There are many jobs in which it is essential to have high-quality fire-resistant clothing. It's more than just a convenience – it's a safety measure and should be non-negotiable. But what good is fire-resistant apparel if it doesn't work? If you don't take proper care of your fire-resistant clothing, its degradation rate will skyrocket—not to mention the amount of danger posed to you in the workplace. The following steps will keep your clothing in top shape and ensure it lasts as long as possible.
Remove Stains Immediately
The wear and tear of a hard workday will inevitably put stains on your fire-resistant apparel and anything else you wear to the worksite. Fire-resistant clothes are fundamentally different from your normal clothes. Take careful note of the washing guidelines on the clothing's tags. Stains can be extra tricky. A stain introduces another material to the fire-resistant clothes, which can operate as a potential hazard. If you have a stain from a non-flammable substance, you can use home methods to try and remove it. Hot water and dish or laundry detergent will be your best option. Do not use bleach to remove stains. Do not use a detergent that contains bleach or animal fats. Be especially careful about removing flammable stains since that may render your fire-resistant clothing unusable.
Patching Holes Yourself Isn't Recommended
Fire-resistant apparel will be slightly different depending on the method of fire resistance, the construction of the clothes, and the manufacturer. You should consult the manufacturer on their policy for patching fire clothes – but generally, you're not going to want to do it yourself with a normal fabric patch. Most companies have you ship the fire clothes to them for professional repair. Some sell repair kits that can be used specifically for their product. Sometimes, if the clothes are significantly worn, it's best to throw them away and get new fire-resistant clothing entirely.
Wash Flame Resistant Clothing Separately
It might be tempting to save some time and water and just throw your fire-resistant clothes into the washer with your normal clothes. Do not do this. You must wash your fire clothes separately from your normal clothes or their fire-resistant properties may weaken. Follow manufacturer instructions for specific instructions on machine washing settings, detergent types, and so on.
Wash with Laundry Detergent, Not Soap
Laundry detergent is the best product to wash your fire-resistant clothing, and you likely already have it at home. The problem is when people use soap on their fire-resistant apparel. Why? Soap, in many cases, contains animal fats, which can compromise your fire clothes' ability to resist extreme heat. Bleach-free detergent, on the other hand, poses no such risk.
Turning your fire-resistant clothing inside out during washing will ensure that you minimize friction between the fire clothes and the metal and plastic inside, thus preserving them. There can be exceptions if you're trying to remove a stain on the outside, but you should normally wash the clothes inside out.
Wash on Warm or Cool, not Hot
If you put your washing machine on the highest, hottest temperature, there is a higher likelihood your clothes will shrink. Warm or cool water are much better alternatives. Consult the manufacturer's washing instructions to determine which temperature will be ideal for your fire-resistant apparel. Also, make sure not to leave your fire clothes soaking in the detergent-laden water for longer than necessary since this can remove fire-resistant chemicals from some materials.
Avoid Bleach, Fabric Softeners, and Dryer Sheets
The key here is to avoid any substances that will either strip your fire-resistant clothes of their properties and avoid substances that will coat the fire-resistant fibers and either dampen their effect or be flammable themselves. For example, bleach will remove fire-resistant chemicals from your clothing. Always check your detergents to ensure they don't contain bleach, chlorine bleach, or liquid non-chlorine bleach. Fabric softeners and dryer sheets, on the other hand, will coat the fibers of your fire clothes on a microscopic level and often can be flammable. Avoid them at all costs. When it comes to fire-resistant clothing, you don't need fancy or superfluous chemicals to keep them clean and functioning. What you do need to do is follow these guidelines and your manufacturer's instructions to the letter.
When to Replace Fire Resistant Clothing
Even the best fire-resistant apparel – clothing that is inspected, maintained, washed, dried, and worn to perfection – will fail. Even when washing fire-resistant clothes properly, the water and the detergent will slowly wear down the fibers and chemicals that make the clothing effective. After one or two patches, signs of thinning, stretching, or the appearance of more holes, you can bet that it's probably time to get new fire-resistant clothes entirely. Stay vigilant. Check your fire-resistant clothes every single day after work so that you can be sure that they're still usable.
When the day comes that you need to replace your fire-resistant apparel, you must be sure that you're getting high-quality equipment. You need clothes that will last as long as possible while still being strong, dependable, and resilient. Our fire-resistant clothing here at Master Brands is exactly that. Our mission is to provide you with fire-resistant clothing that will help protect you from fire danger in the workplace. Our care and maintenance guidelines and our customer service are second to none. Master Brands is here with the fire-resistant clothing you need! Contact us today to start your order!