Dee asked: How do I clean clothes that are covered in stone dust? My son works in a quarry and everyday, he comes home with stone dust on his clothes. The dust is left in my washer and dryer and is transferred to some of my other clothing. I have tried to run an extra cycle, but nothing works.
Stone dust is commonly contaminated with some amount of hazardous silica. As such, clothing covered in stone dust should not leave the job site to avoid exposure to other members of the household. If that’s not an option, take the following steps to help eliminate problems in the wash.
You Will Need:
- HEPA filter vacuum
Steps to Remove the Dust:
- Have the HEPA filter vacuum available to be used outside, or, if no other option is available, in the garage.
- Before entering the house and without removing the clothing, vacuum the clothing thoroughly.
- Store clothing in a garage (away from heating/air vents or intakes) or outside until it’s washed.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Do not blow on or shake the affected clothing in an attempt to remove dust.
- If possible, avoid wearing cotton or knitted clothing on the job. These fabrics retain more dust than other materials.
- Washing clothing in small loads on the large load setting can help to ensure there’s plenty of space and water in the machine for adequate agitation.
- If you are unsure if the item is fully cleaned when it comes out of the washer, line dry it outside to prevent the dust from getting into your dryer as well.