How To Clean The American Flag

However often you raise the red, white, and blue, your flag may be getting dirty. Flying a soiled flag hardly conveys the message appropriate to it, so you’ll need to clean it. The U.S. Flag Code says, “The life of your flag depends on your care,” so here are some suggestions for treating it honorably.

Normal Washing
If your outdoor flag is only slightly dirty, you can simply get a wet washcloth and wipe it down. Add some liquid laundry detergent to battle through the dirt or tree sap stuck on it. If the whole thing needs a good wash, then you can put it in your washing machine without damaging it. Be sure to use only cold water, and wash on a gentle setting. It’s not recommended to use a dryer since that may cause damage or wrinkle the material, so it is best to hang dry it. (The U.S. Flag Code recommends dry-cleaning indoor or parade flags.)

For Stained Flags
For tougher spots, you’ll want to create a solution made from equal parts water and a gentle stain-removing product. Apply this to the flag using only a clean cloth, and let it sit for a while until the solution sets in. You might need something a little more heavy-duty. If so, fill a container or tub with an oxygen-based bleach mixed with water and submerge the flag overnight. Then, begin your washing process described above.

Mind the Material
American flags can be made out of several different materials, so be sure to check the tag to understand the needs of the different fabrics. If you don’t pay close attention to this, you could shrink the flag or stretch it out so that it is misshapen and unusable per the U.S. Flag Code.

Vintage, old flags require more care than a normal nylon or polyester one. It is best to take these sorts of valuable flags to professional restorers or conservators for any necessary cleaning or repairs. Flags with additional adornments like gold tassels will also require special care.

Are Your Clean Clothes Irritating Your Skin?

A simple solution for that is to use dye- and perfume-free products. Another way to avoid laundry-related skin allergies is by following a few of these tips:


Wash new clothing
Even if the clothes you buy are new and have never been worn, the chemicals that are used to dye the fabric and put finishes on the yarn before being processed through spinning equipment are known to irritate skin. Plus, you never know who tried on the clothing before you bought it.


Avoid over-soaping
Using too much detergent not only bothers your skin, but it also leaves a residue on your clothing, which means your garments aren’t being properly washed. Always use the correct amount of detergent recommended for your machine.


Don’t overload your washer
In order for the laundry detergent to dissolve correctly so that your clothing gets thoroughly cleaned, avoid putting too many items in your washing machine.


Buy the right detergent
To help lessen skin irritations and keep you from feeling like you need to rinse your laundry more than once, try a hypoallergenic, clean-rinsing detergent. Running your clothes through a second rinse cycle takes more time, wastes water, and increases your water and electric costs.


Clean your equipment
Your washer and dryer encounter a lot of germs and bacteria, and if not properly cleaned and maintained, could begin to grow mold and smell. To keep your appliances in tip-top shape, regularly clean the inside of your washer and dryer.

Living with skin allergies can be difficult, but with these tips, you can find a laundry method that works for you.

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