You have to be careful when working with fiberglass since it is airborne. Indeed, if you have just completed a DIY project where you used fiberglass, there is a high chance that your clothes are full of fiberglass.
Moreover, even if you are not working with fiberglass but happen to pass close to an area where fiberglass installations are ongoing, your clothes will most likely be covered with fiberglass particles.
To get fiberglass out of clothes in the washing machine, you need to first brush fiberglass particles from the clothing with a soft brush. After that, load the clothes in the washing machine and wash the clothes with a warm water setting. Finally, dry the clothes in a dryer, and your clothes should be safe to wear.
You can also use a garment vacuum cleaner to vacuum fiberglass particles out of the clothes before loading the clothes into a washing machine.
This article delves into simple methods that you can use to remove fiberglass from your clothes. The article also discusses some preventative measures that can be taken to make sure that you protect your clothing from fiberglass.
What is Fiberglass?
Fiberglass can be explained as fiber-reinforced plastic, with the glass fiber being the reinforced plastic. For that reason, fiberglass is described as either glass reinforced fabric or glass fiber reinforced plastic. Fiberglass can be molded into different intricate shapes hence the reason it is used in various applications.
When fiberglass is either cut or disturbed, it becomes airborne, implying that anyone near a fiberglass installation will have fiberglass landing on him until particles are washed off or scrubbed off.
Thus, you do not need to install fiberglass so that your clothes have fiberglass particles since as long as you come into contact with the airborne fiberglass particles, the particles will land in your clothes or skin.
Even though tiny, fiberglass particles are sharp and can be irritating if they land on your clothes or skin. Indeed, if your skin is susceptible, the persistent irritation of the skin by the fiberglass particles could end up making you contact skin dermatitis.
For that reason, whenever your clothes have fiberglass particles on them, you should immediately get the fiberglass out of the clothes either using a washing machine or other methods.
Removing Fiberglass Out Of Clothes Using A Washing Machine
Unknown to many, you can remove fiberglass particles from your clothes in a washing machine as fiberglass can be washed out of clothes. Many people assume that the tiny size of fiberglass particles makes it impossible to remove fiberglass from the clothes with a washing machine. However, that is never the case.
When you wash clothes with fiberglass in the washing machine, the high temperatures and agitation in the washing machine can remove the fiberglass particles from your clothes during the wash.
Here is a detailed process that you should use to ensure that you effectively remove fiberglass from your clothes in a washing machine.
What you will require
Clothes with the fiberglass particles
Soft bristle brush or a garment vacuum cleaner
Step 1: Use a soft bristle brush or garment vacuum cleaner to remove some of the fiberglass particles in your clothes
Place the clothes with fiberglass particles on a flat surface. You will then gently use the soft bristle brush to remove some of the fiberglass particles on your clothes gently. Alternatively, if you have a garment vacuum cleaner, you can use it to vacuum some of the fiberglass particles from your clothes.
If you use a brush to remove some of the particles from your clothes, immediately vacuum the area where the particles were deposited. If you don’t, the fiberglass particles you just brushed off from your clothes could end up in the clothes that you are wearing.
If you don’t have a brush available, you can use a spare toothbrush. It will serve the purpose.
Step 2: Load the clothes into the washing machine
Load the clothes with fiberglass particles in the washing machine. Take note that darks cannot be washed together with light-colored clothes since if the dark-colored clothes bleed, your light-colored clothes will be damaged.
If you have both light and dark-colored garments with fiberglass particles, you will need two washes – one for the whites and another for the darks.
Don’t put clothes that do not have fiberglass particles on the washing machine since if you do, the fiberglass particles could be transferred to your clothes.
Step 3: Put Detergent As You Would In A Normal Wash
Put the detergent on the detergent compartment as you do in a regular wash. Even if the clothes with the fiberglass particles are clean, ensure that you put detergent in the compartment.
The washing detergent has surfactants that comprise molecules that enhance the mixing of water and other substances. The surfactants will allow water to penetrate the fiberglass particles and lift the particles from the clothes, with the ensuing rinse ‘sweeping’ the fiberglass particles away from the clothes.
Make sure that you put enough detergent in the detergent compartment since, as I already pointed out, the detergent will be vital in ensuring that the particles ‘leave’ your fabric.
Step 4: Set washing machine according to the guidelines given in the garment’s care label
If the clothes you want to remove fiberglass particles are made of cotton fabric, set the machine wash cycle to cotton wash. If you are unsure about the fabric, you can use a gentle cycle.
Step 5: Turn on the washing machine and let the wash cycle complete
Turn on the washing machine and wait for the wash cycle to complete.
