It’s no secret that your plate carriers and chest rigs are bound to get dirty at some point. In order to keep them in good shape, it’s important to know the proper care techniques for your gear. Learning how to wash chest rigs and plate carriers is important for any first responder or outdoorsman. It’s possible to thoroughly clean up your gear without damaging any of the material or fasteners that it features.
Prep Before Washing
Chest rigs and plate carriers are designed with a variety of pockets and pouches. Whether these hold firearms, magazines, or armor plates, it’s important to remove everything from your pockets before washing this type of gear. In addition, any removable pouches should be detached and washed separately for the best results. If your vest features a cummerbund, detachable straps, or any other small accessories, wash those separately as well. Though this is an extra step, it will help to maintain to prevent these elements of the gear from being ripped or loosened.
How to Wash a Chest Rig
Once all the accessories have been removed and pockets emptied, it’s time to wash your chest rig or plate carrier by following these steps:
- Apply a small amount of dish soap to any stained areas and scrub with a soft brush or toothbrush.
- Fill your tub with about six inches of lukewarm water. (Hot water could damage the fabric’s colors.) Add a small amount of gentle laundry detergent.
- Scrub the bag with a soft brush or cloth, focusing particularly on especially dirty areas or spot stains. A toothbrush is good for ground-in stains and hard-to-reach crevices. Avoid using a brush on mesh fabric; a sponge or cloth will work better on these areas.
- Drain the dirty water and rinse thoroughly with clean cool water.
- Use thick towel to absorb excess water.
- Allow it to air-dry in a shaded area with good air flow that will help any lingering odors drift away. Make sure it’s completely dry before it’s used or stored away.