Cleaning and Disinfection of Turnout Gear and PPE (COVID-19)

By Brad Kraut - Shield Solutions, LLC.


Cleaning and Disinfection of Turnout Gear and PPE

The current situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has many of our customers seeking information regarding how to clean and disinfect their turnout gear and PPE. In an effort to be a resource we have put together information we feel will be helpful to our customers. 


Shield Solutions® Gear Clean meets all of the requirements of a detergent for cleaning turnout gear and PPE, however it is not a disinfectant.


Overall, cleaning and disinfecting of turnout gear and PPE should be done based on recommendations of the manufacturer. 


NFPA Standard

NFPA 1851 2020 edition has established requirements for cleaning and disinfecting of firefighting ensembles and should be reviewed prior to implementing any cleaning or disinfecting programs.


Noteworthy Requirements:

Detergents and other cleaning or pretreatment chemicals used in the advanced cleaning of ensembles and ensemble elements shall be appropriate for use on the respective ensemble. Only mild detergents with a pH between 6.0 and 10.5 shall be used.


No Chlorine bleach, chlorinated solvents or solvents shall be used without approval of the manufacturer or verified ISP.


Wash water temperature must not exceed 40°C (105°F). However, Section states: Where deemed appropriate for the purpose of specialized cleaning of garment elements, a maximum washer/extractor water temperature shall be permitted to be 60°C (140°F) for those ensembles or ensemble elements that are specified for advanced cleaning using a washer/extractor.


Section 7.4 provides detailed disinfection or sanitization and biological decontamination requirements. 



The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Recommends the following for Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection:

Linens, Clothing, and Other Items That Go in the Laundry

  • Do not shake dirty laundry; this minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.
  • Wash items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.
  • Clean and disinfect hampers or other carts for transporting laundry according to guidance above for hard or soft surfaces.


The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Recommends the following for

Decontaminating Gear and Equipment:


The COVID19 situation continues to evolve and therefore your customers should continue to consult available resources in how to best clean and disinfect their turnout gear and PPE.

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