How I Clean Hubby's Work Clothes

Here is a guide to cleaning dirty work uniforms. Not working in a office uniforms, but dirty jobs where stains and grease never seem to vanish.
Hubby works as a powder coater. What is that you ask? Well look to your screen doors or windows. See the metal frame around it? Hubby paints them, now its not just normal paint. Its a powder that is sprayed on, then baked in a huge oven to melt and stick to the metal. He works in a factory shed next to said oven in temperatures averaging around 50 celcius (122 F) So to say he comes home dirty is an understatement. He is covered head to toe in hard to remove, shiny, mixed coloured powder. His high-vis shirts come home grey and black. So just doing a single wash in the washing machine does almost nothing, except get rid of the BO.


So there is 3 parts to his uniforms that I wash separately and do separate routines with. His shirts, pants and overalls.


The overalls are a thin material that is anti static and just a regular wash does nothing but spread the powder. For these, I soak them in nappy san overnight. Then rinse as many times as it takes for the water to run clean or close to. Once soaked and rinsed, I do a soak and spin cycle on my washing machine, using any tough stain remover detergent I have. After that cycle is finished, I end with a quick light 15minute wash, then hang out to dry. Now you might be thinking that's a lot of water used, well we are on tank water, and hubby has 5 sets of overalls, so this only happens once a week.


Now pants come next, his work pants are normally the cleanest over all but also the hardest to clean. Being such a thick, stiff material they don't like being washed and hung out to dry without turning into what I describe as a hard board. Where his pants are so stiff you can hold them straight out in front of you and they wont bend. So for his pants my usual go to method, is the soak and rinse setting, using again any stain remover detergent I have on hand. After this first cycle, I put them through the light 15 minute cycle with a good quality fabric softener. Now I use to just buy the cheapest I could find but they just don't work for his work pants, so I have had to bite the bullet and spend more which is against my usual tight ass self. Now he owns 3 pairs of pants so washing them happens twice a week.


last of all is the high-vis work shirts. Now mind my language but these shirts are a bitch to keep looking new or well cleaned. No matter what you do they will never be as bright or vibrant or clean as when you first purchased them. But my secret method here is what I have only recently discovered. And it works alot better than any other method I have tried, and is probably the cheapest load of washing I do. So you put all the shirts into the machine, sprinkle anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 of bi carb soda (depending on size of the load and dirtiness) all over the shirts. Then in the bleach section, pour in 1 cup of vinegar. Set to either a normal cycle or light cycle depending on what you prefer, but make sure to use hot water only for this cycle. After this load is finished you should find that most of the grease, grim, dirt etc has come off the shirts. This is because the vinegar reacts with the bi carb soda as well as the hot water and releases and removes much of the dirt.
 This is also a great method If your sink ever gets clogged up from gunk in the pipes, pour in 1/2 of bi carb soda, then pour over 1 cup vinegar, this will bubble up and fizz. Leave for 5 minutes then flush with boiling water and you should be able to drain the sink again, if needed to it a couple times. But I have used this method several times and it worked the first time and really well!! Now its a regular to my cleaning routine.


So back to the shirts, after this cycle I run a quick light cycle with a nice smelling detergent and fabric softener, as I find the vinegar smell can linger sometimes but its never overpowering, I just know its there and want the shirts to smell nice. Now hubby has 10 high-vis work shirts so I do wash them once a fortnight.


Over-all I do what works out to be 3 1/2 loads of washing a week to completely clean all the separate parts of hubby's uniforms. I never wash them all together in one load as they each need a different method to become clean. And to add, apart from the one hot water cycle for the work shirts, I use only cold water for all clothes washing. I also line dry everything as we don't own and don't want to own a dryer. We are also on tank water and my washing machine is a 4 star water saving machine. So although I do a fair few cycles to get hubby's work clothes clean, I also counteract that and aim to be both water and energy efficient by what I mentioned above. I don't use hot or warm water often, we line dry everything, tank water and water efficient machine.


So if this blog has been usefull or if you have any other tips and tricks please leave a comment below and let me know. Dont forget to share if you think this can help out someone you know.


Untill next time, cya later alligator from this Mumma of a 1 and 2 year old

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