Gear Care & Repair
Personal Flotation Devices (PFD) and Life Jackets:
A PFD is designed for flotation and to keep a conscious person’s head out of the water in calm conditions. A life jacket, on the other hand, is designed to turn an unconscious person from face down to face up in the water, allowing them to breathe. Lifejackets have more buoyancy than PFDs and most of the buoyancy material is in the front of the device. Despite the many differences, the way we care for these items will be quite similar. The following steps will show you how to clean life jackets and PFDs.
For steps on removing odors and deodorizing life jackets, click here.
How to Clean Life Jackets and PFDs:
STEP 1: Rinse the life jacket or PFD with a hose or water.
STEP 2: Fill a bucket or container with 3 gallons of cold water. Add 1 oz. of a clean-rinsing detergentlike Revivex Pro Cleaner.
STEP 3: Apply cleaner directly to heavily soiled areas and gently scrub with soft bristled brush. Try your best to avoid crushing or applying too much pressure to the life jacket or PFD while cleaning.
STEP 4: Dip the life jacket or PFD into the bucket. Clean the entire surface and straps with a sponge.
STEP 5: Rinse the life jacket or PFD in rinse water or with a hose.
STEP 6: Allow to air dry (NOTE: Do not hang in direct sunlight; a shady and well-ventilated outside area is best.).
STEP 7 (OPTIONAL): Once dry, apply UV Protectant to the life jacket or PFD to protect it from sun damage and fading.
It is important that you avoid the use of any chemicals on the PFD or life jacket except for a clean-rinsing detergent like Revivex. In addition, never press, flatten or kneel on the PFD or life jacket as it will damage the flotation material.
For evening paddlers, adding a strip of Reflective Tape to the PFD, like Tenacious Tape Reflective, ensures you stay visible.
By taking good care of your life jackets and PFDs you can prevent the growth of mold and mildew and extend the life of your favorite items. For more care and repair tips for watersports gear, check out our blog.