25 Jul How to Maintain Tactical Gear & Clothing for longevity for Military & Airsoft
How to Maintain Tactical Gear & Clothing for longevity for Military & Airsoft
You can spend thousands on the best tactical equipment in the world. But the longevity of all your stuff depends on how well you maintain it. And the fact is, usually people are lazy when it comes to cleaning anything.
But, as long as you don’t take care of your gear it will fail you at some point, no matter how mil-spec it is graded. This means you eventually have to buy yourself new products and those will cost you money.
So, as for today we’ll try to help keeping your bank account green by giving you a guide for how to maintain your tactical gear and clothing for longevity.
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So that said, let’s go over to our first tip. Now, let’s first jump into why it’s important to maintain your gear.
Why you need to maintain your tactical gear
You probably already heard the saying “take care of your gear and your gear will take care of you”. But still somehow people rather just neglect their equipment. In fact, most people just throw their gear somewhere around until they need it again next time.
Exposure to the elements
But having your kit exposed to sand, mud, rain and dust isn’t that good, because these elements create structural weaknesses which will become rips over time.
Exposure to salt
Also exposure to salt water is something that happens and is even worse, because salt water is extremely corrosive. By the way, you might not realize it, but exposure to salt happens more than you think, because simply your sweat already contains salt.
Above that, sweat will also start to rot at some point, because of all the organic material your body loses through sweating. This will give your kit let’s say a rather unpleasant odor.
Improper maintenance = Product failures = New products = Spending money
All these factors are indirect causes for you to get yourself new products which will cost you money. So, by doing proper gear maintenance you will avoid that to a certain extend.
Guides for Tactical Boots & Ballistic Eyewear
We’ve already done two guides in the past for how to maintain your tactical boots and ballistic eyewear for which we’ve had the help of experts from those particular industries. If you’re interested in how to maintain these things properly, you can click on the images below.
But that aside, as for today we’ll have a look at some of the other tactical stuff in your kit, going from plate carriers, rigs and vests, to backpacks, to slings up to belts and your clothing. Let’s first dive a bit into regular maintenance.
Tactical gear & clothing regular maintenance
Burn loose threads
First of all, using these fabric constructed products always make some threads come loose over time and to solve this you best burn them. Burning a thread will shorten it and create a molten part to stop further loosening.
Clean Velcro pads
Besides that, making sure your Velcro pads are clean is essential as well for their proper functionality, because we all don’t want our fancy patches to get lost of course.
Removing mud, dirty spots & stains
If your equipment contains dirt and dried mud, you can simply us a soft brush to remove it. For removing dirty spots and stains you can wash those off with a rag soaked with a mixture of water and some technical fiber soap.
If the stain is removed you best remove excessive soap with a clean water soaked rag. Now, once your equipment is really dirty or starts to smell we’ll go over to washing.
Washing tactical clothing
Watch the temperature!
When it comes to washing your shirts, pants, jackets, gloves, socks and so on, you want to wash them either on the cold or warm settings of your washing machine which is usually around 30 °C or 86 °F. Never wash them hot or the colors and patterns will fade away!
What products to use?
Also, for washing technical fibers it’s recommended to only use washing products specially made for technical fibers. This to maintain the functionality and longevity of those products.
But whatever product you use, never use any sort of harsh chemicals, household products or fabric softeners, because you will destroy the fibers which makes your clothing loses its functions.
Watch the cycle rate!
What can also destroy the fibers over time is using programs with a high cycle rate, so you better avoid those and keep to the low cycle programs.
After washing the clothes
After washing, you best make sure to extra spin your clothes to get rid of all the excess moisture, because after that you’re going to let your clothing dry the good old fashion way by hanging it out on a rack. Do this out of the sun, because UV-light makes the colors fade.
Furthermore also never use a dryer, because also that is bad for the fibers and ironing is not recommended either.
That aside, if we’re talking about products that have a waterproof function, you will need to re-apply that waterproof layer, just like with boots.
For this 2 options exist:
You either wash-in the waterproof layer by the use of your washing machine or use a spray which you apply after your clothes have dried.
The use of a spray takes a few steps you need to follow which take a bit of time, while the use of a wash-in is simple, but as for example your jacket is then also waterproofed on the inside which is not that good for the breathability of it. With the spray you only waterproof the outside and don’t have that issue.
Always check the labels!
Besides these tips, we always suggest to first look at the ticket inside your clothing so you certainly don’t do anything wrong with it.
Washing tactical gear
Now that we’ve covered the washing part of your clothing let’s have a look at the washing process of your plate carrier, rig, belt, sling, backpack and so on.
These sort of products may not go in a washing machine, so they need to be cleaned by hand. But before you start to clean, you better make sure you double check that every piece of equipment is out and that for example your plates have been removed.
Steps for washing tactical gear:
- After that’s done, you’ll make a small bath mixture with water and technical washing product. Here you first make sure to remove dirt and stains with a rag, like explained before, so you avoid getting colored spots on your equipment.
- After that, you can soak your entire carrier, backpack or whatever in this mixture.
- Next, you’re going to dip it with clean water until all the soap has been removed.
- Once that’s done, you just need to hang the thing and let it dry in a spot outside the sun. Again so UV-light can’t break the color down.
Now that you know that, let’s talk a bit about storage.
Storing tactical gear & clothing
Don’t throw it somewhere!
At last the storage of your tactical equipment is also important and no, that doesn’t mean leaving it in the trunk of your car.
Let it dry first!
So after the usage of your carrier, rig, backpack or whatever, it’s firstly necessary you let it dry. For this you want to hang it somewhere in a well ventilated space out of the sun.
Remove weight (if practical)
You also want to minimize the weight on such equipment, so make sure to remove heavy equipment like a radio and magazines. Also taking out the plates from your plate carrier is recommended as long as it is practical of course.
When it’s dried, you can either hang it somewhere in a closet until next time or put it somewhere on top of other equipment, but make sure it cannot fall over when doing so.
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“How to Maintain Tactical Gear & Clothing for longevity for Military & Airsoft“
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