FRC Safety During COVID-19: Disinfecting FRC

Whether you are exposed to someone with the flu or more seriously, someone with COVID-19, how to wash your flame resistant clothing (FRC) remains the same. This blog post highlights the do’s-and-don’ts for disinfecting your FRC after a day in the field or coming in contact with the COVID-19 virus. Information from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) combined with our FRC industry expertise ensures readers are receiving the most up-to-date and factual information.

It’s very important to be absolutely certain that information you receive is accurate; please do NOT act based on rumors or misinformation. We assure you that standard home laundering procedures you’ve followed for years are more than sufficient to destroy Covid 19 and disinfect your clothing. Do NOT apply chlorine bleach or other chemical disinfectants to your FR or AR clothing; it is not necessary, and may compromise the safety of the garment.

The Facts:

  • We know COVID-19 can remain viable on porous surfaces (such as clothing) for hours, and up to several days on non-porous surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel.
  • COVID-19 deposited on surfaces is eventually “killed” (viruses are not really “alive”) by drying out.
  • Washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is a highly effective way to disinfect.
  • Standard home washing machine procedures involve both more aggressive soap (detergent) and much longer wash times than hand washing, and are therefore an extremely effective COVID-19 disinfection method for clothing.
  • Standard clothes dryers are also likely to accelerate decomposition of COVID-19 virus relative to the natural drying-out process which “kills” it.

Tyndale’s VP of Technical, Scott Margolin explains how to properly disinfect your FRC if exposed to someone who has been exposed to COVID-19.

Watch the video by clicking on the preview to the left.


Disinfecting FRC - DO

The same practices for disinfecting your clothing after a hard day of work reign true – launder items in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Detergent and water will disinfect clothing in the same way handwashing does for you. Stick to the basics when washing your clothing by:
  • laundering with water
  • using soap (laundry detergent), and
  • thoroughly drying your clothing.
Thoroughly drying your clothing can also help to disinfect – once the virus is dried out, it dies. Please note, dirty laundry from a person with COVID-19 can be washed with other people’s items, as long as these washing and drying rules are followed.

Be sure to clean and disinfect clothing hampers, when possible, consider placing a bag liner in the hamper that is either disposable (can be thrown away) or can be laundered.

Disinfecting FRC - DON’T

DO NOT USE additives when washing FRC. Although many people might believe that keeping fabrics as clean as possible means adding ultra-germicidal products like bleach, hydrogen peroxide, borax solution, vinegar, Kaboom and others, these additives could compromise your FRC and will NOT disinfect any better than hot water, soap, and thoroughly drying the garments. To maximize your safety and keep your FRC fully protective, you should never use bleach when washing FRC.

Download a flyer version of this information. Print it out and spread the word on the proper way to disinfect FRC.

Download Flyer

Always remember to regularly check the CDC website to stay up-to-date with the most recent news, health, and safety tips. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider.


 

Tyndale’s proper care and maintenance video demonstrates how to properly launder your FRC when exposed to illness. Follow the link for step by step instructions.

Watch the video by clicking on the preview to the right.


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