Employees are extensions of a company. As representatives of your brand, workers need to create a good impression for your customers by looking clean and well-groomed at all times. One of the simplest ways to do this is to keep train them to keep their workwear presentable.
Presentable workwear does not only require clean and freshly-washed uniforms. More than anything, workers also need to maintain the colour of their workwear. This might be a bit challenging if they are using hi-vis vests. Nevertheless, workwear maintenance for these vests is still possible if they know how to do it right.
Hand wash vs machine wash
Before we move on with basic workwear cleaning and maintenance tips for your workers, let us first settle this classic debate. can a washing machine be used for washing hi-vis workwear?
If truth be told, there is nothing wrong with using a washing machine to clean workwear, unless the makers of the workwear specifically instruct otherwise it. After all, the intended use of a washing machine is to help save time when doing the laundry. It’s also very easy to operate.
Most likely, the problem your workers will encounter if they choose to machine wash their vests is not with the use of the washing machine per se. Rather, it’s going to be about the specific steps they will take in choosing which clothes to wash together and what type of detergent and stain removal product to use. Here are some of the practical tips we’ve put together to help you guide them on proper workwear maintenance:
1. Inspect your workwear.
The first step in washing hi-vis workwear is to check it thoroughly for dirt and dust. Remove the dirt and dust with your own hands or use a soft, damp cloth. This will keep the removable dirt from getting scattered into the vest.
2. Check instructions.
Most clothes have specific instructions for washing and drying. Most likely, hi-vis workwear also has these instructions written at the back or on the side. Check what these instructions are and do your best to follow them, especially if you have no prior experience washing hi-vis workwear.
3. Be mindful of clothing selection.
As a rule, you need to separate the whites from the coloured clothing. This will help you maintain the colour of your clothes. If you combine the whites with the coloured ones, the whites might end up getting nasty blotches of colours on them.
4. Use cold water.
When washing clothes, it is best to use cold water as warm water may cause discolouration later on.
5. Avoid scrubbing your workwear.
Scrubbing your workwear is a no-no. Using abrasive methods to clean your workwear could lead to discolouration and fading. On that note, it’s also wise to separate rough pieces of clothing from your workwear. Otherwise, fragile pieces of clothing might get damaged.
6. Stay away from bleach.
Bleach is not a good option for stain removal where your hi-vis vest is concerned. As you know, clothes are more susceptible to fading when they come in contact with bleach. This is a major concern for workwear like hi-vis vests which need to maintain their bright colour. Moreover, bleach could also cause the stainless locks and zippers in your vest to rust.
7. Use low heat for drying.
If you think it’s perfectly fine to dry your hi-vis workwear by exposing it to direct sunlight, think again. This method for drying clothes is not applicable to high visibility clothes as this will likely cause the bright colours to fade quickly. When drying your hi-vis vest, it’s better to use the lowest heat in your dryer.
A note on color maintenance
You might have noticed that most of the tips and recommendations we have for maintaining your workers’ hi-vis workwear were geared towards color maintenance. Is this really important? The short answer is yes.
Workers who wear hi-vis vests are usually those that work for industries that require stringent safety protocols. If these workers failed to take good care of their workwear, the bright colors of their uniforms will be compromised. When this happens, they might be more prone to accidents as it will be difficult to see them when there is limited lighting.
Customers prefer transacting with workers who look clean and well-groomed over employees who appear unkempt. This is why you need to oblige your workers to maintain their clean appearance and positive vibe while in the workplace. The good news is, looking clean and well-groomed won’t be a problem for them if you were able to train them about the best practices in workwear maintenance.