Can You Wash Nomex Hoods With A Home Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Nomex Hoods With A Home Washing Machine

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No, it is not recommended to wash Nomex hoods with a home washing machine.

Nomex hoods are crucial safety gear for firefighters and other professionals working in high-temperature environments. Maintaining these hoods is essential for their effectiveness and longevity. One question that often arises is whether you can clean Nomex hoods in a home washing machine for convenience. However, it’s essential to approach this idea with caution. Washing Nomex hoods in a home washing machine is not recommended.

In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this recommendation, dos and don’ts, step-by-step guidance for cleaning Nomex hoods, and alternative washing methods, and address some frequently asked questions.

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Nomex Hoods With A Home Washing Machine


  • Wash Separately: Always wash Nomex hoods separately from personal items and station uniforms. This prevents contamination and ensures that the hoods are thoroughly cleaned.
  • Use Regular Detergent: When washing Nomex hoods, use regular detergent suitable for delicate fabrics. Make sure it doesn’t contain bleach or fabric softeners.
  • Use Warm Water: Wash the hood in warm water, but ensure the temperature does not exceed 105°F / 40°C. Hot water can damage the Nomex fabric.
  • Hang Dry: The best way to dry a Nomex hood is to hang it up in a well-ventilated area. This helps maintain its shape and prevents any potential damage from machine drying.


  • Avoid Home Washing Machine: As mentioned earlier, do not use a home washing machine to clean Nomex hoods. The hardware, hook-and-loop closure tape, and the potential presence of carcinogens on the hood can damage the machine and contaminate it.
  • Skip Washing: Neglecting to clean Nomex hoods can lead to a buildup of contaminants and compromise their protective qualities. Regular cleaning is essential for safety.

Steps To Clean Nomex Hoods With A Home Washing Machine:

While using a home washing machine is not recommended, if you must proceed with this method, follow these steps carefully:

Step 1

Preparation: Ensure that the hood is free from any coarse dirt or debris. Remove any loose contaminants.

Step 2

Place in a Laundry Bag: Put the Nomex hood inside a mesh laundry bag to protect it during the washing process. This will help prevent damage to the hood and the washing machine.

Step 3

Select a Delicate Cycle: Set your washing machine to a delicate or gentle cycle with warm water, ensuring it does not exceed 105°F / 40°C.

Step 4

Use Suitable Detergent: Add a small amount of regular detergent suitable for delicate fabrics. Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners.

Step 5

Monitor the Cycle: Keep a close eye on the washing machine during the cycle to ensure that the hood is not excessively agitated.

Step 6

Hang Dry: After the washing cycle is complete, remove the hood from the laundry bag and hang it up to dry in a well-ventilated area. Avoid using the machine’s spin-drying function.

Alternative Washing Methods For Nomex Hoods:

Given the potential risks associated with machine washing, it’s advisable to explore alternative cleaning methods for Nomex hoods:

  • Hand Washing: Fill a basin or tub with warm water (not exceeding 105°F / 40°C) and add a small amount of regular detergent suitable for delicate fabrics. Gently agitate the water to create suds. Submerge the hood and gently agitate it by hand. Rinse thoroughly and hang it up to dry.
  • Spot Cleaning: For minor stains or areas requiring special attention, spot cleaning is effective. Use a mild detergent solution and a soft brush or cloth to clean the affected areas. Rinse and hang up to dry.
  • Professional Cleaning: Consider sending your Nomex hood to a professional cleaning service that specializes in protective gear. They have the expertise and equipment to clean and inspect the hood thoroughly.
  • Conventional Home Method: Nomex items, such as hoods, can be washed and dried using any conventional home method involving normal household washers and dryers. Follow the manufacturer’s care instructions and use appropriate settings.


Can I use bleach to clean my Nomex hood?

Answer:  No, it is not recommended to use bleach on Nomex hoods. Bleach can damage the fabric and compromise its protective qualities.

How often should I clean my Nomex hood?

Answer:  The frequency of cleaning depends on how often you use the hood and the conditions it’s exposed to. Regular cleaning is essential to maintain its effectiveness.

Can I machine dry my Nomex hood on a low heat setting?

Answer:  It’s best to avoid machine drying altogether. Instead, hang the hood up to air dry in a well-ventilated area.

Are there specific cleaning products designed for Nomex hoods?

Answer:  While there may be specialty cleaning products for Nomex, using a mild detergent suitable for delicate fabrics is generally sufficient for cleaning.

Can I iron my Nomex hood if it wrinkles after washing?

Ironing is not recommended, as high heat can damage the Nomex fabric. Instead, gently reshape the hood while it’s damp, and hang it up to dry.

Final Words:

In conclusion, it is not recommended to wash Nomex hoods with a home washing machine due to the risk of damaging the machine and potential contamination. Instead, opt for alternative cleaning methods such as hand washing, spot cleaning, professional cleaning, or using conventional home methods following manufacturer care instructions. Regular cleaning and proper care are essential to ensure that your Nomex hood remains in excellent condition and continues to provide the protection you rely on in high-temperature environments.

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