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  • Stinky Bunker Gear

    This is kind of embarassing, but I was wandering if anyone has the same problem I have. My gear stinks. It's not the outer shell, but the liner that's causing the problem. and i was wandering if anoyne has any ideas as to how I can solve this problem. Can I simply wash the liner using some kind of approved detergent, or is there some kind of a powder or spray I can use? Any info will be greatly appreciated, not only by me, but by everyone at my station as well

  • #2
    You should wash the complete set of gear, not just the liners of your turnouts. Just follow the manufacturer's instructions and be sure to use an extraction type of washing machine. Do not wash your turnouts in your home wahing machine. If you liik in the tub of the machine, you will see a little bit of water in the very bottom. Any contaminants washed out of the gear can remain in the water only to contaminate the next load.

    [ 08-01-2001: Message edited by: Captain Gonzo ]
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    • #3
      Captain Gonzo is right on the money....NEVER use your home washing machine to wash your gear. Go to the coin laundry down at the shopping center and use one of the heavy tumbler-style machines. And also be sure to check the manufacturer's instructions on the gear- on the label for washing instructions. Most manufacturers state you can use ordinary laundry detergents. And almost all of the time they require hang-drying.
      "Loyalty above all else, except honor."

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      • #4
        Thanks, but the problem is the liner. My gear dosen't stink like smoke, it stinks like sweat. My question is, can I wash my liner? If I can't wash my liner, can I use some type of powder or spray to eliminate the odor?

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        • #5
          Firefighter15_WV...Army Truck and I have posted the answer to your question....check the manufacturer's instructions! If the instructions are faded out, find out who made the gear and contact them for information.

          You should be washing your gear at least quarterly to remove any contaminants. I wash mine quarterly and after every fire. We are fortunate that we have an extraction washer at HQ.

          [ 08-01-2001: Message edited by: Captain Gonzo ]
          ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
          Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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          • #6
            Yes, please wash your liners. The outer shell gets a little dirt and soot on it but the liners are what really need washed. Hopefully you haven't already earned a nickname at your staion.
            I also agree with Capt Gonzo, wash everything at least quarterly and after every fire. My only other advice is don't wash the gloves, they tend to mildew and wash your hood all the time. That way the thing closest to your nose is always clean.

            Scott Henry
            www.miamivalleyfools.org

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            • #7
              Hi FF15

              The other Capt. are not talking down to you..
              Yes, you can wash just your liner...
              But, from there years of service, they are telling you what needs to be done...
              If your liner stinks, the outer shell is dirty too. remember the soot will burn...

              The bunker gear Will Not be bright Yellow after cleaning

              I can tell by your repley to just the LINER.

              I wear that dirt a a badge of not being a PROBIE anymore

              Only Probies have Clean Gear...not true

              Do you what to look salty or stinkie

              PS When some lady starts Bitching at you for staining her white leather couch on a BS false alarm call...
              Tell her, you just wanted to wash your liner

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              • #8
                I just want to support the advice given.

                I wash my gear (liners & shells) & hood after almost every major incident, after most live burn training sessions, and any other time I think it needs it. In short, if it's hogged up and/or unpleasant to wear and/or unsafe to wear (full of diesel fuel, for example) for any reason, I clean it.

                Most of our crew, from officers down through juniors, does the same.

                You should, too.

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                • #9
                  Follow the manufactures label and wash often. I hand wash my gear in a turn out gear wash solution that the department purchased a couple of years ago. The label says that I can machine wash part of my gear and the other has to be hand washed, but I wash it all by hand. I use a soft brush to clean the shell. If it's really dirty after a call it get the roughest off before it's pulled off with a water hose. If you get fuel or some type of material that doesn't wash off with water you might have to send it to a professional cleaner. No not your local dry cleaner but a shop that spec. in turnout gear cleaning. They can remove things that you cannot or do not want to mess with (fuel, blood, tar, etc.). I have seen ads in mags but I don't recall names.
                  "Illegitimis non carborundum."

                  - Gen. Joseph Stilwell
                  (Lat., "Don't let the *~#%&S grind you down.")

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                  • #10
                    When mine gets especially funky, it winds up on the bay floor with a hose, a bucket, and a scrub brush. It takes a day or so in the sun to dry completely - turn it inside out so the liner will dry. Definitely wash your hood. That's the closest I've ever come to puking on a call...when I put my nasty hood back on after a couple of fires!
                    Besides, those "smell of smoke" calls get tricky when all you can smell is your turnout gear

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                    • #11
                      Well, almost everyone knows you shouldn't keep TOG in the sun for any period of time......that is asking for trouble
                      FTM - PTB

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                      • #12
                        Wash them frequently, contaminates is what will ruin your gear. It will breakdown the fibers, stiching, etc. Again check the instructions. KEEP YOUR GEAR OUT OF THE SUN FOR DRYING PURPOSES. THe hose dryer at our station works great, it doesn't introduce alot of heat everything fits in it, and you are using company electric.

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                        • #13
                          No reason for having dirty gear, it's not a badge of honor its a sign of a lazy firefighter. I regularly go around and check the members gear, if I find it to be offensive in sight as well as smell I leave a small box of soap in their locker as a subtle reminder. Remember "Cleanliness is next to Godliness"

                          Train safe Work Safe Stay Safe

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                          • #14
                            It's up to you...not adviseable, but if you absolutely have to wash bunker gear in your home washing machine, be sure to wash it a couple of times with out any clothes in it......using bleach with laundry detergent. Otherwise go ahead and contaminate the laundry mat's washers. DO NOT tumble dry!!!!! DO NOT hang them out side in the sun to dry!!!! Simply let air dry either back in the station or in your house (what ever). I usually wash them about a half hour before I leave town on a trip in which I won't be around for a few days but before I leave, I hang them up to dry in my basement where it's dry and cool. DO NOT use any liquid fabric softner too!!!!

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