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Marie-Antoine Careme (1784 to 1833), a popular French chef abandoned by his parents during the French Revolution, was an early practitioner of haute cuisine.

Careme took a series of kitchen jobs before apprenticing in a famous pastry shop, and is credited with developing the current chef’s uniform. Chefs clothing remains a standard in the food industry.

Chef’s whites, the traditional chef’s uniform, includes a toque (what we’ve come to know as the chef’s hat), white double-breasted jacket, and checkered pants.

The double breasted jacket is comprised of a thick cotton cloth to withstand heat from a stove and oven and can be reversed to hide stains. The thick cotton also protects the wearer from grease and boiling liquids.

Knotted cloth buttons are used because they endure frequent washing and contact with hot items.

Keeping chef’s whites clean and white can be challenging when worn day after day.

Here are 10 tips on preserving the white in your chef whites, courtesy of Reddit.

10) Wash chef whites using Simple Green.

9) Use lots of stain remover along with and OxiClean®. This is especially handy for removing a fish smell.

8) Soak black chef jackets in cola and detergent. There’s phosphoric acid in soda. Use lemon lime soda on whites.

7) Wash chef whites with 1 cup of Borax. Borax can be found in supermarkets in the detergent section.

6) 1 Scoop OxiClean®; 1 cup rock salt; 2 Tbsp phosphoric acid; soak overnight, and then wash as usual.

5) Put all of whites in a giant bucket and fill it with bleach and let it soak for the weekend in dish soap, vinegar, and lemon juice.

4) Wash chef whites with bleach, detergent, and a cupful of Gojo Orange cleaner on hot rinse cycle. Works every time.

3) For ink stains, use hair spray to remove it. Spray with hairspray, rub a little to loosen the ink and rinse immediately. Then wash with bleach.

2) Best fish smell remover is toothpaste. Instead of hand soap next to the prep sink, keep a tube of Colgate.

1) Spray jackets with stain remover. Fill up a bucket of warm water with about half a cup of Napisan OxiAction and a splash of bleach dissolved in it.

Soak jacket in that solution for two or three days, then wash as usual but add another scoop of Napisan to the machine.

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Spence Cooper
Inquisitive foodie with a professional investigative background and strong belief in the organic farm to table movement. Author of Bad Seeds: A FriendsEAT Guide to GMO's. Buy Now!
Spence Cooper

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