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Can I use a dye fixative such as soda ash, or other dye fixatives used in craft dyeing, to reduce towel fading?

By itself, soda ash will not prevent fading in towels. Fading in textiles can generally be attributed to one of two things. First, the quality of the dyeing process the textiles went through can have a dramatic impact on whether or not, and how much, towels will fade. Second, the washing procedures can greatly affect fading as well. Better quality textiles are dyed in pressure vats, where the dye is forced through the yarn. The other commonly used method is that of open atmospheric vats, where the dye is applied through wicking. This method does not yield the quality of pressure dyeing.

Washing procedures for colored textiles include a list of things not to do. Do not wash in hot water above the manufacturer's recommendations. Do not use free caustic as the alkali in the wash bath - use only a buffered product or no alkali at all. Finally, do not use chlorine bleach on colored textiles. Oxygen bleaches such as sodium perborate or sodium percarbonate are acceptable if staining is a problem. There are many good chemicals that clean without damaging fabric or fading colors to textiles. Investigate a non-alkaline detergent that performs this type of cleaning. Review with your chemical supplier the textile manufacturer's recommendations. Also determine the quality of the towels you are using and consider a change to a higher-grade towel.

Quick Rinse - News From Around The World

Inmate Crushed By Laundry Equipment

GOOCHLAND, Va. — An inmate at the Virginia Correctional Center died when a shuttle that carried hundreds of pounds of wet laundry from washers to dryers fell upon her. The inmates were conducting repairs on the equipment when it fell and she was trapped underneath. The inmate died from her injuries at the VCU Medical Center