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What causes redeposition in laundry?


A very common and irritating problem in laundry is the redeposition of soil onto fabrics or garments, giving white fabrics an off-white appearance or dulling colored fabrics. This problem occurs when the soil is not flushed fast enough.

Redeposition can be caused by several factors. The three most common causes are insufficient detergent, ineffective detergent, and overloading of the washer. To check for redeposition, simply wet a small area of the affected fabric with a relatively strong detergent solution, rub between your fingers, and rinse. If the off-color appearance is caused by redeposition soil, the area will appear lighter because the soil has been removed.

Another cause of redeposition is incomplete rinsing, usually the result of deleted rinses from the wash formula or low-rinse bath levels.

To test your drycleaning system’s efficiency, DLI offers specialized Cleaning Performance Evaluation test swatches. A separate swatch is available for commercial laundry systems. Call 800-638-2627 for more information and to order. DLI Silver, Gold, and Premier memberships include free access to this service.

Learn more about redeposition and cleaning evaluations in DLI’s Encyclopedia of Drycleaning App or online in the Members Only Section of

  • DLI’s Technical Operating Information (TOI) 710: CPT Results: The Best Indicator of Your Dry Cleaning System's Efficiency
  • Shirt Laundry Procedures 132 "How White are Your Shirts"
  • Technical Operating Information (TOI) 667 "Greying of Fabrics in Drycleaning"
  • TOI 744 "Importance of Adequate Solvent Levels in the Drycleaning Machine" 

Encyclopedia access is free for DLI Silver, Gold, and Premier memberships.

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 4/30/2019 12:18:22 PM

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