Laundry day- ugh.
All the loading and unloading, and if you’re unlucky and don’t have a Dryer, you’ll have to go the extra mile to hang your clothes out in the sun. Imagine having to do all that only to find out that your work uniform got stained by that bright pink shirt you accidentally mixed into the wash. Or even worse, forgetting all about that oil stain that happened during a long busy day at work that's now locked into the fabric and won't budge off.
Maintaining the crisp white colour of a Chef’s Jacket can be a challenge but it definitely pays off once you look in the mirror. With that being said, let’s go through the steps you can take to maintain your jacket, as well as what you can do to remove stains when they do occur!
How to maintain your jacket
Invest in Quality Material
As someone who enjoys scouring the internet for the cheapest T-Shirt online, this is sadly not the time for that. The first and easiest step to maintaining your Chef Jacket is to simply get a good quality Jacket. Good quality materials are definitely steeper in price but this means that they are made of a durable material and will be able to survive multiple washes. Cheaper materials also tend to not come equipped with Colour Retaining Technology. This means that your uniform might just turn a different colour within a couple of washes (especially if you don't protect them with a Net Bag).
Read the Care Label carefully
Most garments come with a Care Label.
Not all materials are the same! Some materials are not able to withstand Bleach (especially Chlorine Bleach) as well as the rest due to its ability to oxidize certain pigments more than others. This might be the reason behind why you can sometimes find yellow splotches on your white clothes. Adding to this, some materials can only be washed in certain temperatures to maintain the longevity and quality of the Jacket. Always remember that even if you have prior knowledge of washing a chef’s jacket, you can’t just assume to wash your new jacket in the same manner due to the fact that all materials react differently.
How to remove stains from your jacket
Stains can vary from oil splatters, bodily fluids like sweat (that comes hand in hand with the oil that we naturally produce after sweating) or even the colouring from food, like Beetroot.
Trying to remove stains from white fabric is challenging but the trick is to act fast. Don’t just leave your garment at the bottom of the laundry basket. The longer the stain sits on your fabric, the tougher it is to remove it. Since spills normally occur during working hours and you are not always able to immediately treat the stain (unless you have a spare Jacket which is always advisable to have), an additional step of letting your garment soak in a mixture of water, as well as oxygen-based bleach before spot-treating the tougher and saturated stains is definitely a hack worth noting.
(Adding baking soda to the mixture is optional and can be used for larger stains!)
After soaking it for about 10 minutes or so, treat any stubborn stains with an enzyme-based stain remover or even with just a splash of your liquid detergent and rub it in with a soft brush (avoid your hands to protect yourself from any kinds of chemical burns or reactions to stay safe!). Set it aside for 15 minutes and allow the stain remover to do its job before thoroughly washing the garment in warm water as the final step.
Washing the garment
Similar to your everyday wear, you should not be mixing your white clothes with colours.
Add in the correct amount of detergent and wash it with either warm or hot water. It is advised to not wash clothes with cold water as it will do close to nothing for stains. Lastly, before airing out your clothes to dry or moving it into your Dryer, re-check your garment again for the stain. If it is still there, spot-treat it again till you’re satisfied with the outcome. Don’t air it out or put it in the dryer before checking as the hot air from the dryer or the sun will definitely lock in the stain, making it harder for removal.
Ta-Da! And just like that, you're well equipped with the knowledge about keeping your garments clean and sparkly white. Removing stains is definitely a tedious and long process but it can definitely be incorporated into your laundry routine as it definitely pays off when you show up to work in your clean and stain-free uniform!