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Home » Fountas & Pinnell » LLI bookbags

Discussions about any of Fountas & Pinnell's works, including LLI, BAS, the Continuum, When Readers Struggle, Literacy Beginnings, leveled books, training events, professional development for educators, and more
9/9/2011 5:25:39 AM

User 459453
User 459453
Posts: 6
Does anyone have any suggestions for washing the LLI bookbags.? Our entire school has been using LLI bookbags for take home reading everynight. Our plan is for the bookbags to last for as long as the student is at our school. So far they are holding up but some really do need washing. Has anyone tried them in the machine or by hand ? What worked best for you? The yellow ones are the worst. Thanks.
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9/14/2011 12:09:05 PM

The Fountas & Pinnell Team
The Fountas & Pinnell Team
Posts: 292
What an interesting question! We talked to our inventory folks, and got a sample yellow bag to experiment with -- we'll let you know what we find out. In the meantime, here are our preliminary guesses:
  • The fabric is nylon canvas, and it should hold up to most ordinary washing chemicals and action. The vulnerable parts will be the magnetic closure and the clear vinyl pouch.
  • Heat will probably shrink or distort the vinyl, so we do not recommend putting these in a dryer or washing in hot water. Wash in lukewarm to cold, and hang to dry.
  • Chlorine bleach weakens most synthetic fabrics (as well as fading colors). We would be concerned about the closure attachment weakening, so we do not recommend using chlorine bleach. Chlorine bleach is also somewhat likely to react badly with the silkscreen paint, turning the logos sticky (yuck). But chlorine bleach alternatives should be OK, such as hydrogen peroxide or sodium percarbonate (the active ingredient in OxiClean) products, and might be helpful, especially on the yellow ones. We can't guarantee this, though.
  • While nylon is generally colorfast, those bright colors are less likely to dull if you wash only one color at a time together. If your students are washing their own bags, recommend that they wash either with like colors or solo (by hand).
  • The magnets will probably attach themselves to the sides of a washing machine or to each other if you wash them in batches. In a machine, the magnet might tear out of the fabric if it gets stuck to the side and then agitated strongly, so we recommend, if you try a machine, that you use a gentle cycle. (That's what we're going to try.)
  • If washing by hand, stubborn grime will probably respond to a firm hand with a stiff brush -- we think the fabric is strong enough to handle it -- though if you're doing a class batch, that sounds like a lot of work!

Just out of curiosity, we'd love to hear any more details you could share about how many bags you're in need of cleaning, whether you're thinking of doing it yourself or having the students do their own, and so forth.

--
The Fountas & Pinnell Team

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9/17/2011 8:15:39 AM

User 459453
User 459453
Posts: 6
Hi, thanks for the info on washing. One of our teachers tried washing the yellow bags, about 5 of them, in the machine on gentle. Then she hung them to dry. She says that they came out just fine, except for a few that she tried to spot treat which added another kind of spot to the bag. So I told teachers to wash on gentle, wash each color separately, and hang dry. I think a scrub brush might be a good idea before throwing them in the machine for the really bad ones.
Interesting...when I was handing out new bags for new students to the building and for students with missing bags, none of the teachers wanted the yellow bags. It seems that the red and purple don't show the dirt as much. Maybe you should add a new darker color.
Also, several teachers are sending the bags home with a note asking the parents to wash the bag. Maybe you should also attach a tag with washing instructions. Just a thought. We DO like the bags...they are really sturdy and we just put in an order for 15 more sets of bags!!!!!!
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9/27/2011 2:01:38 PM

Emily F. (Moderator)
Emily F. (Moderator)
Administrator
Posts: 61
Hi there -- I'm going to move this thread from "Start Your Own Discussion Thread" to "Fountas and Pinnell" so that others interested in the subject will be more likely to see it. Thank you for posting it!
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