Flame resistant clothes protect you. But how do you protect your flame resistant clothes? By caring for them properly. The garment’s flame resistant properties will last much longer if properly laundered and washed.
ASTM F1449-01 gives recommended procedures for laundering flame resistant cotton clothing. It’s important to realize that some laundering procedures can damage for FR clothes. Hard water and high temperatures that are used in industrial laundering and drying can cause minerals to build up on cotton FR fabrics and make them flammable. The harder the water, the more minerals are built up, the more flammable your flame resistant clothes become. But this can be prevented. Using soft water or an adequate sour can keep minerals from building up, and thus, keep your flame resistant clothes flame resistant.
If you do use hard water or don’t follow the ASTM F1449-01 guidelines, you should test the flammability of your FR clothing after 100 launderings using the vertical flame method in ASTM D6413.
To keep your FR clothes in tip-top shape, fabric temperature should not exceed 280 degrees Fahrenheit during the drying process. And since fabrics can shrink up to 5 percent while drying, clothing should be fitted with this in mind. You don’t want to have to get rid of an FR garment because it’s all the sudden too small.
There are many different kinds of detergents that are OK to use with flame resistant clothes. Except for ones containing chlorine or peroxide bleach and enzymes, all detergents sold for home use can be used. Provided that the fabrics are adequately rinsed, these will not harm your FR clothes.
Dry cleaning can be utilized for cleaning your flame resistant clothes, but you need to pay attention to the specific care instructions on each garment, because not all FR clothes can be dry cleaned. For those that can be dry cleaned, it must be done in a manner that removes all dry cleaning solvent from the fabric.
If a flame resistant garment becomes contaminated with flammable materials, remove it and launder it. If it has lost its integrity, do the same thing you’d do with a human being with no integrity — get rid of it. Minor tears can be repaired with patches made out of flame resistant fabric, and NOMEX thread is recommended. But you’re better off just replacing the garment entirely.
Taking these steps to properly take care of your flame resistant clothing will ensure that it will be able to properly take care of you. Wearing FR gear is very important and can be life saving. Make sure you are properly protected with FR clothing and accessories that have been properly maintained. Get all your favorite FR workwear from brands like Carhartt, Bulwark, OccuNomix, DragonWear and more by visiting WorkingPerson.com today.