Step 6: Load your clothes into the dryer
Dry the clothes in the dryer using a gentle drying cycle. If you don’t want to dry your clothes in a dryer, you can airdry your clothes on a clothesline.
Step 7: Run wash and rinse cycles on an empty washing machine
You need to run a wash and rinse cycle with your washing machine empty. This process is critical since it ensures that any fiberglass residue that might have been left on the washing machine is washed off. Moreover, the cycles will also ensure that subsequent laundry will not risk having the fiberglass particles on them.
Do not ignore the last step since if you miss the step, the clothes washed in the next round could end up picking up all the fiberglass particles implying that you will have another challenge that is similar to the challenge that you had solved in the past by washing clothes in our washer.
3 More Ways To Get Fiberglass Out Of Clothes
In the last section, I have detailed how you can use a washing machine to get fiberglass out of your clothes. However, if your clothing does not have a lot of fiberglass particles on it, there are other methods that you can use to get fiberglass from your fabrics.
To get fiberglass out of clothes, you can use a washing machine, lint roller, heavy-duty masking tape, soft bristle brush, and apple cider vinegar. Alternatively, you can wear a disposable coverall and dispose of it once you complete working with the fiberglass.
Using Lint Roller
A lint roller is meant for picking up lint, hair, dust, and other light dirt. Thus, the sticky part of the lint roller can pick fiberglass particles from your fabric. You have to roll the lint roller on your fabric’s surface a few times, and nearly all the fiberglass particles on your clothes will be picked up.
Using Duct Tape
It doesn’t have to cost you anything to remove fiberglass from your clothes. If you don’t have duct tape in your house, you can use electrical tape. These tapes are ideal since they are durable and will not rip easily.
You will start by wrapping the duct tape around your hand. Next, wrap the duct tape so that the sticky part of the tape will be on the outside of your hand so that you can use it to pick up fiberglass particles.
Gently tap on the surface of your fabric as you progress from one section to another. The tape will pick up most of the fiberglass particles on your clothes. It is important that you gently tap the fabric so that the tape does not leave any marks on the fabric. Once completed, throw the tape in a dust bin.
Using Soft Bristle Brush
Use a soft bristle brush to brush fiberglass particles from your clothing gently. You must make sure that you gently brush the particles from the fabric since if you are not gentle, you could damage the fabric.
If you don’t have a soft bristle brush, you can use a new or used toothbrush. In addition, ensure that the particles you brush off from the fabrics do not fall on the floor or if they do, vacuum the floor immediately so that the particles don’t land on your clothes as you walk on top of them.
How To Remove Fiberglass From Dryer
If you have fiberglass particles on your dryer after you have dried clothes that had fiberglass particles, here is what you can do to remove the fiberglass from the dryer.
Soak an old cloth in warm water and load it to the dryer. Set the dryer to a gentle drying cycle and wait till the cycle is over. Take the old piece of cloth and throw it away.
You should then run the dry on a complete drying cycle when it’s empty. The cycle will ensure that any fiberglass on the dryer is removed and deposited in the tank. Ensure that you have safely disposed of any water in the dryer’s tank once the empty drying cycle is over.
You can also throw a few wool dryer balls in the dryer and run the dryer for a few minutes. Any fiberglass particles that happen to be on the dryer will cling to the dryer balls. Take out the dryer balls and dispose of them.
Does Vinegar Dissolve Fiberglass?
To remove stains on clothes, solvents are used. The solvents comprise any fluids that are capable of dissolving other chemicals. In most cases, stain removers contain alcohol that acts as a solvent.
Thus, to remove a stain, you have to use a solvent similar to the stain so that the solvent can dissolve the stain. If you were to use a solvent that is not similar to the stain, the solvent would not be able to remove the stain effectively.
Vinegar dissolves fiberglass and can be used to get fiberglass out of your clothes and skin. However, you should use a mixture of vinegar and washing soap for the best result. Vinegar does not have surfactants meaning that even if it can get the fiberglass off your skin or clothes, it cannot lift the particles on its own.
However, mixing vinegar with soap will effectively remove fiberglass particles from your clothes and skin as vinegar has acetic acid while the soap has surfactants. Therefore, the mixture will lift fiberglass particles from your skin or clothes and ensure that the particles do not reattach to the surface again.
As much as we might want to avoid having fiberglass on our skin and clothes, there are times when we find these annoying particles on our skin and clothes as they are airborne. If you have fiberglass particles on your clothes, you can use most of the methods I have outlined to get the fiberglass out of your clothes.