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How to Clean a Welder’s Work Clothes

welder working in a workshop

Welding is a satisfying yet messy job. There are welding splatters all over and it’s done in a pretty messy environment. It could be in construction at one point where dust is everywhere or it could be in a workshop or factory where there’s grease all around, or it might be in a mining area where you get coal dirt all over your work clothes. The point is, at the end of the day, you are left with welding jackets, welding aprons, and clothes that need a whole lot of cleaning. 


If you live with a welder – a wife, husband, son, brother, or sister – or you’re a welder yourself, you’re probably asking yourself how you could best clean a welder’s clothes. For all you know, you’ve been doing it wrong, which might be why your welding clothes haven’t lasted that long. To know for sure, here are some answers to some questions you might have about how to clean a welder’s clothes.


Before we answer any of these questions, “clothes” in this context would be anything worn by a welder that isn’t made out of leather. You need to remember that leather welding clothing like a leather welding jacket cannot be machine washed. You will only need a damp cloth and some soap to get the job done. That being said, let’s get to it.

How to clean a Welder’s Work Clothes: What you need to know

How do you get welding dust/coal dirt out of work clothes?

The best way to get welding dust or coal dirt out of a welder’s clothes is to pour ¾ cups of white distilled vinegar into a bucket. To that, you add ½ cup of laundry detergent and a gallon of warm water. Stir the solution and when ready, submerge the coal-stained work clothes, rub the solution on the coal stains, and soak for around 30 minutes. Rinse the clothes with warm water and launder them with detergent and oxygen bleach. If after drying them and you see more coal staging, treat it by sponging it with alcohol. Wash them again and leave them to dry. Coal dirt can be stubborn. If you don’t handle it well, it could be more difficult to clean.

How do you clean heavily soiled/heavily stained work clothes?

Heavily soiled work clothes or heavily stained work clothes can be difficult to clean and Denise Jordan, a cleaning expert, shares a very specific and effective way to handle these stains. This would work great for heavily soiled or heavily stained jeans. 


The first thing to do is to treat the stain with a stain remover. This could be a mixture of equal parts of vinegar, degreaser, and water. Scrub that solution with a brush on the stained area and soak it for 2-3 hours. But, if heavily soiled, you can soak them overnight. If you have just a few pieces of clothing, you can use a bucket. 


dirty welders clothes


After soaking, you can throw the work clothes in your washer and do a pre-wash before a soak cycle. After this, you need to do a complete cycle using only vinegar in the detergent bin. Once that cycle is done, you need to wash the clothes with detergent and then put vinegar in the fabric softener cycle. This will make work clothes softer and will also help remove unwanted odor. Once the cycle is done, make sure you put them in the dryer. 


How to get grease stains out of clothes that have been dried

Finding grease stains on work clothes that have been washed and dried can be frustrating. But not to worry, there’s an effective way to deal with that. All you need is a dish detergent and scrub or toothbrush. 


What you need to do is to dampen the grease stain with water then cover it with liquid dish detergent. You could also use bar soap or shampoo. Use the scrub to get the detergent into the stain then rise the detergent with water. Wash the clothes with laundry detergent at the hottest water temperature possible (according to your clothings’ label). Once that cycle is done, allow air-drying. You want to make sure that the stain is removed before putting it in the dryer. If you still have that stain, repeat the process until the stain is completely gone. 


welder at work


If the grease stain is still there, you can proceed to use a WD-40, baking soda, a piece of cardboard, dish detergent, and a scrub. 


Put the piece of cardboard under the stain. Carefully spray a little WD-40 and sprinkle a generous among of baking soda. Rub that baking soda well into the stain with a brush. After that, pour the dish detergent and let it sit for a good 30 minutes. Then, wash as usual and air dry. Repeat the process if the stain is still there. If it’s gone, wash as usual.

Welding Spats and Why You Need Them

welder working

Welding safety starts with having the proper protective gear from top to bottom. Although more attention is given to protecting the welder’s head and body, it’s the legs that are being taken for granted. However, even your lower limbs need protection, without a doubt. So, to protect your legs while welding, you’ll need good quality welding spats that keep spatter and slag out of your shoes. This article will tell you more about welding spats and why you need them in any welding job you do.


What are welding spats and what are they for?


Welding spats are shoe covers that protect your legs from sparks, spatter, and extreme heat associated with the welding process. They’re strapped around your pant legs and boot tops to protect sparks from bouncing in the top of your boots. At the same time, they protect you from sparks that may fall on your feet. Remember, though, even if you’re using spats, it is still a good idea to make sure you have durable shoes under them to offer another layer of protection.


welder at work


Some spats wrap entirely around your boot with special hooks that keep them in place. Others go up to your leg with coverings over the top of your toe. Whichever you choose, just make sure that they fit nicely over the shoes you are wearing to ensure full protection. 


