How to Remove Stains from Work Uniforms

Messes happen, especially in industries like food service or automotive repair. Luckily, many common stains can be removed using products you already have in your home, from white vinegar to baking soda. When it comes to stains, always remember to act fast and use the right solvents, and your uniform will be looking good as new in no time.

Food Industry Stains
For workers in the food service industry, stains are practically part of the job. Here are tips for removing common food stains from uniforms:

  • Red Wine: Dab the stain with warm water, then use salt to treat. After 20 minutes, rinse the salt and wash the item with liquid detergent.
  • Cooking Oil: Remove any excess oil or butter that may still be present on the uniform. You can then apply an absorbent like cornstarch or baking powder, which will work to soak up the stain. Aim for 30 minutes or more, and then shake off the excess powder and brush the stain gently. Wash the item as soon as possible.
  • Coffee: Household white vinegar is all it takes to pre-treat coffee stains. Dab the problem area, and then wash the uniform on the hottest possible setting allowed for the fabric.
  • Tomatoes: Do your best to scrape the stain off the uniform without pushing it further into the fabric. Dab with liquid detergent and launder as normal.

Automotive Stains
Mechanics work with hard-to-remove products all day long, such as machine oil or engine grease. For these stains, treat the uniform with warm water, and then soak with heavy-duty detergent. Before washing, dab the stain with more detergent, and then launder separately. You can repeat this process as needed until the stain disappears.

Cleaning Service Stains
Employees in cleaning industries, such as janitorial workers or housekeeping professionals, may come in contact with uncommon stains such as ink or mud. Follow these laundering tips to keep your uninform looking its best:

  • Blood: Rinse the stain right away with cold water, then immerse the uniform in room temperature water with a splash of detergent, and leave to soak for 10-15 minutes. Spot-treat the stain with household ammonia or an enzyme cleaner if you have one on-hand.
  • Ink: Treatment depends on the material your uniform is made from. If your uniform is cotton, gently blot with rubbing alcohol before washing. If it’s polyester, spray the spot with hairspray and pat dry with a paper towel or cloth. Then wash the item as normal.
  • Mud: Luckily, dirt and mud usually don’t pose major problems for laundry. Soaking the garment in detergent and lukewarm water for 30 minutes should be all it takes to pre-treat. If the stain is severe, rinse and drain the soaking water several times, and then launder and bleach as normal.

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How to Remove Stains from Work Uniforms