How to Care for High-Visibility Work Clothes

Care for High Visibility Work Clothes

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High Visibility Clothing gear is an essential safety tool in many industries, whether your team works in construction, roadwork, or transportation. One crucial consideration of high-visibility gear is that it maintains its visibility over time. A brightly coloured vest is no good once it stops being brightly coloured. Read on to learn How to Care for High-Visibility Work Clothes.

Check the Care Label

Checking the care label is the first thing you should do with every item of clothing you intend to wash, even high-visibility workwear. Most shirts, hoodies, and pants have tiny tags on them that tell you how to wash them. They could say things like “machine wash cold” or “tumble dry.”

Try your hardest to heed the advice on the small tag. Carefully following the instructions can help minimize damage to the reflective tape and material, which could lower the equipment’s efficacy and worker safety.

How to remove large stains

Clean grease stains

To remove grease from high-visibility clothing, you will need dishwashing liquid. Pour the product on the spotted part and let it sit for 15 minutes until it takes effect. Then, rub it with a damp cloth to make it disappear and rinse. This operation is also valid for drivers of vehicles with work clothes stained with motor oil. Apart from dishwashing liquid, Marseille soap and white vinegar can also be used to remove grease stains.

Cleaning soiled high-visibility clothing.

Cleaning soiled, high-visibility clothing is crucial for maintaining safety. Begin by pre-treating stains with a gentle detergent or stain remover. Wash the garments separately in cold water to preserve their reflective properties. Avoid bleach, as it can damage the fabric. Air-dry the clothes to prevent shrinking and maintain their integrity. 

Clean paint stains on high-visibility clothing

Paint remnants may be oil- or water-based. Water-based paint is simple to remove; just use soapy water to clean up any spills, and the stains will go away. If the area has oil paint, use a fresh towel dipped in white spirit to massage it.

Wash Separately

Make sure you wash high-visibility workwear separately from other clothing. Otherwise, you may risk colour bleeding and damage to the reflective tape. Colour bleeding is a big issue because the pigmentation of high-visibility gear is carefully selected to catch the eye. If that colour changes too much, it may become messy and more difficult to see, defeating the purpose of high-visibility gear!

High Visibility Clothes in the Workplace

Washing hi-vis workwear with other clothes may put the reflective tape in harm’s way. Reflective tape is somewhat delicate and can become torn if it’s washed alongside clothing with metal zippers or buttons. Even if the reflective tape doesn’t tear, the metal hardware on other clothes can cause abrasions that dull the reflective properties of the tape.

Machine wash with care.

Some of your gear may be machine washable, but always make sure the care tag explicitly states this before tossing it in the laundry. For best results, machine wash with care using the following guidelines

  • Machine wash on cold or delicate only if indicated as safe by the garment’s care tag
  • Wash items inside out
  • Wash with like colours
  • Avoid using bleach or fabric softener
  • dry on low or line dry
  • Use a mild laundry detergent
  • Do not dry clean or iron
  • Don’t wash with items that have Velcro or hook and loop closures (they can catch on mesh or breathable fabric and cause tears)

How to Care for High Visibility Work Clothes

Choose Mild Detergents

While it’s true that some reflective clothes may be put into harsh environments, the washing machine shouldn’t be one of them! By choosing mild or even specially designed detergents for high-visibility workwear, you can avoid damaging or changing the colour of your gear.

Chemicals such as fabric softeners and bleach can alter the appearance and functionality of hi-vis garments. To assist in maintaining the colour and reflecting qualities of your clothing, look for mild detergents with a low alkaline concentration.

Wash With Cold Water

Washing with cold water offers a multitude of benefits for your laundry routine. It preserves vibrant colours, prevents shrinkage, and extends the lifespan of delicate fabrics. Cold water washing also reduces energy consumption, making it an eco-friendly choice. 

How to dry a high visibility garment?

Drying your high-visibility clothing requires a delicate touch to maintain its effectiveness. Opt for air-drying whenever possible, as excessive heat can damage reflective materials. Hang the garment in a well-ventilated area, avoiding direct sunlight. If using a dryer, choose a low-heat setting to prevent potential shrinkage or degradation of reflective elements. Prioritize care to ensure your high-visibility gear remains in optimal condition, ready to keep you safe in low-light work environments.

Check for damage

Before cleaning your workwear, check for any damaged or worn parts. If any damage is discovered, the workwear should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible to prevent high-visibility and protective parts from wearing, tearing, or other damage during use. Parts that need to be particularly checked include reflective strips, zippers, buttons and stitching to see if they are intact.

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