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Workwear Cleaning and the Science of Sweat

Sweating mechanic workwear cleaning

A workwear cleaning program will ensure your hard-working employees have constant access to clean, professional looking industrial uniforms.

When it comes to workwear cleaning services, most people assume the main purpose is to remove stains and dirt accumulated on their uniforms from the work environment. And to a large extent, that’s true. Workers across all types of industry end up with muck, grime and grease marks as a result of their everyday activities.

However, one type of stain that sometimes gets overlooked is the one caused by your body—sweat. Not only does perspiration leave adiscolouration on uniforms—even though you may not notice it on darker fabric—it causes odour as well. It’s just another reason why it pays to enroll in an effective workwear cleaning program to keep your employees looking (and smelling) good.


Sweat Happens

Everybody sweats, but some perspire more than others. The same can be said of body odour, and there are factors that affect the way you smell, some of which you can control, and others you can’t:

  • Diet
  • Disease
  • Medication
  • Age
  • Fitness level
  • Environmental conditions
  • Gender
  • Genetics


Why Do We Sweat?

Your body contains two types of sweat glands—eccrine and apocrine—which are activated when the hypothalamus detects your body’s internal temperature rising. Sweat from the eccrine glands is comprised mainly of water and salts, and is released through the skin to cool the body down through as it evaporates.

The apocrine glands—which don’t develop in humans until puberty—release proteins and lipids (fats), and this is what causes body odour.

Depending on the industry you work in and the nature of your job, you can become prone to sweating. For example, a chef working in a hot kitchen will likely produce more sweat than a forklift driver in a cool warehouse. Here are some of the main factors that affect how much we perspire:


Air Temperature

If the air temperature is hotter than body temperature (37C), your body’s internal temperature will rise.


Solar or Radiant Energy

Radiant energy from the sun that comes in contact with the skin adds energy to the body in the form of heat. Furnaces and fireplaces also produce a similar type of heat.



Sweat cools the body down as it evaporates. If there is already a high moisture content in the air, the evaporation process slows and makes heat loss from the body less efficient.


Air Movement

Moving air will increase the evaporation of sweat from your skin, thus improving heat loss.



Coveralls and other industrial uniforms worn in warm environments—for many, this is a safety requirement to protect them from workplace hazards—will prevent proper evaporation of sweat.



This is a natural process where your body will gradually become accustomed to increase heat exposure.

Clean industrial uniforms are important, but so are well-kept uniforms. For more information, read JET Uniform Mending Is a Good Fit for Your Company.


Do you want your employees to have a clean, professional look? JET Uniform & Supply’s workwear cleaning program provides a constant supply of fresh industrial uniforms, with the convenience of a pickup/dropoff service.