Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cleaning Your Molle Gear

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You've got the gear, you've assembled your kit, gone out into the field, and now you're back, and your gear is covered with all manner of dirt, mud, leaves and brush. How do you safely clean your MOLLE gear?

Odor Lock is a great soap to use on any MOLLE gear you use for hunting
Regularly cleaning your MOLLE gear helps it last longer. Dirt and soil left in the fabric rub and abrade the material, causing it to fray and weaken prematurely. Plus, who wants to haul around dirt gear anyway?

Start by brushing off loose dirt and plant material. Remove any leaves, twigs, grass, and burrs from the equipment. Scrape off any dirt and mud dried or caked on using a dulled tool - sharp tools will cut and abrade the fabric, weakening it. Then, wipe off loose dirt and dust using a microfiber cloth.

Wash your gear in warm (not hot!) soapy water using a mild detergent (the US military recommends using NSN 7930-00-929-1221) such as a liquid dish soap or a small amount of liquid laundry detergent. Immerse the gear completely and let it soak for a few minutes. Then, gently work the fabric back and forth to help loosen dirt trapped in the fabric.

For stubborn stains or where soil has been ground into the fabric, use a soft bristled brush such as a toothbrush to gently scrub. Never use stiff brushes, abrasives, bleach or solvents as they will cause discoloration and damage to the fabric and plastics.

Rinse your gear in clean water. Make sure to thoroughly and completely get all of the soap out.

Push the fabric back into its original shape, and set it out to dry in the shade.

NEVER DRY YOUR MOLLE GEAR IN A HEATED DRYER! Hang it out in the shade, not in the sun. Drying it in the sun can cause it to fade and shrink. Exposing your MOLLE gear to the tumbling of a dryer wears it out faster, and the heat can shrink it. For the same reason, do not use a washing machine as the agitator will cause unnecessary wear and tear. Always air dry your gear, don't use heat to speed up the drying process.

Keeping your gear clean maximizes it's useful life by reducing the wear and tear of dirt on the fabric. Take care of your gear, and your gear will take care of you!

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