Tips for Cleaning Life Jackets
Spring is a great time to clean your life jackets before getting ready to use them. Sometimes life jackets get put away for the winter and haven’t had a chance to dry out completely which can cause mold or mildew to grow. And southern locations where it is hot and humid throughout most of the year may find life jackets with spots on them. While this doesn’t look very pretty, it does not mean that the life jacket needs to be thrown away. They just need a chance to be cleaned and dried completely before use.
The following tips from our friends at Onyx Outdoor can be used to clean a life jacket of mold or mildew so that it can be safely used again. Just make sure you have a couple of days of dry weather in your forecast before starting.
- Use water and mild soap along with a soft brush or clean cloth to scrub the areas where the stains are located.
- Rinse with clean water.
- If you still notice stains, you may need to repeat the process a few times.
- When the life jacket is completely clean, hang it up to dry out of direct sunlight and do not put it back in use or into a storage container until it is completely dry.
Update added May 18, 2020
The following guidelines are provided by the Life Jacket Association on how to properly disinfect life jackets from the COVID-19 Virus.
1. Use a 60-90% alcohol spray solution and spray the life jacket including the buckles, straps and zippers.
2. While wearing gloves, hand wash the life jackets with hot water and mild soap. Rinse with clean water.
3. Do not use bleach or put life jackets in a washing machine.
4. Allow life jackets to dry completely for 72 hours (3 days) before reusing. Spreading them out in the sunshine and fresh air is the best option to dry them out completely.