26 March, 2018
How to Care for Your Body Armor
One of the big concerns we hear from people who have already bought some body armor is how do they care for it and maintain it. After all, there is not much point having it, if it is not up to the job when you need it.
Whether you are looking to buy or maintain plate carriers or tactical vests, you need specialist help and guidance. One of the best sites is Plate Carrier Zone as they not only review the best body armor you can buy, but also provide guidance on buying and caring for your gear.
When you purchase your body armor, it may come with a warranty card. If it does, fill it out and register your equipment with the manufacturer. Many of the major manufacturers have a warranty on their body armor, so you can send it back if something does not work correctly. It doesn’t cost you anything and it’s simple to do so make sure you complete the registration.
There are two parts to your body armor, the panels and the actual carrier. These have different cleaning requirements so always take your tactical vest apart before cleaning.
Like any piece of clothing or equipment, you need to take care of your body armor and clean it. If you wear it regularly, it will soon start to smell.However, never use a deodorizing spray such as Febreze on it. These sprays will damage the material. You should clean your body armor regularly, depending on how often you wear it.
- Firstly, read the care label. Some plate carriers can be machine washed on a cool gentle cycle.
- If you haven’t already done so, take your body armor apart.
- Clean the panels first. Lay them on a flat surface then wipe with a damp cloth and some mild detergent if required.
- Before you wash the carrier, ensure you remove all the Velcro. Velcro loses its stickiness when washed.
- Now clean the carrier. If it can be machine washed then do so but ensure you check the machine is on the correct setting. Use a mild detergent. If it can’t be machine wash, hand wash it. Some people prefer to hand wash their carrier anyway.
- Clean the shoulder and waist straps with a damp cloth and some mild detergent if required.
Once you have finished cleaning your carrier, lay it flat to air dry. Don’t put it on a heater or near a heat source.
Regular inspections will help your body armor to last longer. You should regularly inspect your body armor. One of the best times to inspect it is when you are cleaning it.So, as you clean and wash it, check your tactical vest for any tears or misshapen parts. Check both the carrier and the plates both visually and by touch.
How you store your body armor is one of the ways that you can either extend or shorten the lifespan of your tactical vest. You should never fold your body armour. You should either store it in its carrying case, or it should be kept on a hanger. Obviously, use a strong coat hanger as this is quite a weighty piece of kit. Your body armor should always be kept at room temperature and kept out of direct sunlight.
When you buy your new body armor, it is generally given a 5-yearlifespan. However, bear in mind that the lifespan of your tactical vest may be longer or shorter than 5 years, depending on how often you use it, and how hard it is tested. You should decide on the lifespan of the body armor by its wear and tear, not on its age.
Your body armor is designed to protect you. You need it when something major occurs in your life. If you see the value in having body armor in case you need it, then it should be in great working order when you need it. If you buy it and don’t care for it, then not only have you wasted your money, but worse still you have left yourself unprotected. You owe it to yourself and your family to learn how to care for your body armor. Your lives may depend on it.