Fire-Dex Blog

4 Steps to Clean Your Fire Hood

We all know cleaning your turnout gear twice a year is recommended by the NFPA, but do you think about your hoods too? It's easy to forget this small piece of gear, but that doesn't make it any less important! Follow these 4 quick and easy steps to get your fire hood properly cleaned.

Step by Step 

Tools You'll Need:

  • Examination gloves, apron, & safety glasses 
  • A large utility tub or programmable extractor that doesn't have a G-Force that exceeds 100 G

Step 1: Preparation

  • Observe necessary universal precautions 
  • Hoods may be hand or machine washed 
  • Hoods may be washed independently or combined with a load of liners 

Step 2: Wash Hood 

Hand Washing 

  • Fill large utility tub with warm water, being cautious never to exceed 40°C or 105°F
  • Add specialized detergent (approved for use on PPE with a pH between 6.0 and 10.5) to the tub at the label's recommended ratio 
  • Pre-soak hood for a minimum of 10 minutes 
  • Wearing protective gloves, gently rub materials until all areas have been cleaned 
  • Rinse thoroughly until all suds are removed 
  • Lightly squeeze out excess water 

Hudson_James_Hood Cleaning 5

Extractor Washing 

  • Hoods may be washed independently or with liners
  • Load basket so that when looking through the glass door, it is ¾ full 
  • Power on the extractor 
  • Select the appropriate pre-programmed selection (refer to the manufacturer's user guide for recommended settings)
  • If an automated pump is not present, manually add approved detergent as the machine is filling with water (refer to the detergent's directions for appropriate detergent to water ratio) 

Step 3: Remove & Inspect  

  • Always inspect hood after each wash to ensure it was thoroughly cleaned - you may rewash as necessary 
  • Ensure all soap was removed - if soap suds remain, rinse as necessary until the hood is sud-free
  • Hoods should be taken out of service if contaminants cannot be removed or any physical damage is found 

Step 4: Drying 

Air-drying is best in an air-drying cabinet or a dark space with good ventilation. You may also lay out on a drying rack or somewhere else that promotes the draining of water from the hood. 

  • Do not dry hoods in direct or indirect sunlight, fluorescent light, or UV light 

Machine-drying should be done using a "no heat" or "air dry" option when available. 

  • Temperature should never exceed 40°C or 105°F

Dos & Don'ts 

  • Follow NFPA 1851 recommendations 
  • Pre-treat heavily soiled or spotted areas by soaking in an approved solution of detergent and water
  • Keep water temperature under 40°C or 105°F
  • Periodically run an empty cycle to clean out the extractor 
  • Use specialized detergents approved to clean PPE with a pH between 6.0 and 10.5 


  • Stretch or wring out a wet hood
  • Overload the extractor as it will result in inefficient cleaning 
  • Wash hoods or other PPE with personal items, in home laundry, or at a laundromat 
  • Wash hoods with turnout gear outer shells, boots, suspenders, gloves, or any other materials containing hook/loop hardware 
  • Use chlorine bleach or solvents, as they may damage the protective qualities of the hood 


Categorized: Cleaning Your Gear, NFPA 1851, Gear Wash, Particulate Blocking Hoods


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