Both body armor and plate carriers are important pieces of gear for anyone who works in a dangerous environment and needs protection from any potential ballistic threats.
Not only do they provide a layer of protection against potential threats while out in the field, but they also help to ensure that you remain safe and secure during your mission.
Just like any gear, body armor and plate carriers require proper care and maintenance in order to provide the highest level of protection and ensure that they last a long time. It’s important to clean and store them properly to maintain their effectiveness.
In this article, we will be taking a look at the steps necessary to properly clean and store your body armor and plate carriers so that they remain in top condition and provide maximum protection.
How Often Should You Clean Your Body Armor?
You should clean your body armor after every mission or operation. This way, you can ensure that your armor stays in the best possible condition and is free of dirt, debris, and sweat that can damage the material.
Now how thoroughly you need to clean it will depend a lot on how dirty you got the armor. If the armor is just covered in loose dirt then you should just dry clean it. If it’s more than that, then you should use a mild soap and water mixture to thoroughly clean it.
All-in-all, quickly clean your body armor after each use depending on its condition and do a more thorough cleaning 1-3 times a year (depending on how much you use it). This will help to keep the armor in good condition and ensure that it remains effective and provides maximum protection.
Cleaning Body Armor
- Remove any plate or ballistic inserts from your body armor
- Brush any loose dirt or debris off
- Use clean water and mild soap to clean the armor with a sponge
- Avoid any harsh chemicals
- Don’t put it into a washing machine
- Air dry it after the cleaning
The first thing you have to do when cleaning body armor is to remove any loose dirt or debris. You can do this by gently brushing the body armor with a soft-bristled brush or by using a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment.
Make sure to pay a little extra attention to the seams and crevices of the body armor, because dirt and debris can accumulate in these areas.
After you have gotten rid of all the loose dirt it’s time to wash the body armor. If your body armor has any plates or other ballistic protection in it you should remove them first!
Now it is important to use mild soap and warm water to clean the armor. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the armor. A mild dish soap or laundry detergent is a good choice.
Use a soft sponge or some cloth. Dip it in the soap solution and gently wipe down the armor, and make sure to cover all of the surfaces. You should also avoid using too much water, as this can cause the armor to become saturated and lose some of its protective properties.
After cleaning it with the sponge, rinse the armor thoroughly with some clean water to remove any remaining soap. And once again, pay extra attention to the seams and crevices to ensure all soap is removed.
After you are done washing it make sure to allow the armor to air dry completely before storing it. Also, don’t use any heat sources such as a hair dryer or heater to speed up the drying process, as this can damage the armor.
Cleaning Plate Carriers
- Remove the plates from the carrier
- Brush or vacuum the dirt and any debris
- Hand wash the carrier with mild soap and warm water
- Rinse it
- Air-dry the carrier
- Dry clean the plates
Cleaning a plate carrier is very similar to cleaning your body armor. Again start by taking out your plates or other ballistic inserts.
After that, you should start by removing any loose dirt or debris by brushing or vacuuming. And then continue washing the carrier with mild soap and warm water, and also make sure to pay extra attention to the seams, crevices, and if the carrier has MOLLE webbing then that.
After you are done cleaning it with a sponge rinse the carrier thoroughly with clean water to remove any remaining soap residue or dirt. After that allow it to air dry completely before you store it
Some plate carriers can be machine washed on the gentle cycle but make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions first.
Now let’s take a quick look at how to clean the plates of the carrier. Here I would really avoid using water if possible and just dry clean them. So brush or vacuum off any dirt and then wipe them down with a dry cloth. And if there are any stains or they are “really really” dirty, then wipe them with a moist rag or sponge. After that air dry them.
Storing Body Armor and Plate Carriers
- Make sure your body armor is dry
- Store the armor in a cool and dry place
- Avoid direct sunlight
- Make sure it’s protected from any physical harm
- Store plates separately
- Regularly inspect the armor for any damage
- Keep track of body armor expiration dates
Proper storage for your body armor is essential to ensure that the protective properties of the body armor and the overall life span are maintained.
The first thing you have to do is make sure that the armor and carrier are completely dry before storing them. Because moisture will cause the armor to lose its protective properties over time, so it is important to ensure the armor is completely dry before storing it.
When you have made sure that the armor is dry, store it in a cool and dry place. You should avoid storing the body armor in direct sunlight or in a damp place because that can cause the armor to deteriorate over time. And it’s also really important to store the armor in a place where it is protected from physical damage.
When storing plate carriers, keep the plates separate from the plate carrier to avoid any potential damage to the plates. Also, the plates should be stored in some kind of protective case or maybe wrapped in a protective cover.
You should also avoid storing your body armor or plate carrier with hangers or anything else that can cause pressure points or indentations in the material. All these things can reduce the effectiveness of your armor over time.
Also, your body armor and the plate of the plate carriers should be inspected regularly to make sure they are in good condition and still able to provide the protection that you need.
So you should check for any signs of wear or damage, such as tears, cracks, or fraying. If you find any damage, the armor should be replaced.
Also, remember that body armor and ballistic plates have a limited lifespan, so it’s important to keep track of their expiration dates and make sure that your armor is not too old.
- You should clean your body armor after each use.
- Body armor should be deep or more thoroughly cleaned at least once a year (depending on use).
- To get rid of dust, dirt, and other loose particles, use a dry brush or a vacuum cleaner.
- To wash the body armor use a mixture of mild soap and warm water and a sponge or cloth.
- Make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions and never machine wash a bulletproof vest.
- Make sure to air-dry the body armor before storing it.
- Store your body armor in a cool, dry place where it is protected from physical damage.
- Regularly inspect body armor, ballistic plates, and plate carriers regularly for any signs of wear or damage.
- Keep track of expiration dates to ensure your body armor is still providing you with the protection you need.
All-in-all, taking good care of your body armor is essential to maintaining its protective qualities and ensuring that it will keep you safe. Make sure to take the time to clean, inspect, and store your armor correctly so that it will continue to provide the protection you need.
We hope this short article has answered any questions you may have had about body armor maintenance and storage. If you’re still unsure, feel free to reach out to us or leave a comment below.