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Question on cleaning of a fire suit?


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To make sure you don't lose the fire retardant, you just buy a new suit each week. J/K


I have the proban and I dry clean sometimes (when I plan ahead) and other times I was on gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent. I then hang to dry. I am not sure if this is the proper way to do this. I never could get a straight answer when I ordered mine.


Hope this helps,

Mona Turner

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I've been told 25 to 50 washes out of proban.And that it was best to dry clean because it removes more dirt and synthetics than washing can.I checked 1000's of drivers suits this years and its amazing to watch how some treat them,some treat them like an expensive piece of jewerly and some treat them like a piece of garbage.I'm shocked sometimes when I tech a car and ask to see the suit and it's handed to me and it's stained with oil and smells like gas.Crew looks at me pretty funny when I ask to see the human being that wants to wear this fuse that's waitng to be ignited.And if it has lost its color(faded),you can pretty well bet it has lost its protection

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From Sparco Website:

Sparco recommends dry cleaning your suit to preserve the life of your safety garment for as long as possible. Your Sparco Race suit should be treated with the same respect as your Sunday Suit. After each driving session, please remove the suit whenever possible and hang dry to remove moisture and to prevent grease/oil from staining the suit while working on your car.


Washing instructions: If you wash your suit, Sparco recommends hand washing or washing it on a delicate cycle in the washing machine with COLD water. Please make sure that the belt and collar are closed on the suit, to prevent the velcro from causing damage to the nomex fabric. Woolite soap is recommended as it is a non-abrasive detergent. DO NOT use bleach or anything similar. When drying the suit, always let the suit drip dry, indoors (out of the sunlight).



Found on stockcar racing.com:


The proper way to clean a suit is split among manufactures Stock Car Racing spoke to. Dry cleaning has been known to help the colorfastness of the suit. However, some feel the dry cleaning solution could contain flammable chemicals and, if the suit is left in the solution too long, it could feed a fire.


Washing your suit at home is perfectly fine as well. It is recommended you use a non-abrasive detergent such as Woolite and don’t use bleach. It’s best to let your suit hang dry, and always out of direct sunlight. The Nomex is UV light sensitive and can fade quickly. Putting the suit in the dryer is OK as well. Just be sure to fasten all Velcro, because it is very abrasive.



On Circle track:Very Good Article!!!!

Circle Track

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Here's the answer.

There are 3 types of materials in use in fire suits - Proban (cotton), Nomex and Carbonex. Nomex and Carbonex are synthetics and the fire retardancy cannot be washed out. You can, however. decrease the protection by contaminating the material with oils, gas etc. Proban is a different story. Proban is cotton that has been treated with a fire retardant chemical. Every time you wash it or dry clean it, it looses some protection. You're in a catch 22. If you don't wash it it will get contaminated and loose its fire retardancy. If you wash it it will loose it's fire retardancy. Most manufacturers of Proban suits recommend you keep them clean by washing with a mild detergent like Woolite on a gentle cycle with cold water. Unfortunately that doesn't do a very good job of getting out grease. Any Proban suit should be replaced after about 25 washs.

No suit should be put in a dryer. Nomex will lose some color each time it's washed, but that does not affect the fire retardancy. Carbonex cannot be dyed except with very dark colors, that's why most Carbonex suits are left their natural color (an off white yellowish color).

I know most new racers try to skimp on prices of their suit, maybe because they don't have the money or maybe because they don't know if they will race if they are not good, or maybe they just don't know the facts. We sell a lot of Proban suits but I would much rather see someone spend less money on something like a used carburator, for instance, and spend an extra $200 on a Nomex suit.

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