Working in a profession that requires you to wear flame resistant and arc-rated (AR / FR) clothing is serious business. You’re exposed to potential risks and hazards on a regular basis, so you must be prepared with the right gear. But what do you do when your trusted AR / FR clothing gets stained? Don’t worry; it’s easier to deal with than you might think! Tune in as Tyndale’s Vice President of Technical, Scott Margolin, covers the best practices to remove stains from your protective clothing while properly caring for and maintaining the fabric’s flame resistance throughout the useful life of the garment.
Step 1: Check and Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions
The first step in stain removal is to check the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific garment you want to treat. This is important because different fabrics and flame-resistant technologies may have different care instructions. So, make sure you read and follow the directions carefully. They tell you exactly what you need to do to avoid damaging the fabric or compromising the flame-resistant properties of the garment.
Step 2: Pretreat the Stain
Once you know how to proceed, you should pretreat the stain with the same detergent you plan to use when laundering the garment. It’s a good idea to dilute the detergent with water, but again, this depends on the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Apply the detergent to the stain and gently rub it in. Allow the detergent to sit on the stain for about four or five minutes. This helps loosen up the stain and produce better results. It’s important to note that bleach should never be used when attempting to remove stains from an AR / FR garment. Bleach can react with the garment’s fibers, weakening its flame-resistant properties and potentially compromising its ability to protect the wearer. Instead, use the recommended detergent and avoid any harsh chemicals or bleach-based products.
Step 3: Launder the Garment According to the Instructions
After pretreating the stain, launder the garment according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When removing the garment from the washing machine, check to ensure the stain has been removed. If the stain remains, you may want to consider taking the garment to a professional dry cleaner. They have the expertise and equipment to tackle stubborn stains and ensure that your AR / FR clothing is in top shape.
Removing stains from AR / FR clothing is relatively simple if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the proper detergent and pretreatment method. By taking care of your AR / FR clothing correctly, you can ensure that it continues to provide the protection you need on the job. Remember, your AR / FR clothing is an investment in your safety, so it’s worth taking the time to care for it properly.