What else can be better than planning for a boat ride this holiday with your family? You are ready with the boat, equipment, and other necessary required things.
You open the cupboard and oh uh, a strong foul smell hits you. You find your life jacket wrapped in moist, and mold. At this point, your dream of boat riding has been drowned in the water.
That pitty life jacket just brought a silent and sudden flood on your holiday. If you want to avoid such scenes to happen, you need to be prepared beforehand. You have to keep your life jacket cleaned pre hand.
But now the question is how to clean the life jacket? Below is a step by step guide on how to clean your life jacket effectively and make it last longer.
Dos and Don’t
Before you start cleaning your life jacket, digest the below points thoroughly as not knowing the correct procedure can even ruin and decrease the jackets’ life.
- Never use any harsh chemicals as the jacket is not at all made to handle it.
- Always prefer a soap or a mild detergent for cleaning.
- Prefer only cold water for washing your life jacket.
- Use a soft bristle brush with a regular sponge.
- Never try washing your life jacket in a washing machine, since the swirling motion of the washing machine can damage the foam of your life jacket.
- Check and follow the washing instructions mentioned in your jacket.
So collectively, all you will need to start cleaning your life jacket is a bucket, soap or mild detergent, a sponge, a water hose, and a soft-bristle brush.
Steps to Clean your Life Jacket
Below is a step by step guide on how to clean your life jackets. Before starting, make sure that the life jacket is dry, as this will make removing the mold or mildew from jackets easy.
- Take a bucket and put some mild detergent or soap in it. Now fill three-fourth of the bucket with moderately cold water.
- Now dip the jacket into the bucket and clean the surface slowly with a sponge.
- Rinse the life jacket gently with a water hose along with a soft-bristle brush. Don’t try hard on the jacket with a brush. If you find it difficult to remove mold, take the help of a sponge along with the brush.
- Now allow the jacket to dry.
- Don’t store back your jacket unless it is completely dried. If your life jacket is not 100 % dry, you are inviting mold and mildew for the next season.
Tip- If you don’t want to use any soap or detergent, you can go with the solution of salt and water. The rest of the washing steps will be the same, as mentioned above.
Note- To dry the jacket, keep it away from direct sunlight. Placing it in a mid sunlight, shady and well-ventilated area. Make sure that your life jacket gets completely dried in this dark area, before storing them in your wardrobe.
Do we really need to clean the Life Jackets?
Yes. Life Jackets need to be cleaned periodically. Some of the reasons are mentioned below.
Mold- They build up when you leave the life jacket dry or store it in a no ventilated space.
Smell- Apart from the bad smell of mold, Fish, beer, smoke are some of the other common odors that can come from your jacket.
Sweat- Body sweat can also be there on your life jacket, so it’s better to get it washed, rather than wearing the same, as it might make you feel embarrassed while sitting with others on the boat.
Prevention from Mold and Mildew Problems
Always dry your life jackets complete and then store them for the next season. Prevention beforehand will save your next year’s holiday from ruining. Store it in a well-ventilated cabinet and do open it frequently. Be sure that your cabinet is not in the dark and moist area, as such areas are mildew prone.
Try cleaning the cabinet periodically to avoid the accumulation of mold.
When it comes to small kids, mostly infants, it is recommended that you should replace the life jacket with a new one, rather than washing it. Reason being that the mold might have moved inside the jacket and might not be 100% possible to remove it out even after the wash.
How to increase the life span of your Life Jacket?
If you don’t like washing your life jacket or if you don’t want to purchase a new one every season, you must follow the below-mentioned tips to enhance the life span of your old Life Jacket.
Tip no. 1- Never put anything on your life jacket as doing this can affect the design, and the foam may get compressed and damaged.
Tip no. 2- As said earlier, never store your life jacket in a dark place and keep the storage area always dry.
Tip no. 3- Don’t keep your jacket folded or in a bale of clothes.
When to buy a new Life Jacket?
While life jackets are supposed to last for years, still there comes a time when you have to discard that old life jacket with a new one.
Below are a few points that show a sign that you should replace your old life jacket with a new one.
- If you find any torn parts on your life jacket
- If your life jacket started to split
- If on pressing, the foam feels hard
You can buy a new jacket, if you find it impossible or hard to remove those mold and mildew, even after washing.
A life jacket is also referred to as a Personal Flotation device (PFD), and the method to wash PFD is the same as that of a Life Jacket.
Always wear a Life Jacket when you or on or near the water as any unfortunate water hazard won’t give you time to wear the life jacket.
Also, if you are visiting any water park or planning to do boating with your family, do read the rules and regulations there and try to follow them. Even if you know swimming well, you need a life jacket as the weather can change anytime and can put you in trouble.
I hope this article might have guided you more than enough on how to clean your life jackets and preserve it to enhance its life. Not storing them properly and cleaning it without any prior knowledge make them damage and worn out. Also, never try to fold or bend your life jacket under any situation as it can damage its design and hence the life span.