21 Feb 2023
Cleaning and storing your Lifejacket
Lifejackets can last a long time, to extend the working life of your jacket it is important to think about how you are going to clean and store your jacket.
How to clean your lifejacket
- Remove the automatic firing head and cylinder to eliminate the automatic or accidental inflation whilst washing the jacket.
- Wash your jacket by hand with a damp cloth using a maximum temperature of 30°C.
- You can remove grease spots from your lifejacket using trichlorethylene.
- After you have washed the jacket, dry it in a cool, dark ventilated room.
Tips on how to store your lifejacket
- Hang up your Lifejacket
Keeping your lifejacket vertical helps any condensation that may develop in the auto cartridge to drain away from the paper coil that activates the jacket.
- Store in a dry well-ventilated place
Life jackets are water activated. Making sure that the stowage place for your jackets is dry and ventilated and not open to water and moisture in any way, is important. Storing lifejackets in areas that are insulated and well-ventilated helps to reduce the build-up of condensation on the lifejacket and in particular in the auto-firing cap. If stored in areas of high condensation / low ventilation this can also create a breeding ground for mould which can damage the lifejacket.
- Put your Lifejacket away dry
Making sure that your lifejacket has been put away dry and not wet is again an obvious but important step. If very wet, opening and hanging the lifejacket up to dry will speed this process up. If the lifejacket is really wet, then removing the automatic head would be a good idea as well.
- Always check your inflation system before donning
You should be able to access your lifejacket's inflation system easily, via a window or similar. The zip also allows quick access without having to totally unpack.
With the considerable improvements in auto-firing caps over the years accidental inflations are rare however they still can happen. If your lifejacket does suffer from an accidental inflation, make sure to inflate the bladder for 24hr to check it is OK before repacking and using it.