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How to clean stains out of white jackets?

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20 replies to this topic

#1 gastronaut

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 07:39 AM

So I have a few of my best fitting, most comfortable jackets sitting at the far end of my closet for one reason. They all have a slightly discolored stain on them that I can't bare to look at. I couldn't tell you what exactly stained them, a mix of curry, olive oils and such. One is 100% egyptian cotton, and the other a normal 6oz pima.

So question being - anyone have some tips to reconstituting(ha) life into them again?
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#2 hathor

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 07:56 AM

It drives me insane that chef jackets are made out of cotton, poly cotton when there is a plethora of high tech fabrics that would work infinitely better. I've contacted a few makers and they aren't even remotely willing to move beyond the old stuff. grr...
Tie dye your jackets. :angry:

#3 karlos

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 08:02 AM

Not a chef but my daughter spilled half a bottle of syrah on my favorite summer white Egyptian cotton shirt. We were at a restaurant so immediate soaking was not an option and it set. Oxyclean applied as a paste and then soaked in the washer for an hour. It took multiple tries but eventually it came out looking none the worse for wear. I would imagine any of the "oxy" type products would work the same. Good luck.

#4 chezcherie

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 08:04 AM

when i had to wear white coats, i swore by zout. (now i wear burgundy coats--no wine stains there!)
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#5 JHeald

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 08:38 AM

My wife just cleaned our babies cloth diapers with baking soda and white vinegar (a total of two or three wash cycles, I believe). Stains AND smells seem to be completely gone. If it's good enough for a babies butt, it should work for your favorite jacket (which might be your baby).

#6 AAQuesada

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 09:04 AM

JHeald's advice is really good. Also a cleaner/degreaser spray like Mr.Muscle works miracles, apply after service, then wash. Hydrogen peroxide is great for blood stains.

#7 Jeffery C

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 09:28 AM

From personal experience, the quicker the treatment the better the results. I always keep a stain treatment on hand in the kitchen to apply right after service, for myself and the rest of the cooks who wish to use it. I've tried them all, but but without applying a scientific approach to testing, have found them all relatively effective. If not washing right away, I will apply a slurry of granulated detergent and water to the stain to re-freshen both the stain and the pre-stain treatment I applied at the time of the infraction. I'll let it re-hydrate about 15 to 30 min before starting the wash.

#8 gastronaut

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 12:50 PM

I've used many oxy clean combinations and methods, I'll definitely be trying the vinegar routine.
A vision without action is a Daydream; Action without vision is a Nightmare.

#9 runwestierun

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 02:25 PM

I swear by oxyclean. For the most difficult stains I get the fabric wet, make a paste of the oxyclean and use a brush to scrub it into the fabric, and then leave a thick paste of it on the fabric for at least an hour, brush again, launder. That stuff is magic.

#10 Lisa Shock

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 05:20 PM

You can put OxyClean in the washer, start the machine and let it run just until it's full of water and agitates enough to dissolve the powder. Then turn it off and allow to soak for a half-hour. Then start is back up, add detergent, and let it finish as usual. This will get most stains out.

For really, really bad stains, I use White Bright. This stuff is pretty intense, so be careful! It may remove the color from embroidery. That said, it removes accumulated minerals and old bleach buildup -which is often the cause of yellowing of whites over time.

For spot treatment before washing, the Spray n Wash stick is very good. A few years back I did some tests of various pre-treat sticks for a corporate client and this one worked the best, you can also treat and wait up to a week to wash.

I like to wear a Tide pen in my uniform jacket sleeve pocket. It's useful, and gets rid of a lot of stains. Those it doesn't work on entirely are minimized greatly. (frozen blueberry will become a pale blue haze)

#11 Quiltguy

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 08:24 PM

Hot water and Synthrapol.
I've gotten "oil shadows" out of clothes that have been washed and dried many times.
The oil/curry is most likely the problem.

Edited to fix link, and spelling. :rolleyes:

Edited by Quiltguy, 27 March 2011 - 08:30 PM.

#12 gastronaut

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 09:09 PM

aye, oil shadows is the best way to describe it. Definitely just ordered some synthrapol. Much appreciated.
A vision without action is a Daydream; Action without vision is a Nightmare.

#13 Heartsurgeon

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 09:47 PM

i'm surprised nobody has mentioned bleach. Works great. Whitest whites...

#14 Lisa Shock

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 08:37 AM

If your water has minerals, like the water in the Phoenix area, bleach will cause whites to yellow slowly over time. After about 20 washings with bleach, jackets have a distinct hue. If you walk the halls of the local culinary schools you can tell who is close to graduating because of their dingy yellow jackets.

#15 scubadoo97

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 10:43 AM

I've gotten yellow mustard out of a shirt with this product http://www.grandmassoap.com/ as well as many other stains that I thought would never come out

#16 gastronaut

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 11:00 AM

my water over here in NC is generally clean. There is a distinct separation of colors between the oil shadows and the white.
A vision without action is a Daydream; Action without vision is a Nightmare.

#17 stackbaxter

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 08:11 AM

What i discovered when i went to culinary school (NECI) then discovered that my great grandmother used the same product was fels-naptha.
fantastic stuff. cheap, and easy. just get the stain wet and scrub the fels-naptha into it, a brush works ideally but when i first started using it i would just rub the bar on the stain. (you buy it as a yellow bar of soap) some stains come out immediately. It's the only thing i've seen get out carbon and chocolate with ease. and it's only like a dollar.


#18 stackbaxter

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 08:58 AM

sorry, you must wash the item after applying the fels-naptha!


#19 andiesenji

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 10:08 AM

When I was catering, and wore white jackets and my helpers wore white aprons, I washed them myself if they weren't too stained, using bleach in a pre-wash and then regular detergent.

Every three or four wearings, and if they had tough stains, I took them to a professional laundry.

I don't know what they used but they were returned brilliant white and I did not have the hassle.

It wasn't all that expensive.

I have some large, white damask tablecloths and also napkins - I take them to a laundry because I don't like to iron and they return them in a plastic wrapper for ease of storing and they are stain-free, wrinkle-free and white.

Edited by andiesenji, 07 April 2011 - 10:08 AM.

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#20 Jose Nieves

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 10:32 AM

I presoak my coats with Dawn Plus (Bleach Alternative and Oxi are good) and then add a little commercial dry powder to the wash. Once a year or so, I use Rit Dye Whitener or White Wash to get them back to "normal".

#21 DanM

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 12:25 PM

Give Seventh Generation's baby detergent a try. The product has an extra enzyme to break down protein based stains caused by overloaded diapers. It also seems to work well for food stains on kitchen towels.

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