Keep your Whites Clean
Keys to keeping your whites clean
Traditional style chef jackets, hats and Aprons are usually white in colour to do a few things:
- maintain a tradition
- display cleanliness
- show stains
Fabrics are usually a combination of natural (e.g.Cotton, Bamboo) and man made fibers (e.g. Polyester). Occasionally you can find other specialist materials if you search online (e.g. Fire retardant fabrics, Organic etc) but these are not the normal chef uniform and would require specific care.
This means keeping your normal chef whites looking bright, white and stain free can sometimes present the chef with a challenge.
Universally the idea is to both protect yourself and your chef jacket by wearing an apron. This is the first line of defense and will help avoid getting too many stains.
Of course you will almost certainly get some stains on your chef whites after every shift from stove top splatters to being brushed by the apprentice carrying at plate behind your back. (ever wondered how you got that stain there?).
Tips for the laundry
Generally don't use hot water as it has the tendency to make the stain get cooked into the fibers. So the tip is to use luke warm or cold water. A gentle non- coloured natural soap or dish liquid gently rubbed with water in the pre-wash can help loosen early food stains.
Immediately take care of stains.
If you are out and about, blot the stain carefully, but do not rub. If you have a laundry pen with you, you can dab the stain with that. If not, immediately remove the stained article of clothing upon coming home and use either a stain remover or a toothbrush and your standard detergent to pre-treat the stain.
- When pre-treating, always use a white cloth to dab away the stain, as a colored cloth may leave behind some dye.
Generally only consider using a chlorine or oxygen based bleach as your last resort as any chemical bleach tends to weaken the natural fabric fibers and affect construction. Bleaches can sometimes cause some whites to turn to an off-white gray shade. The acidic nature of bleach will also fade any embroidery that is on a jacket. Preferable is to choose an Oxygen based bleach.
Having said that sometime your white jacket will need a soak in bleach over night and we'd recommend you follow the instructions on the bleach container to the letter.
Adding a table spoon of white vinegar has also been known to have a positive affect on the brightness of whites.
Hot clothes dryers tend to fix existing stains deeper into the garment so find a sunny day and hang you laundered whites on the line as the Sun also has a bleaching affect.
A good idea is to try not to get dirty in the kitchen but as that's almost impossible why not have some early intervention tools with you e.g. stain remover wipes, stain remover pens and perhaps consider a kitchen policy to try and help to each other keep clean.