What special requirements are needed to launder items that have been stained by diesel fuel?

diesel.jpgIf you’re trying to wash garments or fabrics that have been drenched with diesel fuel, my recommendation is to be very sure that the fuel has evaporated completely before you even think about starting the wash process. This warning also goes for items exposed to gasoline or oil.

If not completely evaporated, during the washing process the oils and fuels, when exposed to warm or hot water, can create a gassing situation – where a solid turns into a vapor. At that point, any type of a spark or static electricity can set it off, which could lead to fire or an explosion. So, once again, let me stress that the garments must be air-dried completely before you start the wash process.

Once you start the process, it’s best to do so in a machine that offers a pre-wash, a wash cycle and three rinses. Use medium to hot water, apply a quality laundry detergent in the pre-wash and wash cycles. Of course, the stronger the detergent, the better your results will be. Also, add non-chlorine bleach to the wash cycle. During the rinses, you can apply a fabric softener, although it’s not necessary.

After the wash, check the garments to see if there are any remaining stains. If so, simply repeat the process.

I service a commercial account that has just purchased some rather inexpensive, polyester table clothes that wrinkle when washed. Even the client admits that she bought an inferior product.

We pretreat these items, wash them in warm water with Tide (no bleach or softener), and then dry the table clothes on low heat. We process only a few at a time, so there is plenty of room in both the washer and the dryer.

However, the fold creases are very obvious, as well as just general wrinkles. Is there a process for laundering polyester table clothes so that they don’t wrinkle?

To launder and process table clothes properly – whether they’re polyester or cotton – you need a starch cycle and an ironer, which is the only way you can remove the wrinkles. Unless you pull the table clothes out of the dryer immediately after the cycle and fold them right away, you’ll need to iron them – either with an ironer or a hot iron.

It’s also best to use a starch on these items. There is synthetic starch that is made for synthetic fabrics, and there is natural starch that is designed for cotton items. I would talk to your chemical distributor about what type of starch would work best for your particular client.

The bottom line is that, without some form of ironing, you will always have some type of wrinkling issue with those table clothes.

I recently acquired a commercial account, and I’m having problems removing some basic stains. I’m washing the items in 50-pound frontloaders; the cycles consist of a wash and three rinses; my water temperature is 120 degrees; and I’m using name-brand detergent. What else do I need to do?

You need to add a pre-wash cycle of at least three to seven minutes – this will go a long way toward breaking down those stains.

Also, because you can’t get your water temperature above 120 degrees, you should use a commercial-grade detergent that contains enzymes. This type of product should help you tackle some of those more stubborn commercial stains.

What is the best way to remove dog hair from blankets and dog beds?

The best way to handle such a situation is to put these items in the dryer before running them through the wash cycle. Let them run through a drying cycle or two, and then remove them and wash them as you would normally. The tumbling action from the dryer should shake out most of that loose hair.

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