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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

Emerald Textiles Chosen As Linen Services Provider For Eisenhower Medical Center

SAN DIEGO, Ca. — Emerald Textiles™, a Southern California commercial healthcare laundry provider, announced its selection as exclusive vendor of linen rentals and services for Eisenhower Medical Center. Emerald Textiles operates a technologically-advanced commercial laundry facility that saves the county of San Diego more than 700,000 therms of natural gas and expects to save 40,000,000 gallons of water annually.

“We are pleased with the quality and cleanliness that Emerald is providing and proud to work with a provider who is focused on sustainability and the environment,” said Dana Francis, director of environmental services for Eisenhower Medical Center. “Since Emerald began managing our linen services, we have happier employees and patients.”

Emerald recently received the SDG&E Savings by Design Award, in recognition for its advanced design and extreme energy efficiency. Savings by Design is an award created by the California Public Utilities Commission and San Diego Gas & Electric