Best Practices for Turnout Gear Cleaning

by | May 10, 2022

turnout gear cleaning best practices

Our partner, Emergency Decon Services, outlines the best practices for cleaning turnout gear at your fire station. RedLine Gear Cleaning specializes in on-site Advanced Cleaning, Inspection, and Repair of turnout gear.

1. Inspect and Disassemble Bunker Gear

      • Always wear protective gloves, eye protection and a mask during this process
      • Separate the outer shells from the inner liner system of your turnout gear. Do NOT wash them together
      • Turn the liner inside out for cleaning
      • Close all of the outer shells’ zippers, clasps, and hook & loop tapes
      • Inspect turnout gear for deep stains, tears, holes, and other damage. Any physical damage to your turnout gear needs to be repaired before the gear is able to be returned to service, document your findings

2. Pretreat and Laundering

      • Pretreat heavily soiled bunker gear or spotted areas prior to machine laundering
      • Shells and liners are washed separately in a front load extractor; do NOT use an agitator
      • Wash water temperature should not exceed 105 degrees fahrenheit and the detergent must have a pH factor between 6 and 10.5.
      • The washing machine g-force must not exceed 100g for all gear
      • Do NOT overload the machine with turnout gear

3. Reinspect and Clean Again

      • Once the turnout gear has been washed, reinspect for any damage
      • If the gear is not visually clean, repeat Step 2.

4. Drying Turnout Gear

      • Dry the gear in an area with good ventilation or in a drying cabinet. NEVER dry in direct sunlight. Sunlight can degrade the fabrics
      • Do NOT allow the area for drying to exceed 105 degrees fahrenheit

5. Reassemble Turnout Gear

      • When the turnout gear is fully dry, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to reinstall the drag rescue device in the jacket and to insert the liners into the outer shells
      • Check that all of the closures are properly secured and that the drag rescue device is properly installed

6. Turnout Gear Storage

      • Keep clean bunker gear in a dry, well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight and away from indoor light sources
      • Do not store bunker gear in extreme hot or cold temperatures, nor in airtight containers