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A work uniform is a huge investment and ensuring your team members look after it is just as important, if not more important than the initial roll out.  Whilst most garments have care instructions on the label, we sometimes miss the finer details. With life so busy we can get caught up in other things and assume we can treat all our clothes the same.

Here are 8 classics mistakes we see people make when it comes to cleaning their work uniform:

1.    Tumble dry

Tumble drying should be left for items such as socks, underwear and towels.  Never throw any item of clothing (especially quality corporate clothes) in the dryer.  The heat and the way in which a dryer tumbles will cause your garments to shrink, get out of shape and loose their original shine.

2.    Machine wash suiting

It’s best to dry clean or hand wash your suiting items.  These garments are often tailored, and fully lined.  The velocity in which a machine washes and spins will distort these garments.  It’s okay to gently hand wash skirts, trousers and dresses.  A jacket should NEVER be machine or hand washed.  It must be dry cleaned.

3.    Machine wash shirts in hot water

Washing your shirts or blouses in a washing machine with hot water is an absolute no no!  The heat may cause your shirts to shrink.  Always cold machine wash.

4.    Soak Shirts for extended periods of time

Be careful when leaving items to soak in the sink with a stain remover.  Make sure you buy a stain remove that can be used with colours.  And never leave them to soak too long or overnight as it may begin to strip the colour.  And only soak one item at a time.  Often people put in a white or blue shirt with a darker colour and the soaking causes the darker colour to run on to the light shirt

5.    Bleach Shirts

Bleaching shirts is very harsh and will strip colour.  Never bleach anything that has colour in it.  If you need to remove a firm stain the only colour shirt you can use bleach with is white. Even then it’s not advisable as the harshness of the bleach will slowly eat away at the fabric causing it to become weak.

6.    Iron on the wrong settings

Always pay attention to what your garments are made out of and ensure the iron is set correctly.  For example a polyester skirt ironed on a hot cotton setting runs the risk of melting the fabric.  It’s advisable to iron your garments inside out. This will protect the exterior and ensure no iron marks become visible on the garments.  Using a good quality iron and ironing board will help.  Investing in quality tools is advisable.

7.    Hang your clothes in the sun

Wherever possible try to hang your clothes to dry in the shade.  Hanging them in the sun for extended periods of time will cause the garments to fade. Exposure to the sun for an hour or two will fine. Alternatively hang them inside out if you have any concerns.

 8.    Dry clean your suits every week

It’s not essential to dry clean your suits each week.  Dry cleaning is a harsh process and exposing your corporate clothes to this too often will reduce the life of your garments.  Opt for dry cleaning each month, especially jackets.  And to keep them clean and fresh hang them in the bathroom when you have a hot shower.  The steam released from the shower will remove any creases and will help air them out.  If you happen to have a small stain on your suit try to dab it out with a clean cloth and soda water.  Baby wipes also work a treat.  And when dry cleaning do your research and use a reputable supplier.

Check out our uniform care instructions   Learn More

Image by Irmas World