How to clean personal protective equipment?

  • Post last modified:September 30, 2023

In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of cleaning personal protective equipment (PPE). We understand the importance of keeping ourselves and others safe during these challenging times, which is why we have created this guide to help you ensure the proper maintenance and cleanliness of your PPE.

PPE plays a crucial role in protecting individuals from various hazards, whether it be in healthcare settings, industrial environments, or everyday situations. However, it is essential to remember that PPE needs to be cleaned and maintained regularly to continue functioning effectively.

Our guide will provide you with clear and concise instructions on how to clean different types of PPE, including face masks, gloves, and protective clothing. We understand that each type of PPE may require a slightly different approach, and we will address these differences to ensure that your equipment is properly cleaned and ready for use.

We will empathize with the challenges you may face when it comes to cleaning PPE, such as finding the right cleaning products or understanding the appropriate cleaning techniques. Our step-by-step instructions will alleviate any concerns you may have, providing you with the confidence and knowledge needed to effectively clean your PPE.

By following our guide, you will not only maintain the quality and lifespan of your PPE but also contribute to the overall safety and well-being of yourself and those around you. We are confident that with our help, you will be able to clean your personal protective equipment efficiently and effectively. Let’s get started and ensure the highest level of protection for ourselves and others!


Gather your PPE

  1. Collect all personal protective equipment that needs to be cleaned. Round up all the PPE items that you have used and require cleaning. This includes gloves, masks, goggles, and any other items that were worn or exposed to potential contaminants. Ensure that you have accounted for all the necessary PPE before proceeding to the next step.
  2. Organize the collected items. Arrange the PPE items in an orderly manner, making it easier to clean and sanitize them later. Separate different types of PPE, such as gloves, masks, and goggles, to streamline the cleaning process. This way, you can ensure each item receives the necessary attention and proper cleaning.
  3. Inspect the PPE for damage. Before cleaning, carefully examine each item for any signs of wear and tear, such as tears, holes, or broken straps. Damaged PPE may not provide adequate protection and should be replaced. If any item is found to be damaged, set it aside for proper disposal and make a note to replenish your PPE supply.
  4. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning. Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines or instructions for cleaning each specific type of PPE. Different materials and designs may require unique cleaning methods. Follow these instructions meticulously to ensure thorough and effective cleaning while preserving the integrity of the PPE.
  5. Clean the PPE using appropriate cleaning agents. Depending on the type of PPE, use the recommended cleaning agents, such as soap, detergent, or disinfectant solutions. Ensure that the chosen cleaning agents are effective against the contaminants your PPE may have encountered. Use warm water and a brush or cloth to clean the PPE thoroughly, paying close attention to the areas with higher contact and potential contamination.
  6. Rinse and dry the PPE. After cleaning, rinse the PPE items thoroughly with clean water to remove any remaining cleaning agents. Shake off excess water and allow the PPE to air dry in a clean and well-ventilated area. Avoid using heat sources for drying, as they may damage the PPE.
  7. Inspect the cleaned PPE. Once the PPE is dry, inspect each item again to ensure it is clean and free from any visible dirt or residue. Check for any lingering damage or defects that may have been missed earlier. If any issues are detected, replace the item before storing or using it again.

By following these steps, you can efficiently gather and clean your PPE, ensuring that it is ready for future use while maintaining its effectiveness in providing protection. Remember, proper cleaning and maintenance of PPE are essential for both personal safety and preventing the spread of contaminants.


Inspect for damage

Carefully examine each piece of personal protective equipment (PPE) for any signs of wear, tear, or damage. This step is crucial to ensure the effectiveness and safety of the equipment. Start by visually inspecting each item, paying close attention to any visible signs of damage such as frayed straps, holes, or cracks.

Next, inspect the functional components of the PPE. For example, if you are inspecting safety gloves, check for any signs of degradation or loss of flexibility in the material. For hard hats, look for any cracks or dents that could compromise their protective capabilities. Ensure that eye protection, such as goggles or face shields, have clear lenses without any scratches or cracks that may impair vision.

In case of damage that is beyond repair, promptly discard the item and replace it with a new one. Remember, compromised PPE can put us at risk of injury or illness. It is important to be vigilant and thorough during the inspection process to maintain the highest level of protection.

Example:Imagine you are inspecting a pair of safety boots. Begin by examining the outer surface, checking for any visible tears or cuts in the material. Inspect the soles, ensuring they are intact and not worn down excessively. Pay attention to the laces, making sure they are securely fastened and not frayed. Finally, try flexing the boots to ensure they are still flexible and not brittle. If you notice any signs of damage, such as a hole in the sole or a torn seam, it is essential to discard the boots and obtain a new, undamaged pair.

Inspecting for damage is a critical step in maintaining the integrity of our PPE. By carefully examining each item and promptly replacing any damaged pieces, we can be confident that our protective equipment will provide us with the highest level of safety and security in our work environment.


Prepare cleaning solution

To prepare an appropriate cleaning solution, it is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Start by checking the label or packaging of the cleaning product to determine the recommended dilution ratio or instructions for use. Diluting a specific disinfectant or using a recommended detergent can ensure effective cleaning and disinfection.

