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Racing Suit Cleaning and Care

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Proper Suit Care

Proper cleaning and care for your racing suit is extremely important to ensure the durability and integrity through its entire lifecycle. After each session, you should always hang to dry and store it in a suit bag away from harsh sunlight and ultraviolet rays. Even during the chaotic rush of the pits, it may seem like a hassle, but you should always take your suit off if you’re working on your car. Grease, oil, fuel, or any other containment can compromise the protection offered by your racing suit.

Typical race suits are constructed of two basic types of fire-retardant material, chemically treated fire resistant cotton (FRC) like Proban or similar man-made materials like Nomex. In some cases, suits can be constructed with a combination of these materials. Before cleaning, it’s most important to consider what material your suit is made of. Conflicting opinions exist whether machine washing or dry cleaning is considered the best method, however, each suit manufacturer will specify the suggested procedure. The cleaning procedure we recommend should be taken as a general rule and not regarded as what the individual manufacturer recommends.

Cleaning Fire Resistant Cotton Suits

It’s suggested by most suit manufacturers to dry clean any suit that is made of chemically treated FRC or Proban. But without having control of the chemicals used in the dry cleaning process, always ask your dry cleaner if they have worked with fire-retardant fabrics before. You’ll want to avoid chemicals such as “TCE” (trichloroethylene) or any harsh detergents. Over time these chemicals can gradually build up deposits that will interfere with the fabric’s ability to retard flame. Dry cleaning isn’t always an option, so chemically treated FRC can be washed using conventional methods as well. You can machine wash separately on a delicate cycle in cold water with the suit right side out (not inside out). Before washing, be sure to close the zippers and fasten all Velcro closed using a stainless steel safety pin to prevent damage to the fabric. Use a gentle laundry detergent with minimal acids or alkalis, avoid detergents based on soap or containing sodium silicate or metasilicate and do not use hard water. Also, avoid chlorine bleaches or chlorine-based stain removers. Let the suit hang dry, indoors (out of direct sunlight).

Cleaning Nomex Racing Suits

Since Nomex fire-resistant material is designed built into the fabric you can worry less about losing the fire-retardant properties over time. Most suit manufacturers will recommend dry cleaning – assuming your dry cleaner is familiar with fire-retardant fabrics. It’s also okay to machine wash Nomex suits on a delicate cycle in lukewarm or cold water. Make sure to close all your zippers, and fasten the Velcro closures with a stainless steel safety pin to avoid damaging the material. DuPont advises against using ordinary soaps containing acids or alkalis on Nomex material. When you’re finished, let the suit hang to dry, indoors out of direct sunlight.

To avoid dry cleaning or when it’s simply not an option, Speedway offers an alternative option from Molecule. It’s a fabric care system specifically formulated and laboratory tested for Nomex material and other technical fabrics. We supply it as an easy-to-use four-step cleaning system or each cleaner can be purchased individually.

Spot Cleaner

Concentrated formula penetrates deeply to safely dissolve spots and stains Part of the Molecule Technical Fabric Care System For use with Molecule Wash

  • Concentrated formula effectively cleans technical fabrics in conventional washing machines
  • Removes contaminants that can degrade fabric performance
  • Contains an antimicrobial agent to inhibit the growth of bacterial odors
  • Maintains fabric breathability
  • Contains a fabric brightener to help you look your best
  • Reduces odors on all types of technical fabrics
  • Contains an antimicrobial agent to inhibit the growth of bacterial odors
  • Maintains fabric breathability
  • Light fresh scent
  • Keeps gear cleaner and safer by resisting contaminants that can degrade fabric performance
  • Sheds water, oils, fuels, and dirt
  • Fabric sunscreen reduces color fading caused by UV rays
  • Safe, water-based, patent pending formula

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