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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Keep it clean or Keep it real?

On occasion people ask us for advice on cleaning nylon tactical gear. So here is what we say:
First, a word on what not to do: don't try to clean your gear in a washing machine. It won't hurt the materials but it will beat up the gear as a whole and distort its shape. Dry cleaning is also out of the question. In fact, there is no need for a machine to clean a piece of nylon gear. For removing accumulated dust and grit use a bristle brush—the kind sold in super markets for scrubbing pots and pans. Nylon is tough. A vigorous bristle brushing won't hurt it.
For dirt and stains that simply will not brush off, we recommend upholstery cleaner which can be bought at most auto supply stores. Use it according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Since the real waterproofing in the nylon weave is the urethane coating on the inside of the Cordura®. The only thing that you might do, if you are a stickler for waterproofing, is to treat the seams with Seam Seal (the gooey stuff that comes in a tube, sold by those who sell tents and rain gear).
In fact, if you like your gear just the way it is, proudly wearing the dirt and stains of long and faithful service, there’s no reason to think about cleaning it at all. You can save yourself the cost of a brass bristle brush and a can of upholstery cleaner-carry on.

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