January 02 2014 – Robert Fiumara
Irritating laundry mistakes can happen regardless of how experienced you are in the kitchen. As a chef, you likely don’t have a ton of time to worry about getting everything dry cleaned or what temperature water you’re using in your washer. You probably want to spend your free time enjoying yourself rather than worrying about your work uniform.
At the same time, improper care can cause your work clothes to yellow over time, sustain any type of stain or damage the fabric. Knowing how to keep it simple when you do your laundry can help you save time while maintaining high quality in your garments.
Use the Right Kind of Bleach
Regular bleach is fairly harsh and can actually damage your clothes rather than restore them. Bleach works, but it’s best to use oxygenized bleach on your clothes, submerging them for at least 8 hours before washing on a regular rinse cycle.
Regular bleach has the tendency to yellow some fabric, so it makes sense to go with a kind of bleach that isn’t going to cause your garments long-term problems. Once you accidentally yellow or damage clothes with harsh bleach, you’ll basically end up having to buy brand new garments. Using gentler bleach can give you the whiting effect you want without damaging your clothes.
Since you’re very active in the kitchen and you’re running back and forth, vinegar might be a good first step to removing sweat stains before you try bleach. At the very least, the vinegar will remove some of the sweat residue and will take out the smell of the sweat.
Vinegar is counter-productive when you add it in with your detergent, so make sure to wash on a regular cycle first, then add 1 ½-2 cups of your choice of vinegar during the rinse cycle. If you don’t have a rinse cycle spout for fabric softener, you’ll need to listen or watch your washer to get an idea of when the rinse cycle is about to happen.
Since bleach can be harsh, many professional cleaners rely on vinegar to do the heavy lifting. Vinegar has a great reputation for keeping whites white and removing sweat and basic stains from garments.
Your clothes set you apart as a professional chef, both to front and back of house. Keeping those whites intact will ensure your uniform always looks great, your clothes will last for a long time and you can keep those distinctions in place.