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Laundry Redeposition

Gray’s school changed its spelling curriculum last year, and as a part of this curriculum, students were required to learn the meanings of the prefixes and suffixes associated with the words. Their list of 20 words could be just a couple base words with various beginnings and endings which entirely changes the word’s meaning, and this has caused me to look at words very differently. I remember when I saw the phrase ‘laundry redeposition’, I thought it meant putting laundry back in its place. Based on the information below, wouldn’t you think the same thing?

re – again

deposit – put or set in a specific place

ion – action of

The Meaning Of Redeposition

Actually, laundry redeposition is a rather common problem where the soil removed from dirty clothes during the washing process finds its way back onto other garments within the same load leaving white items with an off-white appearance or leaving color garments dull looking. To understand how this happens, we need to understand how laundry detergent works.

What is Laundry Detergent Made of?

Laundry detergent is made up of a variety of chemicals that are designed not only to lift dirt and stains off of your clothes but also to keep that dirt away from your clothes so that it can be carried out with the rinse water. The chemical that does this is called surface active agents, and they have two sides. One side is attracted to dirt, and the other is attracted to water. While one side is fastening itself to the dirt on your clothes, the other side is pulling toward the water. The movement of the water around the clothes causes the dirt to pull away from the fabric, where it is suspended in the water. When things are running properly, the water flushes the suspended dirt away leaving crisp whites and bright colors.

What Causes Redeposition in Laundry?

Redeposition can occur when not enough detergent has been added to the load, when ineffective detergent is being used, or when too many garments are stuffed into the washing machine causing the soil to not be flushed out fast enough. If your clothes don’t look as crisp as they once did, try this:

  • Wet a small area of the affected fabric with a relatively strong detergent.
  • Rub it between your fingers and rinse.
  • If the fabric lightens or brightens, then the soil has been removed, and you’ve identified the problem.
  • Now it’s simply a matter of figuring out the culprit.

A Cleaner World wants you to always look your best. If you think this might be a problem in your home, experiment with each load until you figure out the solution. Adjusting load size, amount of detergent, changing detergent, or increasing water levels will likely help your situation. If not, feel free to stop by one of our locations to see if our expert staff can offer solutions.

clothes line
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