Many people who work in greasy grimy conditions have to wash extremely dirty clothes on a regular basis. Some take them to the Laundromat and use machines that are designated specifically for that purpose. Others do not have time, or they do not want to pay extra to wash their clothing. They choose to clean their uniforms at home, but an attempt to save time and money comes with a price. Grease, oil and other substances are hard on a washing machine, and care must be taken before attempting to launder other fabrics. Follow these steps to remove the soil before adding another load. Grime and oily residue can hide in inaccessible places, and it can find its way out where it could stain or completely ruin other items.
Begin by Removing Visible Chunks of Grease and Grime
Grease and grime are not always dissolved in the washing machine and rinsed away. Chunks of dirt and unidentifiable grime are sometimes stuck along the edges and creases of the drum. To properly clean the appliance, begin by removing visible hunks and chunks of anything that was left behind. It can be a time-consuming process, but they will end up on the next load of fabrics if left behind. Use paper towels as well as your bare hands, and pay careful attention to areas that can be reached but not seen.
Clean the Drum and Agitator with Hot Water and Dishwashing Liquid with Degreaser
Next, it is of the utmost importance to clean the drum and agitator with a rag and a cleaning formula that will work to remove oily residue after washing dirty work clothes. Simply turning on the washing machine and adding detergent is not enough. Add about ¼ cup of Dawn brand dishwashing liquid or a similar product to one gallon of the hottest water that you can stand, either with or without gloves. Use a soft clean cotton rag to wipe down every accessible surface. You will be surprised by how much dirt and oily grime end up on the rag.
Run the Machine with Hot Water and Two Cups of White Vinegar
Dirt and grime might still be hiding beneath the agitator and in areas that cannot be reached. Solve the problem by running the washing machine with a large load of hot water and two cups of white vinegar. Place it on the longest running setting. After the cleaning solution empties and is rinsed away, you should be left with a clean washing machine. Dirty work clothes do not have to ruin the next load.
Launder Old Blankets or Rags before Washing Valuable Fabrics
If you are still unsure that your washing machine is clean enough after taking the aforementioned steps, launder old blankets, rags or something else that would not be ruined if dirt or grime was left behind. Washing something of little value is a fantastic way to make sure that all is well, at least until you wash another load of dirty work clothes. If it is a continual and time-consuming problem, consider visiting a Laundromat instead of using your machine. In the end, washing them elsewhere could save a considerable amount of money, and in more ways than one.
Source: Steel Mill Employment and Grimy Clothing Issues