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How often do you wash your turn out gear?

Discussion in 'Firefighter/EMS Talk' started by ClydeG19, Apr 1, 2005.

  1. ClydeG19


    Oct 5, 2001
    The title pretty much sums it up.
  2. jlw_84

    jlw_84 General Glocker

    Nov 8, 2002
    My gear has been in service since 1988. (NFPA??? Whats that?)

    I've had it since early 2000, and I've just hosed it off twice now with a garden hose.

  3. Usually after each fire. Ill take it to a laundrymat and use the front loader washer and hang it out to dry. Ive read that the top loaders are bad for the lining. I dont know what to beleive on that. I think manufacturers want to sell fire depts front load washers. Ill use just a little Woolite, it gets most of the c**p off. I usually wash a brand new set when its issued to me just to loosen it up.
  4. DepChief

    DepChief Get Tous's Rope

    Nov 27, 2004
    Outer Banks, NC
    Usually after bloodborne exposures.
  5. strummer


    Nov 21, 2004
    Make what you will out of this...

    ...but any Fireman on my dept would be laughed out of the firehouse if he washed his fire clothes !!!

    Foolish? Maybe. Just the way it is.

  6. You must be a career guy too! lol
  7. nam02G

    nam02G First throwing ax bullseye.

    Feb 4, 2002
    Vancouver USA
    Only when it smells so bad I can't stand to wear the stuff.
  8. fulloutpwr


    Mar 21, 2005
    wash my stuff once a month...have to as we sign a wash and launder log on all our gear. ;f
  9. oldstyle

    oldstyle Jeep Pirate

    Jan 31, 2002
    Jacksonville, Fl
    I hosed mine off yesterday because I got filthy every time I got near it. A real washing is done after body fluid exposure. Our SOPs require a wash every six months.
  10. ClydeG19


    Oct 5, 2001
    I was only asking b/c I've been a volly ff for about a year now and I've washed by tog 3 times, twice after live burns and once just this weekend after it may have been exposed to blood on a recent fatal (not to mention it stank). Several guys got pissed off b/c they say that washing my gear too much will ruin it. The funny thing is that someone who said this also mentioned a while back that NFPA recommends washing it every two months.

    Maybe it's just me, but I don't want to be exposed to all the carcinogens, blood, and fluids from the road for the next twenty years. I also don't want to smell after every time I put my gear on for an AFA or minor MVA. If people want to get pissed or laugh at me, whatever.
  11. Tvov


    Sep 30, 2000
    There is nothing wrong with washing your gear regularly. Similar to strummer, my dept doesn't wash very often. Usually, though, when gear needs it, we send it out to be washed. I forget the name of the company that does it, but it comes back looking almost new and isn't shrunken and wrinkled. Also, any minor repairs needed are done at the same time.
  12. Lone Hunter

    Lone Hunter

    Feb 12, 2001
    Wash it off after every fire.Last month that meant 8 times!!

    Our Dept. sends it out for cleaning 4 times a year.

    Your goods break down and are less effective with all the smoke,char,dirt and the like ground in.Look at how much comes off just with a hose after a 2 roomer.

    Washing your goods helps them work better and longer,crap they'll get dirty again soon enough. We are also issued 2 sets.
  13. aspartz


    Oct 19, 2000
    Sandstone, MN 55072
    I guess I'm a wimp. I wash mine after EVERY fire that I do interior work. At $1000/set I prefer not to wreck mine wantonly. Even after washing, mine still looks non-rookie.

    My dept purchased a front loader for this purpose. DO NOT wash at home or the laundromat. Do you really want all the nasty stuff on your next load of wash?

  14. I can attest to the "not using the top loading washer" theory. I had heard this time and time again from folks at the house. So I went and got an old set and tried it out. It will ruin it, ripped one of the sleeves off the coat. I used the largest capacity top loading I could find, that wasn't at a laundry mat. I have also heard to be careful what detergent to use, that plain-jane tide w/out any additives is best. Anybody have any opinions?
  15. You guys are smart for washing your gear after every fire or exposure. Dont let anybody kid you, all that carbon and soot breaks down the material of the gear, besides you dont want to smell after every BS run and you certainly dont want to take any of that bad stuff home with you. By the way I use to wash it in a top load washer and never had any problems but wont any more.
  16. minkling


    Nov 8, 2004
    West Michigan
    We wash our every six months (even if you don't wear them) or whenever they get to bad to stand. We just got new gear that is dark blue (almost black) so we don't find that we wash them as often. The department has a front loader washer just for gear.
  17. hotpig

    hotpig IAFF Local 4766 CLM

    I keep mine as clean as possible. I can always tell rookies because they like to have dirty gear to look cool.

    Being a career firefighter I have gear that was issued new to me in 1988. I hope to get new stuff by this time next year or the year after depending on the budget.
  18. NWR2000

    NWR2000 Niner # 12

    Jul 1, 2000
    Central Pennsylvania
    We wash it often.... Anyone who didnt wash it would be the ones laughed at in our firehouse. Clean gear lasts longer than dirty gear, thats a fact. Trying to look dirty is funny, why not just throw your stuff in a campfire for "the image"

    Seriously, some people have watched "backdraft" one too many times. LOL
  19. oldstyle

    oldstyle Jeep Pirate

    Jan 31, 2002
    Jacksonville, Fl
    A well traveled helmet IS cool, regardless of the rest of the gear. We have guys that would fight if someone scrubbed their helmet.
  20. Its supposed to be washed?;P Seriously, we clean both set of ours (structural and crash) every three months, whether they need it or not!