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Old July 11, 2002, 06:43 PM   #1
STEVE M
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Join Date: February 7, 1999
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care of body armor

I know enough to not get it wet, keep it out of sunlight, and store flat in a cool dry place. For the panels themselves, what can be done to keep them clean and ODOR free?
I've had mine about a year now, wash the carriers regularly, but am wondering about the panels themselves. (I wear mine every day to work.)
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Old July 11, 2002, 08:55 PM   #2
Foxy
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There's a company that markets a spray that can spray onto Kevlar without degrading it that kills the odor (sorta like Febreeze for Kevlar).


Unfortunately, I can't seem to find them at the moment, but I will look..
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Old July 12, 2002, 06:38 AM   #3
IamNOTaNUT
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Have you tried washing the panels? There is no reason to keep them from getting wet. Moisture will not degrade the kevlar, just let it dry out real well. Think about it, doesn't it get wet when you wear it and sweat your gonads off? Doesn't it get wet when you are standing in the rain working a nasty accident? Water is no problem.

Just fill up the bathtub with warm water and a mild detergent, like dishwashing soap. (Lemon joy leaves a nice clean scent ) Rub it down thoroughly with a rag, and lie flat to dry away from the direct sunlight or forced air ducts. Do this at least once a month or so to keep it smelling good.

Check with your manufacturer if you need more suggestions.
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Old July 12, 2002, 10:22 AM   #4
Foxy
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Nut:

My armor's (made by Point Blank) ballistic panels say that cleaning the panels should only consist of brushing off loose dirt and wiping it down with a moist cloth. It specifically states against submerging it in water, and against the use of solvents (which I am not sure if soap qualifies).

Still looking for that cleaning stuff..
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Old July 12, 2002, 12:07 PM   #5
IamNOTaNUT
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That is quite curious. Does Point Blank market a cleaner like you mention? I have been doing this with my Second Chance vests for many a year and they seem to hold up just fine. In fact, I believe that was the recommended way of cleaning these babies when I got my first one many years ago.

I did use a Point Blank, briefly and against my will, a couple of years ago and did not like it. Too stiff and thick for my tastes. I'll stick with Second Chance. It's a bit more money, but it is much more comfortable.
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Old July 12, 2002, 11:21 PM   #6
streetpro
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Uh, you might want to rethink the bathtub thing.

All ballistic materials are SERIOUSLY compromised under submersion. This can lead to permanent loss of up to half of the ballistic capability of the armor.

It can also lead to an entire ecosystem living inside the panel if it does not dry completely.

The exposure from the elements and your body is not likely to completely saturate it.

A good idea is to get a skirt hanger and hang the armor by the tails, with the body contact side facing out.

Procurement of the skirt hangar or even the skirt wearer/owner is your resposibility.

That will take care of all but the sweatiest vest funk.
The basic recommendation of (lightly) damp sponging to clean, can be supplemented by a number of odor elimination products available for ice hockey equipment.

I will be happy to help with any other questions.

Bill Perches
Western United States Coordinator
U.S. Armor Corporation
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Old July 28, 2002, 03:51 AM   #7
IamNOTaNUT
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Doesn't the current NIJ standard require the vest be "waterproof"? If so, doesn't that really make the submersion point moot?

Or did Second Chance finally convince NIJ that the rule was silly to begin with?

In any event, I am not talking about leaving the vest in the water until it saturates and sinks. It only needs to be in the tub for a couple of minutes to scrub the funk off it, rinse, and dry flat out of direct sunlight. It doesn't saturate through to the inner layers as they are all tightly woven/sewed and the vest doesn't hang out in the water that long. Now if you put it in the washing machine or something, I would have an easier time understanding your point.

In what way is the kevlar "compromised" by getting wet? If that were the case, wouldn't being soaked in sweat every day seriously degrade at least the outer layers of fabric? This makes no sense to me, but then again I am neither a kevlar nor a rocket sceintist.
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