Care for Flame Resistant Workwear: 100% Cotton and Comfortouch
Caring properly for your flame resistant workwear is vitally important for the life of your garment, as well as your own protection. Different fabrics call for different care instructions, but if your flame resistant workwear is 100 percent cotton, or Bulwark’s Comfortouch fabric, you can use the laundering instructions below to help you care properly for your clothing.
Washing and Drying Flame Resistant Workwear
Many people have a misconception that you can “wash away” the flame resistant properties in these fabrics. This idea most likely stems from the fact that flame retardant workwear can lose its retardancy due to regular launderings. Flame resistant workwear, however, is treated in the actual fibers of the fabric, or it is already inherently flame resistant, meaning that it cannot be “washed away.” However, you must still follow proper laundering instructions for the workwear to do its job correctly. 100 percent cotton and Comfortouch fabrics can be laundered at home, and should be washed on Normal or Cotton cycles. It does not matter what temperature you set the water at, but keep in mind that flame resistant cotton will react like normal cotton and there may be slight shrinkage when washing in hot water. However, hot water may be needed to remove any stains on the workwear. If your flame resistant workwear has oily stains, or any other flammable substance on it, it is extremely important to wash thoroughly to remove the substance before wearing for work. When washing, use soft water. Hard water contains minerals that can create a build up on the flame resistant clothing, making the workwear ineffective. You can use regular laundry detergent, as well as commercial stain removers. Do not use bleach or tallow soap. Bleach will destroy the flame resistant properties of the fabric, rendering the garment useless for protection. You should not use laundry additives, like fabric softeners. The additives can actually leave a build up on the garment, which can become a source of fuel in the case of an accident. When drying your flame resistant workwear, be careful of over drying. The excessive heat can cause the cotton to shrink more than is desirable. Work wear can be ironed on normal cotton settings, but you shouldn’t use starch–starch is considered a laundry additive. You can also choose to dry clean your workwear if that is easier for you. Flame resistant jeans, however, should not be dry cleaned. Other 100 percent cotton or Comfortouch garments should be fine to dry clean.
While this may seem like a lot to remember, the process of caring for your flame resistant workwear is actually very easy to do, and can quickly become habit. Just remember not to use bleach or additives, and to wash your workwear in soft water. Be quick to remove any flammable substances you may have come into contact with on the job. If you ever have questions, you can check out the Bulwark website, call a customer service representative at Automotive Workwear, or check the label on your flame resistant workwear.