If you have been associated with any kind of manufacturing industry, you may be familiar with the concept of anti static workwear. Taking appropriate measures to prevent the buildup and unceremonious discharge of static electricity in work settings is extremely important in certain industries and workplaces.
This is especially true for workplaces that deal with a lot of sensitive electronics whose calibration can be easily disturbed due to unwanted static charge which is bound to build up without preventive measures.
Additionally, settings that harbour flammable materials, like paints and solvents, also strive to combat static electricity.
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In this article, we will learn more about anti static workwear, particular anti static coats and how you can go about washing/cleaning them.
What is Anti Static Workwear?
Anti static workwear refers to apparel that is specifically designed to be worn for safety purposes in the work environment. These clothing items are made with special materials that resist the accumulation of static charge or dissipate it easily.
You can have many different types of articles that constitute anti static workwear, such as anti static overalls, anti static gloves, and anti static shoes. You can also use anti static coats.
What are Anti Static Coats- What Purpose Do They Serve?
Anti static coats look pretty similar to regular work coats or lab coats. The coat can go over any clothing that you are already wearing. Once the coat covers your regular clothing, it will dissipate existing static and prevent further build up.
Anti static coats can also be referred to as ESD jackets, smocks, gowns, or pullovers. Regardless, they all serve the same purpose- cover your regular clothing and protect your environment from static discharge.
Where Can Anti Static Coats Be Used?
There are many industries and professions that require anti static workwear for the safety of the equipment as well as the worker.
You may see anti static coats being used by engineers, assembly workers, component handlers, electricians, warehouse workers, painters, and material handlers among others. You may be required to use an anti static coat if your workplace uses an ESD free zone.
What Kind of Anti Static Coats are Available?
You will find that most anti static coats are made with a combination of polyester and carbon. Sometimes, there may be additional nylon or cotton to make the material more heavyweight. The conductive material is what facilitates the dissipation of any accumulating static charge.
Depending on what you are comfortable with, you can choose between lightweight, medium-weight, and heavyweight anti static coats. They also come in different styles, including traditional lab coats, collared, non-collared, cuffed, or even as vests.
How Do You Wash Anti Static Coats?
With persistent use, your anti static garments are bound to get a little bit dirty and in need of a cleaning. But you have to be very careful when washing your anti static coats. Here is some guidance on how to go about it:
Can I Machine Wash My Anti Static Coat?
Yes. it is recommended that you machine wash your anti static coat with warm or cool water.
What Kind of Detergent Can I Use to Wash My Anti Static Coat?
Most detergents contain anionic, alkaline surfactants which can remove the positive charges on anti static coats. As a result, your workwear may become more likely to harbour negative charges.
So either avoid using detergents to wash your anti static garments, or use non-ionic, neutral detergents and fabric softeners. These are often liquid detergents which are best to use on wool and silk materials. These typically do not contain alkalis and have a neutral pH which protects the positive charges on your anti static fabric.
Can I Bleach My Anti Static Coat?
Absolutely not! You should never try to bleach your anti static coat as it will render it useless. Chlorine bleach typically attacks and breaks down the bonds in the carbon fibres which make the fabric dissipative. Non-chlorine bleaches- while not as aggressive- will also end up damaging your coat in the long run with multiple washes.
Therefore, it is best to avoid using bleach for washing anti static coats altogether. This includes branded bleaches, hydrogen peroxide, sodium percarbonate, sodium perborate, etc.
How Should I Dry My Anti Static Coat?
When it comes to drying your anti static coat after washing it, it is recommended that you allow it to hang dry. If that is not possible, you can tumble dry it in a dryer on low heat (less than 60 degrees Celsius). Drying at higher temperatures can irreparably damage your anti static coat as the carbon fibres can melt at over 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Follow these general rules and you should be good to go. Remember, the specifics can vary based on the manufacturer of your garment. Hence, make sure to go through the instructions provided to you by the manufacturer of the garment in addition to these general principles.