Care and Maintenance of FR Clothing

February 14, 2024 by
Care and Maintenance of FR Clothing
WFR Wholesale Fire & Rescue Ltd.

Although there are no special processes or equipment needed for cleaning FR clothing, there are a few basic laundry guidelines, that will help maintain the protective capabilities of your fire resistant clothing:

  • Do not use bleaches or peroxides. It will weaken the fabric.
  • Do not use any additive that could build up and impede FR performance, such as fabric softeners or starch
  • Avoid washing in hard water as mineral buildup can negate the FR properties over the course of many launderings
  • Wash FR garments separately from other garments
  • Wash FR garments inside out to help with colour retention and preserve appearance
  • Use a liquid detergent for best results
  • Avoid the hottest washing and drying temperatures to reduce shrinkage
  • For tough stains, soak garments in liquid detergent or non-bleach, non-peroxide, pre-wash stain removers before laundering
  • For even tougher stains, dry clean garment
  • Tumble dry on low setting and do not over dry
  • Re-wash garments with lingering odours
  • Always consult the garment manufacturer for detailed instructions and precautions

There are a few basic things to consider. First, a garment, in some cases may look clean but still smell like a flammable substance, while in other cases a garment may have a visible stain but be perfectly safe to wear. Any odor of oil, solvents, flammable chemicals, or other potential accelerants should be taken seriously as it could indicate the presence of a combustible substance. Second, washing with bleach or peroxide will harm flame-resistant fabrics; don’t use these laundry products alone or as additives to detergent. Last, any kind of buildup on the surface of the garment fibers is dangerous. There are obvious clothing treatments or additives, such as starch, fabric softener, and DEET-based insect repellant, but hard water is another important thing to consider. Laundering FR clothing in hard water, if done repeatedly, leads to a gradual accumulation of mineral deposits that may ignite.

Excerpt from Bulwark Selection, Use, Care and Maintenance of FR Clothing