Cleaning & Drying
- When washing, use a sponge and mild detergent (if necessary).
- Do NOT use solvent based cleaners.
- Let drip-dry in ventilated area. Do not attempt to speed up the drying process by using any type of heat source
- Drying in non-direct sunlight will help prevent fading.
- Make sure the life jacket is completely dry before putting in storage; any moisture has a good chance of leading to mold or mildew.
- Keep in a DRY place. If storing in your boat, make sure your boat is moisture free
- Again, keep it out of direct sunlight to prevent fading.
Safety Check for Inflatable PFDs
- If your life jacket is the Automatic Inflatable style, you’ll want to remove the CO2 Cartridge.
- Check the cartridge for damage and make sure it hasn’t previously activated without your awareness -CO2 cartridges can only be used once . If there is any damage or if the cartridge has been activated, replace at once.
- Clean all areas using a mild detergent, including the manual inflation valve & CO2 cartridge detonation mechanism. Make sure to check for damage along the way.
With the proper cleaning and storage, your PFDs will stay fresh and look new for many years and best of all, when you pass a vest to a friend to wear, it won’t smell like an old gym sock, especially in inside your boat.
Thanks to Wayne at Kent Watersports and the Personal Floatation Device Manufacturers Association for help with this article.
Photo by mikebaird