Cleaning, Maintaining and Protecting your PPE
In many industries, employees work in potentially hazardous conditions, and personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential for their safety. In some cases, it’s the only thing standing between them and a serious injury.
However, that PPE is only effective when it’s clean and properly maintained. Depending on the equipment and the industry, cleaning and care requires a different approach, as PPE is designed specifically for its intended use.
For example, a construction site and a medical facility vary widely in their PPE requirements and the associated cleaning. A hard hat may need to be cleaned regularly, but disinfecting it isn’t a priority on a roofing job. In a medical facility, on the other hand, PPE is creating a barrier between an infectious virus or bacteria and the user’s skin, eyes, nose, and mouth. Proper use, cleaning, and maintenance of masks, goggles, and face shields helps prevent the spread of disease; failing to clean and sanitize the equipment could end up putting you or someone else in direct contact with the pathogens you were trying to avoid.
At Paulson Manufacturing, we understand the need for effective protective gear that can also be effectively cleaned. That’s why nearly all our face shields are carefully designed to be detachable or with easily accessible areas for cleaning.
Why Is Proper Maintenance of Your Paulson Products Essential?
Taking good care of your PPE will prolong its lifespan. Damaged equipment can’t do its job properly, and it often puts employees at greater risk because they believe they’re protected when, in fact, the damage has rendered the PPE ineffective. By cleaning your equipment, storing it in a safe place, and inspecting it for damage before you use it, you’ll stay safer and be able to use that equipment for longer before you need a replacement.
How to Properly Clean and Care For Your Paulson Products
Cleaning PPE is easy and affordable. Protective face shields and goggles can be cleaned using mild dish detergent and warm water and isopropyl alcohol (91%) and two soft cotton rags.
Gently wash your protective shields in the soap and water to remove dust and other particles. Pat it dry with the second rag—be careful not to scrub, as scrubbing can scuff or scratch the equipment. Next, apply the isopropyl alcohol to sanitize the shield.
It only takes a few minutes, but this simple cleaning method will maximize the life of your protective face shields and keep them in top condition. By using our recommended maintenance and cleaning techniques, you will maximize the service life of your PPE.
In addition to proper cleaning, careful storage of your PPE is also important. Keep it in a clean space, away from other equipment that could crush or scratch it. Be sure to keep your PPE out of direct sunlight, and store in a place with typical indoor temperatures. Examine your shields and other protective gear before you use it; damaged equipment should be replaced immediately.
Products to Avoid When Cleaning or Assembling
Certain cleaners and other chemicals are too harsh for your protective goggles and other PPE. Using them could ruin the transparency, weaken the material, or create scratches. Avoid these chemicals and cleaners when cleaning your transparent PPE:
- Loctite®:This thread locker reacts with polycarbonate and cause it to crack.
- Windex®:The ammonia in this and other similar cleaners damages polycarbonate.
When it comes to cleaning your face shields, you don’t have to overthink it or spend a lot of money on specialty cleaners. In this case, simple is best. Stick to soap and water, isopropyl alcohol, and soft rags for the best results.
For more information about proper cleaning and maintenance of your Paulson protective face shields and other PPE, take a look at our short Cleaning, Maintenance, and Protection video. Contact us if you have any questions or want to place an order for medical, industrial, arc flash, tactical, or firefighter personal protective equipment.