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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

Ecolab Acquires Dober Chemical’S Textile Care Business

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Ecolab Inc. a leader in cleaning, sanitizing, food safety and infection prevention products and services announced it has purchased the commercial laundry division of Dober Chemical Corporation. The acquisition includes Dober’s laundry chemical and waste water treatment and Ultrax dispensing businesses as well as an exclusive partnership to market and provide key components of its Spindle monitoring software.

“Dober is respected throughout the industry for its innovative monitoring technology, product chemistry and commitment to service – qualities that complement our own strengths at Ecolab,” said Brian Henke, vice president and general manager, Ecolab Textile Care North America. “As we expand our North American commercial laundry business, innovation and service excellence will continue to be our top priority as we partner with our customers to deliver unsurpassed value to run their operations more efficiently, sustainably and cost effectively.”

“Ecolab and Dober share the same customercentric approach to service and innovative technology,” said John Dobrez, president Dober Chemical Corp. “This is an exciting development because it builds on the strengths of both companies to move the industry forward.”

Through this agreement, Spindle Technologies,a division of Dober, is forming a strategic alliance with Ecolab Textile Care in an exclusive licensing agreement for its ChemWatch Software technology and the OPTRAX Utility Module.

“There will be no movement of people as they currently all operate remotely,” said Henke. “The Dober leadership team is very skilled and respected in the industry. We plan to have them as part of the team moving forward. During the transition, both businesses will operate as usual and we do not expect there to be any changes in the service the customers are used to receiving.”