Whether you are preparing our Halloween costume or preparing for a recreational event, it is undeniable that wearing armor will be a sure fire way for you to stand out! And after all is said and done and the armor has been worn, you may wonder what to do with it. How is it stored? Does it need to be cleaned? Etc. To answer these questions, here are some general principles to go by when maintaining your armor. As there are many different types and materials in the armor world, these pointers are by no means comprehensive and while some may cater to more specific armor kinds, these helpful hints are general enough to apply to the vast majority.
When it comes to storing your body armor, you must handle it with care. Armor should be stored flat rather than being thrown into the trunk of your car or smashed in a corner of your closet. Laying armor flat will prevent it from sets or wrinkles, which could be damaging to the material and reduce its lifespan. Also, tactical armor with plates should always be stored with these pieces removed. And though this may be common sense, it may as well be stated, for the record, that armor should never be stored when damp after washing or from perspiration. Doing so could result in unwanted greenery, also called mold, to form.
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Before storing your armor, you will obviously want to wash and dry it to ensure that it is fresh for the next use. While the tendency may be to ignore the manufacturer directions on washing, resist this prideful temptation. As covers and carriers for vests are crafted from different materials, they have different specifications for washing. For example, some polycotton carriers can be hand washed or machine washed on a gentle cycle. 100% nylon and cordura carriers should be sponge washed with warm water and mild detergent. The covers should also be washed in the same way. Armor washing must be done with care and full immersion in water should be avoided.
After cleaning the armor, it is time to let it dry. The armor should be placed in a well ventilated area and laid flat. It should not be hung and it should not sit in the sun, as UV rays may cause some types of materials to deteriorate. Once armor is dry, it should be carefully examined for damages and excessive wear. This step should be taken every time the armor is worn and you should never wear damaged armor.
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In addition to armor maintenance, here are some other helpful tips to ensure you get the most out of your armor. When wearing armor, it is recommended to wear a t-shirt or a special moisture wicking garment underneath. The armor should rest secure, but the straps should not be over tightened to allow for air circulation. When done wearing the armor, clean it as soon as possible as opposed to letting it sit for a long period of time.
So, now you know how to truly give your armor that extra special touch to preserve it and keep it long lasting.
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