7 Common Safety Vest Cleaning Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


Did you know that a safety vest should increase your visibility by at least 1000 feet? These garments play a significant role in protecting workers on different sites and roads. If you have high visibility clothing, it is crucial to take proper care of it to preserve its functionality.

However, making various safety vest cleaning mistakes can damage the fabric and reflective parts. This will then lower visibility, especially in the dark or in dusty and foggy environments.

Are you wondering how to keep such clothing clean without damaging them? Read on to discover seven common mistakes with vest cleaning. We'll also discuss ways to avoid them and mention the products that will help your safety gear last longer.

1. Not Removing Stains from Vests

One common mistake most people make with high visibility vests is failing to treat stains before washing. If you don't remove excess dirt, you are likely to damage the clothing. Particles such as dust and gritty grease will act as abrasives and destroy the reflective strips.

When cleaning safety vests, it's advisable first to treat any visible stains. Use a soft cloth or sponge to dampen dirty areas with water and mild detergent. You can also use a stain remover made specifically for this type of fabric.

After that, set the vest for about five minutes to lift stains, then wipe with a clean cloth. Taking this step will remove loose dirt and prevent abrasion during cleaning. It also simplifies the washing process by helping you deal with stubborn stains beforehand.

Soiled and stained safety vests

2. Using the Wrong Vest Cleaning products

Safety vests have fluorescent pigments which absorb and reflect light, boosting your visibility. Cleaning them with harsh detergents can break down the dye and cause color bleeding. Protect your safety vest by avoiding regular cleaning solutions since their alkaline nature can lower reflectivity.

Instead, get neutral detergents marked safe to use on fluorescent colors. By taking this precaution, you prevent decomposing the fluorescent dye and weakening the fiber on your vest.

3. Cleaning With Hot Water

Another common mistake with cleaning high-visibility clothing is using hot water. This issue mainly occurs when using the washing machine for stain removal.

Unfortunately, placing safety vests in warm or hot water can damage them in various ways. First, the high temperature will weaken the adhesive used to attach the reflective tapes to the fabric. It can also cause the fluorescent dye to bleed and reduce its ability to absorb and emit light.

If you are handwashing your vests, use cold water and be gentle to protect the reflective tapes. On the other hand, when using the washing machine, make sure you put it on the lowest heating setting.

Do not wash in hot water

4. Cleaning Vests With Rough Fabric

While washing your vests alongside other clothes may save water and electricity, it can damage the clothing. If you mix rough items with these garments, they will rub against the reflective film. Eventually, the tape will lose its adhesiveness and pull away from the fabric.

Protect your safety vests by washing them alone or alongside clothes with soft materials. Besides, avoid mixing them with pieces that have hook and pile fasteners or zips. These can rub against the vest during the cleaning cycle and cause significant damage.

Other than that, sort all clothes before placing them in the washer. This way, you can spot items with hidden parts like rough buttons or stiff tags that may scratch or tear the reflective tape.

Washing safety apparel

5. Wringing Vests

Wringing vests after washing may look like a minor step, but it can cause a lot of damage to the clothing. While doing this will remove excess water and speed up drying, it also causes mechanical damage to various parts.

For example, it will destroy the microscopic glass beads used for reflection. Squeezing also weakens the adhesive on the reflective tape and speeds up wear and tear.

Avoid damaging your safety vests by hanging them on the line to dry without squeezing out excess water. Moreover, ensure you place them in the shed to avoid fading the reflective pigment.

Do not wring dry

6. Washing With Bleach

Some people soak their safety vests with bleach to speed up stain removal. This issue is mainly common among those with white vests or those made of thick material.

Cleaning high visibility vests with bleach may remove stubborn stains, but you will damage the fabric in the process. This is because it contains some substances that can fade the reflective properties and custom printed logos.

If there are stubborn stains on the clothing, it's advisable to soak them with detergents for about 20 minutes. By taking this step, you can quickly remove the dirt on vests without needing to use bleach.

Do not use bleach to clean

7. Failing to Read the Washing Instructions

The material used to make a safety vest may vary depending on the manufacturer. Hence, some cleaning products and methods may not be appropriate for each piece. Failing to read the washing instructions makes it challenging to determine if a particular practice will affect the fabric.

Avoid common safety vest cleaning mistakes by reading the information on the tag. If you don't understand the symbols used, search for them online to ensure you do it correctly. Taking this precaution will help you protect your vests and enjoy their benefits for longer.

Tips on Avoiding Safety Vest Cleaning Mistakes

Learning more about safety vests and the materials used to make them will help you avoid some mistakes during cleaning.

A few more tips on preventing these issues:

  • Use the delicate cycle on your washing machine
  • Check the tag before machine drying your vests
  • Avoid using fabric softener

Another way to keep your safety vests in pristine condition is by addressing stains immediately. This way, you prevent them from drying out and eliminate the need to use harsh cleaning products.

Read washing instructions

Get Custom Safety Vest from Hi-Viz.com

Getting custom high-visibility clothing with instruction tags is the best way to avoid common safety vest cleaning mistakes. At Hi-Viz.com, we provide reflective vests from various reputable brands.

This clothing comes with clear cleaning instructions to help you avoid damaging them. They also have durable fabric and reflective films for enhanced protection. Register today to start shopping for high-quality safety vests.