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Help my son just arrived back from his ordeal and he drop his sash in the dirt and says he needs to buy a new one, that the sash isn't to be cleaned. I know someone is giving him a hard time.
There are no rules against cleaning the sash, if that's what you mean. Some may feel that a worn, dirty, "experienced" sash is a badge of honor, but I think it just looks bad. I have washed mine many times...separately in a mesh bag so it doesn't get all tangled up. You might also try hand washing in Woolite. I haven't had a problem with the red, but mine is over 20 years old. Don't know about the newer ones.
Glad I came here before I started laundry from the weekend Camporee. Nephew was on the call out team, so his sash went camping and came home....less than pristine. I'll take it out of the general laundry and do it w/ woolite, in case the red would like to run.
There are many people who think it is a tradition that the sash should never be cleaned because a dirty sash shows the amount of service one has performed. Of course, most people don't wear their sashes when actually performing service - my Lodge forbids it - it's considered loose clothing and could be a danger to the Scouts when they're doing physical labor on a service project.
Then there are those of us who have experience seeing a newly washed sash take on a pinkish tinge as the dye in the embroidery thread used to create the arrow on the sash (the thread isn't washed after dying and before being applied to the sash)and recommend that thought and care be given before washing the sash - Cold or warm water only please, don't wash with the white clothes - wash with dark clothes - that will help set the dye in the thread for future washes.
Just remember - after this past weekend, the sash will never be pristine white again. And that's ok. At the same time, it doesn't have to be a mud and food splattered mess of a sach either. Hopefully you've found the other thread that Msnowman resurrected. There's a lot of experience and advice given there - and many of us subscribe to the two-sash method - one sash for everyday wear, and one sash for special occassions/public wear where we want to look our best. Unless you son is going to become part of an election team right away, my advice is that you consider washing this sash (make sure he's brushed off as much dirt as possible - unless it was muddy which left a stain, just dropping it in the dirt shouldn't have ground any dirt into the sash to justify being washed anyway) and consider the two sash method once he becomes a Brotherhood Member, which he can do in 10 months (if the lodge has made the opportunity available next March - though it's likely the next opportunity your son can take advantage of is next May).
If your son is going to be very active with the OA you may consider getting him a plastic sleeve to cover his sash. They should sell them at your council office, our does. It will save you having to wash his sash often or buy a new one.
I really hate the plastic sleeves - reminds me of the plastic coverings some people put on their upholstery to prevent stains - turns perfectly good looking and functional furniture into tacky looking furniture people are afraid to sit in for fear of denting the plastic.
After persistent rain at summer camp last year the greenish gray mildew growing on my son's sash was so bad that I sprayed the whole thing, including the red, with bleach water, and then washed it in cold water using regular laundry detergent. The sash came out fine and the red was not affected.
I've been throwing my sash in with the regular laundry for 30 years. The only time there was any problem was when they changed to the cheap version with the embroidered arrow glued onto the sash. Those tended to come out of the laundry in two pieces.
Any alternative to a dirty sash vs. a clean sash, or a plastic sleeve protector is...have 2 sashes. Use one at camp and keep a clean one for the special occasions and troop meetings.
Used to think as you, that the plastic sleeves were "tacky". We have the boys wear the sleeves while doing "dirty" type work (i.e. during the spring and fall conclaves when they are getting summer camp ready or tearing down) but we ask them to take them off for ceremonies. They really do save on not only the washing, but the snags that occur on the red embrodery.
Since he had no desire to keep the sash as a science experiment, or in memory of the summer of more rain than sun, the bleach was the only option other than buying a new sash. Which is just as well since a couple of months later he kept the vigil and the lodge honored him with a new sash.
Help my son just arrived back from his ordeal and he drop his sash in the dirt
Hmm...my son came came from his ordeal today with his new sash dirty, too -- he dropped it in the mud and stepped on it so it's definitely gotta be cleaned! Am I understanding correctly that the best way to go is cold water and Woolite?