If you have ever the experience of working wiht fiberglass, you must be acquainted to the struggle of getting fiberglass. Not only can it be annoying, it can also be a health hazard. Do you often find fiberglass in your clothes? If you’ve been looking for easy and convenient ways on how to get fiberglass out of clothes, this article is for you.
What is fiberglass?
Fiberglass can be explained as fiber reinforced plastic, with fiberglass being the reinforced plastic. For this reason, fiberglass is called fiberglass-reinforced fabric or fiberglass-reinforced plastic. Fiberglass can be formed into various complex shapes, which is why it is used in various applications.
When fiberglass is cut or disturbed, it becomes airborne, meaning the fiberglass falls on anyone near a fiberglass installation until the particles are washed away or removed.
So, you don’t need to lay down fiberglass to get fiberglass particles on your clothes because as long as you come into contact with fiberglass particles in the air, the particles will end up on your clothes or skin.
Although the tiny fiberglass particles are sharp and can be irritating if they land on clothing or skin. In fact, if your skin is sensitive, continued skin irritation from fiberglass particles can lead to contact dermatitis.
For this reason, any time your clothing contains fiberglass particles, you should immediately remove the fiberglass from the clothing, either with a washing machine or other methods.
How does fiberglass get into clothing?
One of the most common ways to leave fiberglass particles on clothing is to work with materials such as insulation boards and fiberglass sheets. The annoying thing is that the fiberglass particles can be so small that you don’t see them right away.
In general, fiberglass is thin and hard to see, but they are usually pink, white, or light yellow in color. Since it’s so light, brushing it will only transfer it to something else, since it’s airborne. They also have sharp edges, which makes them both easy and difficult to stick to any type of fabric.
One way to tell if your clothes have fiberglass particles is to run your hands over them, looking for a sharp or prickly texture.
You may also notice that your skin is itchy and makes you feel uncomfortable. If this is the case, change your clothes immediately as the areas touched by the fiberglass can erupt and be sore for days.
It’s nice that fiberglass shards can be washed out of clothes. Just be sure to act as soon as possible to make it easier to remove.
Also, don’t mix them with other clothes as fiberglass splinters tend to transfer to other fabrics. When you’re ready, we’ll jump right into how to remove fiberglass from clothing.
How to get fiberglass out of clothing
Removing fiberglass from your work clothes is simply a matter of washing, but you must be careful not to contaminate other clothes or future loads of clothes.
For those who are used to working with fiberglass, be sure to wear appropriate clothing as fiberglass is irritating to the skin. Be sure to wear long-sleeved shirts and gloves on your hands. This minimizes the chance of your skin coming into contact with fiberglass particles.
Always put yourself and your health as your first priority. That said, the first thing you should do is clean yourself to make sure there are no fiberglass splinters, even in your hair.
If you work with fiberglass a lot, you may also want to put Vaseline on your skin to protect yourself from any material. Take an ice shower, making sure to cover all parts of your body.
If you remove fiberglass particles from your clothing, be sure to do so in an open area where they won’t easily fly onto other fabrics. Separate them from other clothing to prevent the spread of fiberglass particles.
You can choose to put them in plastic or separate them from other clothing. Here is a list of a few things you need for this removal process. What are you going to need are warm water, soft brush, basin, and latex gloves
Use a soft, dry brush to gently remove fiberglass pieces from your clothing. Make sure this step is done in an open area.
To verify that clothing is free of fiberglass particles, continue to the next step.
- Pour three cups of warm water into a container and place your clothes in it.
- Let it rest for 15 minutes.
- Wear latex gloves to protect your hands and gently rub your clothing to loosen any bits of fiberglass on your clothes.
- When you’re done, remove your clothes and dispose of the used water immediately. Lastly, wash your clothes as usual.
With a soft bristle brush
Use a soft bristle brush to gently remove fiberglass particles from your clothing. You want to make sure that you carefully remove the particles from the fabric, as you could damage the fabric if you’re not gentle.
If you don’t have a soft-bristled brush, you can use a new or used toothbrush. Also, make sure particles you remove from fabrics don’t get on the floor, or vacuum the floor immediately so particles don’t end up on your clothes when you walk on them.
It doesn’t have to cost you anything to remove fiberglass from your clothing. If you don’t have duct tape in your house, you can use electrical tape instead. These tapes are ideal as they are durable and do not break easily.
You start by wrapping the tape around your hand. Then wrap the tape so that the sticky part of the tape is on the outside of your hand so you can use it to pick up fiberglass particles.
Gently tap the surface of the fabric as you go from one section to the next. The tape picks up most fiberglass particles from clothing. It is important that you gently tap the fabric so that the tape does not leave a mark on the fabric. When you’re done, throw the tape in a trash can.
With a washing machine
If you want something that is generally easier and requires even less effort, you can try removing fiberglass particles from your clothes by putting them in a washing machine. What are you going to need are cold water adn laundry detergent.
The first step in this removal process is to add a proper amount of water and detergent to the machine.
It is recommended to use one tablespoon of detergent for every four cups of water. You can also check the care tag on your clothes to make sure they haven’t been damaged.
When you’re done washing your clothes, now is the time to let them dry in the dryer or in the sun. Also, wash your hands after the machine has removed the fiberglass particles to make sure none are left on your hands.
Hopefully this article has helped you better understand how to deal with a situation where you are exposed to fiberglass splinters and they get caught in your clothing. Be sure to take preventative measures and clean your clothing after you finish working with fiberglass to avoid potential skin irritation or other health risks.