One of the biggest challenges faced by bosses and employers when choosing suitable work uniforms for their team is finding apparel that not only looks good, but maintains its great appearance for years to come. Chances are, there isn’t room in your budget for a uniform update every season. But your employees are also much more likely to feel confident and prepared for the work day ahead when they walk into the office with a freshly laundered, wrinkle-free uniform that gives them the appearance of a professional businessman or woman.
There are some surprisingly simple strategies that you and your team can use to ensure longevity from your work uniforms. These shirts and pants are worn by employees on the job virtually every day, give or take a couple casual Fridays and formal events—so you can imagine how important it can be to find a well-made, long-lasting uniform. Keep your productivity and your profits up by ensuring you keep your team’s clothes looking awesome.
Washing and Drying
For the first twelve washes, turn the heat up—within reason. Wash your uniform in warm water, either by hand or in a washing machine. The warm water will remove any bacteria that has sunk into the fabric. However, over time, cold water becomes more effective at maintaining the just-washed, fresh appearance of your office apparel. Is your office into colour blocking? Using a colour brightener or a white wash can add a boost of colour to your team’s unique shades.
Whether your uniform is a plain colour, like white or black, or your team regularly rocks bright colours around the office, washing in cold water is typically the best option to make sure that work uniforms stay bright and fresh-looking. If you have the time to wash by hand, this is preferable, but doing a cold-water rinse in your washing machine is also acceptable for most cotton tees and blouses worn in work environments.
Colour Bleeding and Stain Removal
If you’ve previously purchased office attire for your team, you might be familiar with these unpleasant issues. The best way to avoid long-term staining and colour bleeding is to wash your clothes by hand in either warm or cold water, depending on how long you’ve been wearing the uniform. Remove your garment as soon as the spin cycle ends to be certain that colours don’t bleed, fade, or become less saturated. The worst thing is opening up your dryer to find that your bright red Polo shirt has bled into a plain white blouse, giving it a pinkish tinge.
If you or your employees are regularly faced with outdoor work, you might be aware of how annoying dirt stains can be. The good news is that you can easily solve this problem by avoiding fabric softeners during the wash-and-dry process. Though they might seem like a good idea at first, you will quickly learn that any product that softens the fabric of a garment will also cause dirt, and other types of everyday stains, to sink in heavily. If stain removal is a particularly common problem around your workplace, stash Tide-to-Go or another quick and easy stain remover in your desk for emergency situations.
The Finishing Touches
Ironing and starching may sound old-fashioned, but they’re still the number one way to keep your work apparel looking and feeling great. The time and effort you’ll put into making sure your uniform is ironed and starched every day will ultimately pay off in the end, even if it seems like a hassle. Particularly if you work in an environment where interaction with the public is commonplace (and necessary), you will give off a more professional image if your custom clothing is sharply ironed and starched.
Of course, too much starch can make your shirts and pants uncomfortable. You may have to try a few different times before you find the ideal balance. Holding the starch about two inches from the garment is the best way to ensure that your work uniforms don’t end up too stiff or awkward, but still keeps wrinkles at bay.