how to wash or clean body armor?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    how to wash or clean body armor?

    i've got a pair of fox launch knee/shin pads that i love. problem is, ive never washed them (well, aside from a wipe down with a damp towel) and they're beginning to smell from all the sweat and salt. does anybody wash their body armor (knee/shin/elbow/chest), and if so, how?

  2. #2
    Braaaapp!
    Reputation: adam728's Avatar
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    For my motorcycle kneeguards and pressure suit I throw it in the washer on the gentle cycle. I've found that using Simple Green instead of laundry detergent really kills the stink.

    I used to soak everything in a bucket or the tub and hand wash/rinse it. I was afraid the washer would destroy everything, but this has not been the case. I do far more damage to the gear by crashing with on.

  3. #3
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    gentle wash (sometimes I'll put the washer on to a rinse / spin cycle after the first wash is done)
    air dry

    Bonus points if you kept the original mesh bag they came in when you bought them. Drop 'em into that for the wash cycle.

  4. #4
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    I wear it and ride through a car wash.
    Your fear of looking stupid is holding you back.

  5. #5
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    stink is more than likely caused by bacteria living in the dirt. Washing will get rid of the dirt, but the stink will come back waaaay quicker. The experience I had with gloves was that once the stink started, I could wash them and get rid of the stink for a ride or two then it came right back. So I soaked them in bleach, then washed them. Bleach kills most bacteria when mixed at very low concentrations-like a couple of ounces per gallon. After that, my gloves lasted like 2 months before the stink came back. My gloves lasted through this treatment 5 times before they started to fade, still haven't faded all that much-most modern stuff with synthetic fabric is pretty color-safe. If it is really dirty then wash to get the mud off, give bleach soak, them wash with detergent to get oils and deeper dirt off. Other things kill bacteria, too, like ammonia, boiling water, etc, but bleach seems to be the friendliest method to me. Let stuff soak in the bleach for at least an hour or two, or overnight because it doesn't work instantly.
    You better just go ahead and drop that seatpost down to the reflector... the trail gets pretty rough down there.

  6. #6
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    pad wash

    Here's what I do. There are mesh laundry bags women use to wash their under wear. I put my pads in there and start the wash machine. It works really well. My tip is to make sure all velcro is attached

  7. #7
    Don't worry, be happy!
    Reputation: formica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Six Pack
    stink is more than likely caused by bacteria living in the dirt. Washing will get rid of the dirt, but the stink will come back waaaay quicker. The experience I had with gloves was that once the stink started, I could wash them and get rid of the stink for a ride or two then it came right back. So I soaked them in bleach, then washed them. Bleach kills most bacteria when mixed at very low concentrations-like a couple of ounces per gallon. After that, my gloves lasted like 2 months before the stink came back. My gloves lasted through this treatment 5 times before they started to fade, still haven't faded all that much-most modern stuff with synthetic fabric is pretty color-safe. If it is really dirty then wash to get the mud off, give bleach soak, them wash with detergent to get oils and deeper dirt off. Other things kill bacteria, too, like ammonia, boiling water, etc, but bleach seems to be the friendliest method to me. Let stuff soak in the bleach for at least an hour or two, or overnight because it doesn't work instantly.
    Bleach is really tough on synthetics, I'm frankly surprised you haven't destroyed your gear. Everything I've ever learned about bleach in my textile science program is to never ever use it on synthetics. Darned if I can find the reason why though...

    An alternative to bleach is oxygenated detergent like Oxiclean, combined with an enzyme digester like Biz. Or, a very mild Lysol solution.

    here's my Never Fail Stinky Bike Gear recipe:

    Soak in "Biz" overnight, at least 12 hours. this is an enzyme
    based presoak that goes after organic matter, not your regular presoak.
    Then, rinse that out and then run through the wash with a laundry product
    called Oxyclean, which is not an detergent it's an additive. You should be
    able to get that at any supermarket.

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