Flame Resistant clothing is designed to resist ignition and self-extinguish in the case of arc flash or flash fire, but the ability of your PPE to protect you from injury can be compromised if your FR garments get stained by flammable substances.
When dealing with a situation where flammable material has gotten on your FR clothing, it is important to immediately change into clean FR apparel and make sure the soiled clothing is laundered properly. If extensive cleaning cannot remove potentially flammable contaminants, then the soiled garments should be disposed of permanently.
It can be difficult to confirm that flammable substances have been properly washed from your FR clothing. Keep an eye open for discoloration, stains, and odors. Don’t hesitate to take your clothing to an industrial laundry or dry cleaner if you are unsure that home washing has been sufficient.
Proper washing of your FR clothing is essential to keeping dangerous build-ups of soilage or material that may decrease or even completely nullify the protective ability of your garments. Here are some quick tips to make sure you’re treating your PPE properly.
• Always follow the directions on the tag when cleaning your Flame Resistant garments. Different kinds of FR fabric need to be treated in different ways.
• Standard home laundry detergent can be used, provided it does not contain bleach or hydrogen peroxide. Do not use tallow soap.
• Don’t use bleach when washing FR clothing as chlorine bleach destroys the flame resistant finish on many fabrics over time.
• Starch and fabric softeners should also be avoided as they can act as fuel in the event of combustion.
• Stain removal products such as Shout, Spray’n’Wash, and Zout may be used to help clean flammable substances from your garments.
• Pre-soaking garments and washing in hot water will also improve the ability of detergents and stain removal products to remove contaminants.
• Flame resistant apparel should be washed using soft water as hard water contains minerals which can build up on the surface of the fabric.
• Do not over dry your FR clothing.
When laundered properly, the FR properties of your fabric will last long past the average life of the garment itself. Following the washing instructions listed on the tag and being diligent about identifying potentially damaging soilage will help ensure you get the most wear and safety out of your Flame Resistant clothing.
For more FR fabric care, visit our Fabric & Care page. To shop for new clothing options, check out our online store and find everything you need to get the right protective clothing for your workplace. For a complete and handy FR guide, download our app.