Laundering Fire Retardant & Arc Rated Uniforms

The Fire Retardant (FR) treatments and thus the FR protection capabilities are inherit throughout the lifetime of the Uniforms.


Studies performed by ArcWear in Kentucky, the leading industry expert, support this.  In an intensive study, FR materials were laundered at 120°F, ironed and tumble dried up to 250 cycles, tested in intervals of 50 cycles, using three different loads of detergents:

LOAD 1: Tide® Detergent.

LOAD 2: Tide® Detergent, adding Clorox 2® (Stain Remover, Color Booster) and Ultra Downy® Softener.

LOAD 3: Tide® Detergent, adding Concentrated Clorox® (Bleach) and Ultra Downy® Softener.


Results: After 50 laundry cycles – FR protection protection capabilities remained unchanged for all three loads.


  • LOAD 1 retained the FR protection capabilities up to 250 cycles.

  • LOAD 2 retained the FR protection capabilities up to 250 cycles, but lost part of the tear resistance after 200 cycles, simply because the material got thinner after the large quantity of cycles.

  • LOAD 3 (which contained Concentrated Bleach), retained the FR protection capabilities up to 50 cycles; however at the test performed after 100 cycles, the LOAD 3 had lost the majority of the FR treatment, and thus the FR protection capabilities.

Lessons learned:

FR treated materials retain the FR protection capabilities up to 250 cycles, using commercially available laundry detergents and fabric softeners.

Fabric softener does not impact the FR protection capabilities.

Using Concentrated Bleach significantly reduces the FR protection capabilities after 50 cycles.


Access to the full report/study performed by ArcWear, can be purchased at: