Since we are running tips and guides for students in this blog, we often received some emails requesting for simple tips on many things related to education and schools. Some of the questions we received just last week is about how to wash school uniforms so that the color is retained.
Washing the school uniforms is not an easy job, do it wrong way and you will ruin the school uniforms very very quickly,and, the school uniforms are not going to last long. We hope this tips will be useful for you.
1) Cold machine wash. Cold wash is always preferable and safer than hot wash. If there is anything in the wash with colour run, hot water will set it onto any light coloured areas of your school uniform. Even if some colour runs in cold water, further separate cold washing usually gets it out.
2) Avoid using any kind of bleach where possible. Chlorine Bleaches (eg. “Sno-white” ) will fade almost any kinds of fabrics and colours, and will considerably change embroidery & collar colours. Oxygen bleachers (eg. “NappySan”, Stop-run etc.) will fade some colours, especially embroidery and collar colours. Overuse of fabric powders (which also have oxygen bleaches in them) may also fade or blotch some fabrics especially if clothes are hung in direct sunlight as well (ultraviolet light can activate the bleach). Liquid machine detergent is the best to prevent fading because they don’t include whiteners in their ingredients.
3) Avoid hanging in direct sunlight. This will fade most types of fabric, and as mentioned above can activate bleaches as well.
4) Use “Cold Soak” method if colours run. Schools with red and white panels (eg. Cranbrook, Annandale State schools) are sometimes prone to some running when inadvertently wet (some of the white becoming pink). The surest way for the excess dye to be removed is to soak the shirt in plenty of cold water (*nothing else*) overnight before putting it in a cold wash. The excess unset dye will slowly pass into the water and can then be easily washed away.
Stain removal is a difficult issue because methods that are effective in removing stains are also effective at fading colours. As always, stopping stains from setting by wetting or soaking as early as possible and trying safer ways before using stronger bleaches (which may cause streaking worse than the original stain) or hotter water (which can also cause some stains to set)if there is no alternative.
Also if you are considering a new washing machine, front loaders tend to have a gentler, but still effective cleaning and spinning action.
Dryers are effective because they dry shirts quickly, giving less time for colour to run, but can add to wear and tear with the combination of heat and tumbling action. Drip drying in shade is slightly better and can also reduce ironing time. Good luck!