PPE does a fantastic job of caring for its owner, but often the owner doesn’t care for PPE! Like all clothing and equipment, caring for and cleaning PPE is vital to maintain quality, durability and comfort. Here are our five top tips to keep your PPE tip top!
- If you use PPE every day, wash it at least once a week.
It goes without saying that if you work hard and sweat, you need to wash your clothing. This is just as true with PPE as anything else. Not only will this make the clothing more pleasant to wear, but it will also prevent the build-up of bacteria, and will help clean out the breathable areas. If your clothing is more heavily soiled, then once a week is the bare minimum.
- Grease solvent can help make heavily soiled PPE fresh again.
Adding a tablespoon of a grease solvent, such as Swarfega, to your wash can help to separate dirt from your clothing. While this might not be necessary every time you wash your PPE, if you find your clothing to be particularly heavily soiled, or have marks you’re struggling to shift, give it a try.
- Be careful with washing machines.
PPE can be cleaned in a washing machine on normal wash settings at temperatures up to 60°C, however, spin drying is not advisable as it can not only damage your clothing, but also the machine as well. Tumble drying is not suitable for PPE, so to dry the garments, hang them to air dry and always re-shape the material before it dries.
- Make simple repairs yourself.
While the cut-retardant material should not be repaired, or modified by anyone other than an approved specialist, the waterproof or comfort layers of the PPE can be easily fixed by anyone with a sewing kit. Be careful not to sew into or damage the crucial cut-retardant layers, as this will impact the level of protection provided.
- Restore your waterproofing with an iron.
While various waxes and treatments exist to help restore the waterproofing of your jacket, one simple and quick method to improve waterproofing is to simply iron the jacket on the coldest setting! This reactivates the hydrophobic coating, and helps keep you dry.
Look after your PPE, so it can look after you!
No protective clothing can provide total protection against injury. Protective clothing is no substitute for safe working practices. That’s why it is important to observe the safety precautions in your power tool Instruction Manual.