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  1. #1
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    Post Washing turnout gear

    Does anyone have any good suggestions or tips to cleaning turnout gear? Ive had so many differant sets of turnouts that Ive never had to wash any. Can anyone help!?!?! Thank you- Colin Goheen


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber Airborne's Avatar
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    Yes read and follow the manufacture instructions on cleaning and maintaining your gear. Only they know best on what process to follow to maintain their gear. That and it in order for the gear to be NFPA approved it must contain that information on the label, I believe.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber fyrfyter33's Avatar
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    most departments use a large industrial washer called an extractor, located within their station. Usually you wash it separate frome verything else, due to what could be in the gear, as far as contaminants. Ask your department about it, and see what they say.

  4. #4
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Originally posted by fyrfyter33
    most departments use a large industrial washer called an extractor, located within their station. Usually you wash it separate frome verything else, due to what could be in the gear, as far as contaminants. Ask your department about it, and see what they say.
    Well, since we aren't "most", we use a normal washing machine with an appropriate detergent. I don't remember what it is though.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  5. #5
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    I believe you can use most liquid detergents, as long as they don't contain bleach. Best thing to do is find manufacturers instructions and follow those. Do a search in the forums and look for one about washing machines. It was recent and it had some more info in it.

  6. #6
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    The most important thing you can do when washing turnout gear is remember to use fabric softener, otherwise your gear will stand up on its own, also it is a lot less wear on the washer if you remove any liners and turn the out shells inside out so the clips and buttons aren't getting abused or beating the washer.

  7. #7
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    Default Thanks guys

    Hey guys! Thanks for the quick response. I would ask the department how to wash out turnouts, but the thing is, they told me how to allready and I forgot. I really didnt want them to know I forgot. Ha! Anyways, I just found this explorer forum, and its great to know theres others of me out there. Later---

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber SmokeEater661's Avatar
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    Cool Cleaning your turnout gear

    As previously stated follow the directions, personally i remove the liner from my coat and pants and wash each separately in detergent without bleach. I typically use the laundromat for this however it is common courtesy to run a load with nothing in the washers afterward to remove contaminates. I the let them air dry.
    Ceredo Fire-Rescue
    NREMT-Basic,Firefighter,Hazmat- Tech,Smoke Diver

    "Live Long, Die Fast, have as much fun possible in between."

    These are my opinions, not my departments.

  9. #9
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    I would definitely recommend separating the shell from the liner and washing them seperately. You dont want blood/dirt/soot/etc getting washed into the liner that goes against you. May be a good idea to wash the liner twice... once right side out, once inside out.
    Justin
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    MDFR Post #1403

  10. #10
    Forum Member colfireman's Avatar
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    First i seperate the inner liner from the outer section. then i wash only the inner liners with a product called citrosqueeze. i first soak the stuff in this solution then run thru our washer/extractor a couple of times. then while this is hanging dry, i then was the gloves and outer shells in the same solution. I can complete 2 sets at a time before i repeat the whole process. The solution runs anywhere from 125-150 canadian for a 5 gallon pail and i use about 1/2 - 3/4 of a gallon for 2 sets. Hopes this helps.

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber Duffman's Avatar
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    Default Wait a minute

    The most important thing you can do when washing turnout gear is remember to use fabric softener, otherwise your gear will stand up on its own, also it is a lot less wear on the washer if you remove any liners and turn the out shells inside out so the clips and buttons aren't getting abused or beating the washer.
    Station 32, are you sure. I am almost positive that fabric softener should never be used when washing gear. I will attempt to find a source.

    Look in the FF forum for the "Question for the crusties" thread. Regarding this issue.

    Gear will lose its stiffness after enough wear without the use of fabric softener. I have been issued five sets of gear throughout my career. None were ever exposed to fabric softener, I had no problems with it "standing up on its own" unless it was covered in ice.
    Last edited by Duffman; 03-17-2003 at 06:07 PM.
    "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."

    IACOJ

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber fyrfyter33's Avatar
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    I thought fabric softener was a big turnout no-no as it breaks down the PBI/nomex fibers, as well as the other components of the gear. last I checked, all we use is water and detergent, in the extractor, and then let the gear air dry in a turnout closet with a fan that keeps the air moving.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Firebraun's Avatar
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    Default No Fabric Softener

    Thought I'd copy this here to make it easy...

    Our Nomex station uniforms specifically state not to use fabric softener on their laundering instructions. I asked a manufacturers rep why at a fire expo and was told this:

    Fabric softener is essentially an oil-based product. The way it keeps fabric "soft" is by leaving a residue on the fabric. So, if you use it on a fire resistant fabric like Nomex, you've essentialy coated a fabric that is designed to resist fire with a flammable residue.

    He also told me that it's not permanent and won't ruin the fabric. If you've got your Nomex all nice and softened up, simply washing them a time or two without the softener will get rid of the residue and your Nomex will be back to providing the protection it was designed to.
    Last edited by Firebraun; 03-20-2003 at 12:23 PM.
    Fire service survival tips:
    1) Cook at 350...
    2) Pump at 150...
    3) When in doubt, isolate and deny entry...
    4) When in trouble, claim lack of adult supervision.

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