While everyone’s job is slightly different, it’s highly likely you’re going to put your FR clothing through some demanding conditions while working. As a result, you’re going to have to clean your flame-resistant clothing on a fairly regular basis. Let’s break that into smaller sections as we talk about the specific ways you can clean and care for your fire-resistant clothing.
The good news is that for most FR articles of clothing, the cleaning process is fairly simple. You can feel free to clean these garments at home in your ordinary washer and dryer, using your choice of laundry soap. You should hardly have to change anything from your normal washing and drying procedure to clean your FR clothing.
It is important to note, however, that it’s inadvisable to use chlorine bleach with your FR clothing. It’s also a good rule of thumb to avoid using fabric softeners. Finally, for the best results, launder these clothing items separately from the rest of your clothes. If your FR clothes are extremely soiled and need a deeper cleaning than usual, wash them on the hottest setting allowed on the clothing tag.
Most FR clothing includes at least a small percentage of cotton, meaning they are susceptible to shrinkage during the first several cleanings. If you’re concerned about your garments shrinking, you can help prevent this by hanging the items to dry on a drying rack instead of running them through the dryer.
If you have additional concerns about your specific FR clothes, we recommend looking at the tags of your clothing. While every manufacturer is different, you should be able to find more individualized washing instructions there. In general, however, the guidelines listed above should provide plenty of information to get you started.
Yes. You can dry-clean your flame-resistant clothing with no adverse effects. Since you can wash them at home using your normal clothes washer, there is no particular need to have them dry-cleaned. However, if you prefer to take them to the dry cleaner, there is no reason you cannot safely do so.
Most flame-resistant clothing is built to be tough and to withstand a lot of wear and tear. Therefore, a few trips through the washing machine are not likely to damage it. You should feel confident in washing your FR garments as often as they need it. Unless you are using any of the items we discussed above that are not recommended — such as fabric softener or bleach — you can wash your FR clothes as often as you like.
When flame-resistant clothing becomes damaged, you may immediately wonder if there’s a quick and easy fix you can apply so you can get your clothes back on the job again. It’s true that you can repair damaged FR clothing, but it’s a little bit more complicated than getting out your sewing kit and patching a hole.
Correctly repairing FR clothing requires flame-resistant materials. These materials will need to be consistent with the original materials used to create the garment so the entire piece retains its flame-resistant attributes. Repairing FR clothing with non-flame-resistant materials can result in the entire garment being compromised and failing to protect the wearer on the job.
If you aren’t equipped to handle this level of repairs, it’s best to contact the manufacturer directly. They will be able to complete the repairs with the proper material so that garment remains ready and able to protect you while you work.