What to look for in welding spats

First things first, choose premium leather welding spats. You’ll want to go for cowhide split leather for this because it is lightweight and allows flexibility. It is also oil-resistant, moisture-proof, and is more durable. Since this protective equipment is used for all sorts of welding applications, including grinding, construction, torch, cutting, metal fabrication, and more, you’ll need spats that provide flexibility and durability with good heat and abrasion resistance. 


Since welding spats are designed to protect, the stitching is equally important. Check that the welding spats are stitched with fire-resistant thread like super-strong Kevlar thread because this provides an extra spark and abrasion resistance. Another essential thing to be particular with is the length. Finally, be sure that the spats give the most coverage for your welding boots. It is also better if your footwear is covered on both sides and from your toe to your leg. 



Welding spats should also feel comfortable when wearing them. The rear of the legging should have adjustable hook-and-loop closures for superior fit. It is also ideal to have straps underneath that ensure that the shoe cover stays in place while maintaining coverage. But, again, it’s the little things that matter when it comes to safety. 


Welding spats are essential for protection during the harshest conditions on the job. Using and wearing welding safety equipment is important because the job is hazardous. At any time, welders are exposed to metal fumes, UV radiation, cuts, shocks, abrasions, and burns. This is why it is important always to wear work gear that complies with set safety standards. You will also need to choose only the highest grade materials for protecting the most important part of the job — You.

What Not to Wear When Welding

welding clothing

Although we have a pretty good idea as to what protective equipment welders should have, the better question to ask is, “What shouldn’t welders wear when welding?” 


As a welder, you need to be choosy about what you wear when you’re working on welding projects. Your safety is your top priority, so making sure your clothes protect you from UV exposure, burns, and other harmful things is quintessential. 


The Worst Material for Welding Clothing

Synthetic materials are the worst type of materials to use for welding clothing. They’re a big issue because they melt under heat and may potentially burn your skin. Synthetic materials like polyester or polyester blend easily and ignite and burn vigorously. Oil, greases, and combustible contaminants are other materials that welding clothing should never get in contact with. In addition, don’t wear rings or other types of jewelry while welding. 


welding clothing

What Welders Should Wear Instead

Welders should go for clothing that is heavyweight, tightly woven or made of 100% cotton or wool to protect themselves from UV radiation, open flames, sparks, and hot metal. It is ideal to wear long-sleeved shirts that have buttoned cuffs and preferable a collar for added neck protection. The shirt pockets should be closed to avoid collecting hot metal or sparks. Covering pockets with flaps will also work. As to the color choice, wear dark-colored clothing to prevent light reflection.


If you’re wearing pants, be sure that the pant legs do not have cuffs because cuffs can collect sparks. Check all the frayed edges, holes, and tears in clothing – assure they’re all repaired. It’s best to wear gauntlet-type cuff leather sleeves or gloves to protect your forearms and wrists. Leather is a great insulator for electricity. Wear leather aprons, too, so your chest and lap are protected when standing or sitting. 


Use high-top boots that are fully laced so you prevent sparks from entering into the boots. Fire-resistant boot spats or protectors strapped around the pant legs and boot tops are highly recommended. 


welding clothing

Protection from Welding Radiation

To protect yourself from welding radiation, wear tightly woven fabrics that are a proper weight for work-related jobs. These keep UV radiation from reaching your skin. Your shirt should also be buttoned up to protect your throat and neck. Cover your head with a fabric cap so your scalp is protected from UV radiation. For the back of your head, use a hood. Protect your face by wearing an opaque welder’s helmet. A welder’s face shield is also good to use for protection against flying particles and radiation. Finally, use a shield that can keep sparks spray away from your clothing. 


In all things welding, make sure that all fabric is resistant to heat, flame, and spark. The fabric should also be free from combustible materials. You don’t want to have any material on you that could get ignited by a spark.

Celebrity Welders: Actors, Musicians and Famous People you Need to Know About

celebrity welders

One of the most interesting things about famous people is that they were once members of society who also had normal jobs. And while what they do now is extraordinary, we would like to believe that they still have hobbies that most of us do as well. Here we give you a list of famous people who shared their love for welding. Celebrity welders who are just as badass as we are. 


Famous people who are also Welders

Celebrity Welder #1 Sean Bean

Welder turned actor Sean Bean, real name Shaun Mark Bean is an English actor who has been in films like “Patriot Games,” “GoldenEye,” “Ronin,” “The Lord of the Rings,” “Silent Hill,” and many more. He is, however, most popularly known as Lord Eddard Stark in the infamous TV series “Game of Thrones.”


