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Welding Clothing Tips: How to Minimize Stains on Welding Clothes While at Work

a welder working

Yes, staying clean while welding is impossible. Welders like you have the job in mind and keeping your clothes clean isn’t something you really think about. Your focus stays on welding and staying safe. But, if you don’t want to have to deal with having to wash away too much stains from your work clothes, here are some welding clothing tips. 


Welding Clothing Tips: Minimize Stains on Welding Clothes


Oil is your number one enemy when it comes to stains. That and of course dirt and dust. Whether you’re working in a workshop or a factory, there’s grease and dust all around and it could be hard to really avoid it. What can you do to minimize the stains on your work clothes?


Do not touch welding clothes as much


It does sound basic but if you make yourself aware and practice it for some time, it becomes a habit. Next thing you know, you find less amount of stains on your work clothes because of this habit. So, the next time you work, be more aware of the many times you touch your welding pants or welding shirt. 


welder working in a workshop

Keep a rag/handkerchief in your pocket all the time


Make sure that you have a rag or handkerchief in your pocket all the time. Never leave your home without it. Or better yet, have a several in your workshop or workplace so you won’t have a problem having one whenever you work.  That way, before you touch any of your work clothes or any item at all, you make it a habit to wipe your hands with that rag. 


Starch your welding clothes 


The starching process of welding clothing has been around for a long time and it’s done by both professional and amateur welders. This is done to prolong the usability of welding clothes by preventing dirt and dust from accumulating on the clothing. It also makes a piece of garment oil resistant. This then prevents too much stains on the work clothes making it easier to wash them. 


Just remember you can only start 100% denim or cotton welding clothing. 


two welders working
Photo via unsplash.com

Get Coveralls, Have Work Clothes that are meant for just working


If you really want to minimize the stains you get on your welding clothing while at work, get coveralls and use that over your welding clothing. They last long and you won’t have to worry as much. Also, apart from your leather welding clothing or welding jackets, only use work clothes that are meant for just working. Meaning if you use them and they get stained, you wouldn’t mind as much. 


As a welder, dealing with stains, dust, and dirt is something you need to live with. It is impossible to be super clean at the end of the day. But if there are ways for you to minimize the stains you need to deal with, then why not? So, the next time you weld, keep these things in mind and save yourself the headache of having to deal with too much stubborn stains on your welding clothing.  

Welding Clothing Starching Process

welder working

The starching process of welding clothing has been around for a long time and is done by amateur and even professional welders. It was a tradition back when Borax was a standard ingredient in most clothes because of it’s fire retardant feature. Let’s get to know more about welding clothing and the starching process, why welders do it and how you can actually do it at home.  


Why do welders starch their clothes?

The easy answer to this question is this – welders starch their clothes as a way to prolong the usability of their welding clothing. Yes, FR clothing lasts for a long time but they can get quite expensive. So, welders get creative on how they can extend the life of the piece of garment they have. Hence, starching their clothes.


Basically, starch prevents dirt from accumulating on fabric. And if ever dirt does accumulate on the welding clothing, it washes off easily. It also helps prevent sparks, slaf, and spatter from penetrating your garments. This means you protect your skin for any burns. It also makes a piece of garment oil resistant. When ironed properly on a piece of garment, liquid starch becomes a natural flame resistor. 

welder at work

What kind of welders clothes can be starched?

Remember that you should only starch 100% denim or cotton. If ever you’ve purchased an FR pants or FR jacket, you may starch them to add an extra layer of protection but this isn’t really necessary. 


Remember that starching welding clothes does not make it equivalent to a flame retardant garment. This will only help in preventing clothing burns. 


Starching Process – How to starch Welding Clothes?

Starching welding clothes is something you can do by yourself at home. You just need the right process and the right materials to do so. A video by pipeline welder Austin Ross gives an excellent step by step process on how to do it via a video on YouTube which you can watch below.


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.