If you work with fiberglass, you must be familiar with the struggle of getting fiberglass all over you. It can be not only a nuisance but also a health hazard. Do you often find fiberglass stuck in your garments? If you’ve been looking for easy and convenient ways to get fiberglass out of clothes, this article is for you.
Typically, you can gently dry brush your clothes to remove most of the fine fiberglass particles. You can then pop them into your washing machine and wash them at a warm temperature, followed by machine drying them. There are also various other ways you can safely remove fiberglass without damaging your clothes.
In this article, we’ll explore some simple and hassle-free ways to get fiberglass out of your clothes. Plus, you’ll discover some tips and tricks for removing fiberglass from your garments.
What Does Fiberglass Look Like On Clothes?
Whenever you work with fiberglass products such as fiberglass sheets, insulation panels, or pipes, you are always at a risk of getting tiny fiberglass shards stuck to your clothes. The fiberglass pieces are usually white, light yellow, or pink, but because they are so small in size, more often than not, they can be difficult to identify.
Moreover, cut fiberglass is airborne, which makes it prone to landing on surfaces nearby. If you happen to work with fiberglass products or are near someone working with them, it can result in the fiberglass pieces latching to your clothes and causing discomfort.
The best way to know if you have fiberglass on your garment is to run your hands over your clothes to check for any prickly or sharp sensations. If you have fiberglass stuck to your clothes, you will often feel weird, prickly sensations all over your body. And if you have skin sensitives, it might even deteriorate your allergies.
Fiberglass tends to make you itchy because it is tiny, almost like dust, and can move through your clothes onto your skin. Coarser shards of fiberglass are not as challenging to deal with compared to fiberglass particles that are extremely fine.
Very fine, airborne fiberglass particles can be a cause of health concern. If you accidentally inhale them, they can get deeply lodged into our lungs, causing severe respiratory issues. Inhalation of fiberglass particles or coming in direct contact with the particles can also lead to skin, eyes, nose, and throat infections.
Does Fiberglass Wash Out Of Clothes?
Yes, fiberglass does wash out of clothes. For more effective results, it is recommended that you wash the fiberglass shards immediately as soon as you sense them on your clothes. It is important to clean the garments and not allow them to come in contact with the other clothes in your laundry and contaminate them with the shards.
Whether you are working on a home renovation project or are constantly exposed to loose fiberglass shards at your workplace, the best idea is to take preventive measures to prevent fiberglass from seeping into your skin through your clothes.
To avoid exposure to fiberglass, it is highly recommended that you wear loose garments to reduce the tautness between the skin and the clothes. This is to ensure that the pieces of fiberglass remain stuck to the clothes and do not pierce them and irritate your skin.
Some fiberglass pieces may come out of their own. But, this rarely happens. And, in case it does happen, it takes time. This is why washing your clothes immediately is considered the best solution. It is best to follow all the proper washing procedures to ensure a hassle-free process.
How to Get Fiberglass Out Of Clothes
If you are exposed to a situation where you got fiberglass stuck on your clothes and it has irritated your skin, we suggest you wash your clothes immediately with water.
If you know that you will be around fiberglass pieces on any given day that will most likely get stuck on your clothes, it is always best to keep extra garments handy. This prevents any risk of skin irritations as you will have the option to change your clothes and keep them separate in case you come in contact with the fiberglass pieces.
There are plenty of ways in which you can remove the shards from your clothes. You can soak the garments in a solution of vinegar and cold water, wash them with warm water and soap, treat them with acetone, or wash them in the machine.
However, before we explore how you can remove fiberglass from your clothes in a washing machine or by soaking it in different solutions overnight, let us look at the essential steps you can take immediately to remove the shards.
Steps To Remove Fiberglass From Clothing
First, if you have to work with fiberglass products, always make sure that you’re wearing suitable clothing. Put on latex gloves and a protective suit that can restrict the entry of fiberglass particles into your clothes and to your skin. Another great tip is to cover yourself with petroleum jelly, especially the exposed parts, as they are at a greater risk of attracting fiberglass.
Before you work on removing the fiberglass from your clothing, you need to first take care of your body. Wash your hair and body carefully with a gentle shampoo and body wash. Then, you can move on to carrying out the following steps to wash off the shards from your clothes:
- Take your clothes off and use a soft brush to dry brush them in an open area where the pieces will not move to other garments and fabrics.