Before Sean Bean studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he worked as a welder for his father. In an article written in June 2006, while filming the movie “Outlaw” in Lydney, Gloucestershire, he went off without telling anyone. A search party went to track the actor down and eventually found him in a nearby metal workshop. Welder Chris Holmes said Beam just walked in and asked if he could have a go at welding. Holmes said he wasn’t too bad but burned a few holes in his shirt. 


Photo via Game of Thrones official Facebook Page

Celebrity Welder #2 Nathan Fillion

If you watch comedy or drama movies, then you know who Nathan Fillion is. He is a Canadian-American actor and is best known for his leading role as Captain Malcolm Mal” Reynolds on the movies “Firefly” and “Serenity.” He also played Richard Castle on the TV series “Castle.” Nathan currently plays the role of John Nilan on “The Rookie.”


If you love his movies, you’d also love to know that he is a Hallowen-loving super welder as he shares on an episode of the Conan O’Brien Show. He was describing how it feels to construct something out of metal and weld it together. The “Two Guys and a Girl” actor says he took up welding and says he likes being sort of like a handyman. He goes on to share a bit of the total experience of welding as a hobby wearing a leather apron, a mask and working with molten spatter with a fire extinguisher right beside him. 

Photo via Nathan Fillion Official Facebook Page

Celebrity Welder #3 Billy Connolly

Next on the list is Sir William Connolly, a retired Scottish stand-up comedian, musician, presenter, actor, and artist. He is one of the greatest and most influential standup comedians of all time. As an actor, has appeared in films like “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” The X-Files: I Want to Believe,” “Mrs. Brown” and for which was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, “The Last Samurai” and “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.”


Billy started welding in the early 1960s specifically as a boilermaker in the Glasgow shipyards. He eventually gave it up towards the end of a decade to pursue a career as a folk singer. In a British Comedy Guide YouTube video, he says he loved calling himself a welder and sharing how comforting it was to be part of something bigger than himself especially during those times when he was young and still trying to find his voice. 


Celebrity Welder #4 Aaron Tippin

For those of you who love country music, you definitely know who Aaron Dupree Tippin is. This American country musician and record producer gained fame for his single “You’ve Got to Stand for Something” which became a popular anthem for American soldiers who were fighting in the Gulf War. Tippin has a total of nine studio albums and two compilations. He has six gold certifications and one platinum among those.


Brian Mansfield, a journalist did a review of one of his albums and said that his music comes from a man who had blue-collar jobs. He was a farmhand, a welder, a pilot, and even a truck driver. 


Celebrity Welder #5 Herbert Mayfield

Herbert Mayfield was a bluegrass musician. For those of you who know the Mayfield Brothers band of West Texas, this name wouldn’t be very new to you. He played the mandolin and the guitar alongside his brothers Thomas Edd Mayfield and Arlie V. Smokey Mayfield.  Herbert was a welder for cattle feedlots for most of his adult life. 


Celebrity Welder, Bonus List

Under this list, we give you people in history and other celebrities whose family members were actually welders as well. 


Winnie the Welder, Florence “Woo Woo” DiTullio Joyce

Winnie the Welder is a moniker given to around 2,000 women who worked at the shipyard during the war. Florence was the first Winnie the Welder woman shipbuilder at the Fore River shipyard. She got the nickname “Woo Woo” because of the catcalls she got from male workers then. Every time she’d walk by, guys would go “Woo Woo.”


Florence working as a welder during these times was indeed a groundbreaking time for women in the workplace. In fact, thousands of positions were vacated by men who went to fight during World War II and so thousands of women then took over their jobs. 


Eugenia Powell and Gladys Theus

Eugenia and Gladys were both welders during World War II, a time when racism was a heavy burden. Deas was one of the best welders at the Charleston Navy Shipyard during the height of Jim Crow laws in the South. She did all this while raising her nine children.


Gordon Ramsay’s Father – Gordon Ramsay Sr.

According to The Men’s Journal, Gordon Ramsay’s father, Gordon Ramsay Sr., earned money as a welder and sometimes as a shopkeeper and swimming pool manager as well. Despite having a difficult childhood, Gordon Ramsay now made a name for himself as a famous British chef, restaurateur, writer, and television personality. 

Photo via Gordon Ramsay’s Official Facebook Page

Robin Williams

The late Robin Williams also did try his hand at welding. According to the Independent, his parents supported him in his dream of becoming an actor. But his father also said that he should also have a back-up profession. Robin then went on to take one welding class