunlight, all affect the fabrics, causing yellowing and the weakening of the fibres. Shrinkage of drapes during dry-cleaning is a possibility, up to 3% in length in not uncommon, however drapes often retain their original length after hanging for some time.

Are my drapes dry cleanable?

A test clean of a drape may assist in determining whether a drape is dry cleanable, however the test does not guarantee anything totally, because different windows receive varying amounts of light intensity during the day, that said, given R&R Fabricare’s experience, we have worked with most drape/curtain fabrics over the year’s and know what can normally be treated.

Our Canberra staff check for care labels, this is a legal requirement, and they should be endorsed by the soft furnishings association. De-laminating is a common problem that can occur if the drapes/curtains are over 5 years of age and or effected by sunlight. This means the rubber backing can bubble or peel off rendering the drape permanently damaged. This is often difficult to predict prior to cleaning.

Use a qualified drycleaner

Please ensure you trust the cleaning of your soft furnishings and draperies to a qualified drycleaner who is a member of the Dry-Cleaning Institute of Australia. R&R Fabricare has been servicing Canberra since 1933 and can now be found in three convenient locations, Weston, Yarralumla, and Mawson, and yes, we are member of the Dry-Cleaning Institute of Australia.

An insight into R&R Fabricare from the City News August 2010

Mark Ryan R&R Fabricare Canberra Dry Cleaner

Mark Ryan jokes that he has solvent in his blood. “I’ve got really vivid memories of being 5 years old and going into my grandfather’s dry-cleaning vans – I can really remember the smell,” he says. “Some things never leave you.”

Reflecting a proud Dry Cleaning heritage

In 2010 Mark rebranded his Canberra Dry Cleaners business in Mawson as R&R Fabricare to reflect its history and his heritage. “This dry cleaner was set up by myself and my father back in 1985, as a small, customer service-oriented dry cleaner based in Cooleman Court, and another now at Mawson” explains Mark. “But it was always an ambition of mine to resurrect the family business name.”

Generations of Dry Cleaning Expertise

In 1933, Mark’s great-grandfather, Herbert, his brother Gus, son Alan and friend Leo Robins set up R&R in Goulburn; and in 1942, Alan opened another in Monaro St, Queanbeyan. Alan’s four sons all joined the business, and it was Mark’s father Peter, who opened Canberra dry Cleaners in 1985. “The new name is a tribute to my Grandparents and the hard word they did raising 7 kids in Queanbeyan, and my grandfather as an entrepreneur. He rally laid the foundation for this business,” Mark says. “I’ve been a bit surprised by the reaction to the rebranding. A few of our customers thought we’d left or been taken over by multinational, and they were actually really relieved when they found out that wasn’t the case! I’m the fourth generation of Ryans in the industry and a lot of things have changed in dry-cleaning over those generations, but not the professionalism”.

R&R Fabricare Canberra Dry Cleaners

Techniques of changed for example Mark says: dry cleaners now need to be up-to-date with water-based cleaning as well. You need to be able to offer your customers a choice.

“We also need to be environmentally aware solvent to totally license these days and it’s really important to be up to speed on current legislation and housekeeping. Housekeeping’s an important word in this industry. The big difference between my work and my grandfather’s era is the back then, a lot of the solvents were petroleum-based white spirits, emissions won’t even regulated!”

R&R Fabricare is still basically the same business as Canberra Dry Cleaners Mark says “garment care is still all about customer service, and we’ve got staff have been here 20 years or more. It’s all about our customers image about how they feel when they wear their clothes: how nicely they present themselves. Our customers are handing over their personal possessions and that image to us, and it’s like a lot of other relationships, with their hairdresser or chemist or doctor; people are always looking for a good drycleaner and they talk when they find one! There is a drycleaner on every street corner, but not too many with my pedigree.

R&R Fabricare has been servicing Canberra since 1933 and can now be found in 3 convenient locations, Weston, Yarralumla and Mawson.