How To Care For Your Flame-Resistant Clothes

Care For Your FR Apparel

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 today.

19 Responses to “How To Care For Your Flame-Resistant Clothes”

  1. Frances June 14, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    Can fabric softener be used on FR clothing?

    • @WPSBusinessTeam June 14, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

      No bleach or fabric softener should be used on FR clothing unless it specifically states it is safe to use. To keep the user protected, we highly recommend to not use fabric softener or bleach on flame-resistant clothing.

      • Jetson August 22, 2014 at 5:49 pm #

        I can already tell that’s gonna be super hepflul.

  2. Chad January 12, 2014 at 11:41 pm #

    How can I get crude oil out of FR coveralls that will not harm the integrity of the coveralls and can they be put in the drier ? Thank you.

    • Brandy Bohm January 15, 2014 at 7:30 pm #

      Your FR garments can be put in the dryer, but it is suggested that you put the dryer on a low setting and putting it on the permanent press setting. As far as the crude oil, that is a bit tough. You can wash them like you normally would, but you must remember that the oil is flammable, so if it doesn’t all come out, you will be chancing the integrity of the garment. It is also suggested to check with the manufacture of the clothing. Hope this helps!

    • Josh June 1, 2014 at 9:11 pm #


      If you’re still interested in cleaning the oil out of those FR coveralls let me know? I’m working with a start-up company that has developed a non toxic product for use in consumer grade washing machines to clean oil / oil-based mud from FR Coveralls, clothing and gloves.

      We are testing with one major driller with great feedback from the roughnecks. The guys on the rig are super happy to get the oily residue out of their clothing. The rig managers are even happier because they’re saving money on gloves since they can now be rewashed and reused.

      • Celeste July 12, 2014 at 12:58 am #


        I’m interested in how to remove oil from FR clothing.



        • Josh July 23, 2014 at 12:56 am #


          Sorry for the late reply, for some reason I did not get the email notification until today. For dealing with how to remove oil from FR clothing feel free to contact Doc Knight at Fog Free Technologies in Charleston SC. Tell them Josh sent you 😉

          Here’s the #: 843.735.6626

  3. Melanie April 18, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

    I know that fabric softeners and dryer sheets are off limits however I was wondering about the downy unstopables and other laundry fresheners. All of the websites I’ve searched claim they are not softeners, simply fresheners. I can’t seem to get my husbands FR work clothes smelling fresh, especially his heavy jeans, but I don’t want to comprise their integrity. Please advise. Thanks!

    • Brandy Bohm April 28, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

      I wouldn’t even use the fresheners. The chance of them compromising the flame-resistant treatment is too great.

  4. Ladyhammer July 6, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

    How about getting stains (such as oil & or mud) that have already been set? Any ideas?

  5. Dustin November 23, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    My wife used tide with downy detergent how do I or can I make sure my clothes are still fr?

    • Brandy Bohm December 16, 2014 at 12:02 am #

      They likelihood that they clothing is still FR is not great. You are not suppose to use detergent with fabric softener. I would recommend purchasing new FR clothing.

  6. leonard March 26, 2015 at 11:30 pm #

    What kinda soap can I buy and where for fr clothing

  7. Susan March 30, 2015 at 8:22 pm #

    My daughter caught her firesuit on a piece of sharp metal & tore a ‘L’ shaped hole in outter layer of her brand new FR Nomex suit. Can I get an adhesive FR patch that could be ironed on? Can you even use an iron on Nomex fabric? If I cannot, what is best way to patch hole with new piece of fabric & Nomex thread so it’s not so noticeable? Could I maybe use a normal adhesive patch sprayed with FR fabric treatment? We had just replaced it after her last one was cut on arm & leg by paramedics. I cannot afford another race suit at this time.

    • Brandy Bohm April 13, 2015 at 8:41 pm #

      Hi there! Thank you for reading. The best way to fix an FR garment is to sew the patch on to the area that needs fixed. Please make sure that the patch is of the same quality FR material as the garment its self. I hope this helps!

  8. Donna May 2, 2015 at 5:29 am #

    How do I get ink out of my FR shirt?

    • Brandy Bohm May 5, 2015 at 11:42 pm #

      Hi and thanks for reading! The best way to find out how to take care of your particular garment would be to contact the manufacturer of the clothing. Unfortunately, most chemicals that are used to remove things such as ink can ruin the integrity of the clothing. I hope this helps and if you have any further questions, please let me know.

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