Caring For Flame-Resistant Clothing So It Lasts

If you have a job that requires you to wear flame-resistant clothing to reduce the chance of injury, you will want to take special care of this apparel so it will last. Improper maintenance of your clothing can cause it to lose its flame-resistant properties, putting you at risk. Here are some guidelines to follow when caring for flame-resistant clothing.

Water Density

The quality of the water you use to launder your clothing has an impact on the flame-resistant properties of the material. If you have hard water, laundry detergent is not washed out of the material as easily. This can put your clothing at risk for prolonged exposure to the ingredients of the detergent, which can wear away the resistance as a result. Have your water tested to determine if it is hard or soft. If it is hard, consider using a water softener within your home to help keep the flame resistance on your clothing intact.

Heat Factor

When laundering your flame-resistant clothing, use a cool temperature setting. Heat will alter the flame-resistant properties of your clothing, leaving it without protection. Do not bring flame-resistant clothing to a dry cleaner as their process involves heated temperatures. When drying, hang your clothing on a rack or clothesline if possible. If you must use a dryer, put the setting on air fluff only so air is transmitted over the clothing without the use of an increase in temperature.

Chemical Usage

If you use chemicals to clean your flame-resistant clothing, the molecular composition of the material becomes changed,making the resistance wear away rather quickly. Look for a mild laundry detergent without additives of any kind when washing your clothing. Avoid bleach as it will deteriorate the polymer used to construct flame resistance. Oxygen-based detergents should be avoided as they will also alter the properties of flame resistance in clothing after several washing sessions. Instead of breaking down flame-resistant properties on your clothing, fabric softeners will add a layer of chemicals on top of the fire resistance layer, making them a danger to use on these pieces of apparel.

Wear And Tear

If you happen to have an incident occur where a flammable solution such as grease, solvent, or oil, gets on your clothing, the flame-resistant properties will become diminished where these spills occur. If you happen to get a hole in a piece of clothing, the thread you use to mend it will most likely not be flame resistant itself. In these instances, it is best to replace the clothing altogether rather than wear it if you are concerned about the possibility of flame. 

To learn more, contact a company like Oil & Gas Safety Supply.