Makeweights can become stained through washing with coloured specimens. It does not have a detrimental effect on the makeweight in terms of performance.


However, they can look unsightly, and depending on the specimens being tested there is a risk of cross staining between testing.


For example: makeweights washed with dark specimens such as black or navy may absorb some of this dye. If they are then if put to wash with pale specimens, such as white or cream, some of the dark dye may be transferred onto the pale specimens. This could render the test invalid, if colour change was being assessed.


It is recommended that the user establishes different sets of makeweights to be used in wash tests:

  • A set for dark coloured loads – black , navy, crimson etc.
  • A set for medium coloured loads – red, blue, green etc.
  • A set for light coloured loads – pale pink, white etc.


By always using the correct set for the specimens, whilst the makeweights will still become stained the risk of cross staining between specimens is greatly reduced.


Alternatively it is possible to carry out a Reduction Clear on Polyester Makeweights using Sodium Carbonate and Sodium Dithionate.

This procedure will over time damage the polyester and so repeated treatments will have a detrimental effect.

James Heal does not recommend that this procedure is followed.

James Heal will not advise further on this procedure or be held responsible for any damage caused.


A PDF version of this FAQ is available for reference.