- If you cannot treat the affected garment immediately, keep it in a separate bag until you reach home to wash it.
- Always keep your affected clothes away from other clothes to avoid cross-contamination. It would help if you cleaned the garments separately.
- Fill your tub with warm water and soak the affected garments in it.
- To loosen the fiberglass pieces, wear latex gloves and rub the garments inside the tub.
- Once you feel all the shards have been removed, take your clothes out of the tub and discard the water separately.
How To Get Fiberglass Out of Clothes In A Washing Machine
When you want to remove fiberglass out of your clothes using a washing machine, stick to the following steps for quick and effective results:
- Make sure to deal with the fiberglass-affected clothes separately without adding any other laundry.
- Deposit all the garment pieces inside the machine.
- Fill the machine with enough water and detergent as mentioned in the care label of the garments.
- Wash the garments like you usually would. You can go for a double wash to be completely sure that the shards are off your garments.
- Dry the clothes using the machine’s dryer or air drying, as per your choice.
- To remove any residual fiberglass that may have been left behind in the machine, make sure to run the wash and rinse cycle on the machine.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after dealing with the exposed clothes.
What Is The Best Way To Get Fiberglass Out Of Clothes?
Depending on the severity of your case, how little or how long you were exposed to fiberglass, there are different methods that will work best for your situation.
A simple wash under running water could get the task done if you deal with a small insulation project that leads to fiberglass exposure. If your workplace involves heavy fiberglass usage that exposes you, even more, you would have to resort to more elaborate and extensive ways of dealing with the fiberglass pieces.
Sometimes, a simple rinse and wash cycle in the washing machine is enough to make your clothes clean and safe again. And sometimes, you will have to treat your clothes overnight in a solution of strong chemicals.
So, there is no one best way to get fiberglass out of your clothes. You will have to figure out which works the best in your situation based on how exposed your clothes were to the fiberglass.
What Can Dissolve Fiberglass?
If you were exposed to fiberglass particles for a long duration, chances are, a simple rinse may not be enough to remove all the particles from your clothes. Fiberglass is made out of plastic resin and glass filament. The resin component of the fiberglass holds it into one solid piece, which is why it is often not as easy to remove the fiberglass from your clothes. But, when nothing works, putting the fiberglass-affected clothes into different solutions and chemicals can dissolve the resin, causing the fiberglass to fall apart quickly.
Let us look at some of the best options that make dissolving fiberglass incredibly easy.
Apple Cider Vinegar
A great alternative to using any harmful chemicals that will potentially damage your clothes is apple cider vinegar. It is our top choice for dissolving fiberglass particles. If you feel your skin has been exposed to fiberglass, you can also wash your body with apple cider vinegar for effective results. Take a hot shower, followed by a thorough rinse with apple cider vinegar. If the vinegar smell lingers on, make sure to follow it with cold water before heading out.
Acetone, a chemical that you would generally find in nail polish removers, is often used to clean fiberglass. Acetone would not be as effective in dissolving your fiberglass as it would be to remove any stains or marks that persist on fiberglass products.
Alcohol or ethanol is an effective chemical to treat fiberglass products that have a polyester resin. You have to make sure that you are dealing with pure ethanol that is not mixed with other chemicals as it would decrease the chances of effective fiberglass dissolution.
Fiberglass Resistant Clothing
Whether you work with fiberglass for most hours of their day or have just taken on a home improvement project, if you’re going to be coming in contact with fiberglass, you need to be adequately prepared.
An essential step, which we have covered several times in this article, is to wear the right kind of clothing. Wear long-sleeved, loose t-shirts and full-length loose pants that are durable and can keep your skin protected against the tiny fiberglass particles.
Apart from your body, the shards may also come in contact with your hair and scalp. To avoid this from happening, you can wear a hat that covers your head properly.
Even if you do not have access to fiberglass-resistant clothing, you have to make sure you cover your body as much as possible. The more protected you are, the less exposed your skin will be to the fiberglass shards.
You can also make sure that you keep all the essential accessories handy. A disposable overall to wear on top of your clothes, proper gloves for the hands, safety goggles for your eyes, and a dust mask for your lungs are some of the essential tools without which you should avoid working with fiberglass altogether.
I hope this article helped you better understand how to deal with a situation where you are exposed to fiberglass shards and they get stuck to your garments. Make sure you take preventive measures and clean your clothes as soon as you’re done working with fiberglass to avoid any potential skin irritation or another health hazard.