Here are some clear and easy-to-follow instructions to prepare a cleaning solution:

  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  • Gather the necessary equipment and materials, such as a measuring cup or spray bottle.
  • Determine the correct dilution ratio specified on the product label. For example, if the label recommends a 1:10 dilution ratio, you will need to mix 1 part cleaning solution with 10 parts water.
  • Measure the appropriate amount of cleaning product and pour it into a container.
  • Add the recommended amount of water to the container, based on the dilution ratio. For instance, if you are using 100 ml of cleaning solution, you will need to add 900 ml of water.
  • Mix the solution thoroughly by stirring or shaking the container.
  • Ensure the cleaning solution is well-mixed and ready for use.

By following these steps and adhering to the manufacturer’s instructions, you can prepare a cleaning solution that is effective and safe for use.


Clean with care

To clean each piece of PPE with care, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare the cleaning solution: Mix the recommended amount of cleaning detergent or disinfectant with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Ensure that the solution is appropriate for the specific type of PPE you are cleaning.
  2. Thoroughly clean each piece of PPE: Using a clean cloth or sponge, dip it into the prepared cleaning solution. Gently scrub all surfaces of the PPE, paying particular attention to high-touch areas such as buttons, straps, and handles. Make sure to remove any visible dirt or residue.
  3. Ensure all surfaces are properly cleaned: Take your time to clean each surface of the PPE thoroughly. Use a circular motion or back-and-forth motion to cover the entire area. Avoid using excessive force that could damage the PPE.
  4. Rinse and dry: After cleaning, rinse off any remaining cleaning solution from the PPE with clean water. Ensure that no cleaning residue is left behind. Then, use a clean towel or allow the PPE to air dry completely before storing or using it again.

Following these instructions will help ensure that your PPE is properly cleaned, reducing the risk of contamination and maintaining its effectiveness.


Rinse and dry

After cleaning, rinse off any residue from the PPE using clean water. Ensure that all surfaces of the PPE are thoroughly rinsed to remove any remaining cleaning agents or contaminants. By doing this, we can ensure that the PPE is clean and ready for further use.

Once rinsed, it is crucial to allow the PPE to air dry completely. This will help eliminate any moisture that may be trapped, preventing the growth of bacteria or other harmful microorganisms. Alternatively, if time is a constraint, use a clean, lint-free cloth to dry the PPE. Ensure that the cloth is free from any dirt or debris to avoid recontamination.

Remember, proper rinsing and drying of PPE is essential to maintain its effectiveness and prolong its lifespan. By following these simple steps, we can ensure that our PPE is clean, dry, and ready for the next use, providing us with optimal protection and peace of mind.



To sanitize the cleaned PPE, apply a suitable disinfectant. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper disinfection and contact time. Start by selecting a disinfectant that is recommended for the type of PPE you are sanitizing. Read the label carefully to understand the specific instructions and precautions.

Next, prepare the disinfectant according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. This may involve diluting the disinfectant with water or using it as is, depending on the product. Be sure to use the correct concentration to ensure effective sanitization.

Once the disinfectant is ready, apply it generously to the cleaned PPE. Use a clean cloth or spray bottle to evenly distribute the disinfectant over the surface. Pay close attention to high-touch areas such as straps, buckles, and buttons.

Allow the disinfectant to remain in contact with the PPE for the recommended contact time specified by the manufacturer. This contact time is crucial for the disinfectant to effectively kill any remaining pathogens.

After the contact time has elapsed, thoroughly rinse the PPE with clean water to remove any residue from the disinfectant. Ensure that all traces of the disinfectant are completely removed.

Finally, allow the PPE to air dry in a well-ventilated area. Avoid using heat sources such as hairdryers, as they may damage the PPE or reduce its effectiveness.

By following these steps and adhering to the manufacturer’s instructions, you can confidently sanitize your cleaned PPE and ensure its effectiveness in protecting you and others.


Store properly

Store the PPE properly by ensuring it is completely dry and sanitized. Once this is done, find a clean and designated area to store it, away from contaminants and direct sunlight. For example, you can use a storage cabinet specifically designated for PPE. Make sure the storage area is clean and free from any dust, dirt, or other potential contaminants that could compromise the effectiveness of the equipment. Additionally, keep the PPE away from direct sunlight, as prolonged exposure to sunlight can degrade certain materials and reduce their protective properties. By following these steps, you can ensure that your PPE remains in optimal condition and ready for use when needed.

Effective Tips for PPE Cleaning

In conclusion, we have explored the essential steps to clean personal protective equipment (PPE) effectively. We have emphasized the significance of regular cleaning and maintenance to guarantee optimal protection and safety. By following these guidelines, we can extend the lifespan of our PPE, minimize the risk of contamination, and ensure that it continues to provide the necessary defense against potential hazards. Remember, taking care of our PPE is not just a responsibility, but an essential part of our commitment to personal safety and well-being. Let’s make it a habit to clean our PPE regularly and confidently face any challenges that come our way.