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How to Make Your High-Visibility Jacket Last Longer?

Ensuring that your safety gear lasts longer not only saves money but also guarantees consistent protection when you need it the most. High-visibility jackets, a crucial part of safety clothing, often face harsh conditions in workplaces such as the construction industry.

Proper care, from cleaning high visibility vests to understanding washing instructions, can significantly extend the lifespan of your hi-vis gear. Let's delve into the details of hi-vis safety apparel and how to maintain its vibrancy and reflective properties.

Understanding High-Visibility Jackets

High-visibility jackets are a category of safety clothing designed to make the wearer easily noticeable in any lighting condition. These jackets are usually made from soft materials that are dyed in fluorescent colours, and adorned with reflective tapes containing microscopic glass beads to enhance visibility.

Types of High-Visibility Jackets and Their Uses:

  • Safety Vests: Lightweight vests, often called safety vests or high visibility vests, that are equipped with reflective strips. They are typically used in the construction industry and roadwork.

  • Bomber Jackets: These are heavier hi-vis jackets with reflective material, providing both warmth and visibility. Ideal for outdoor work in colder conditions.


How Long Does Hi-Vis Safety Gear Last?

When utilized appropriately, high-visibility safety apparel eventually experiences a reduction in its reflective properties. It's important to consult the label on the safety gear to determine the recommended number of wash cycles before it requires replacement.

For instance, while a protective vest might be effective for up to 25 washes, a more delicate safety reflective jacket may only last for five wash cycles. Always refer to the care label or seek guidance on the proper washing of such protective garments.


Why Proper Care is Essential?

construction workers in hi-vis vests

Proper care of high-visibility clothing is essential for several compelling reasons:

  1. Safety and Compliance: High-visibility clothing, such as safety vests and jackets, are designed to protect individuals in potentially hazardous environments. Ensuring that the fluorescent colours and reflective tapes are in optimal condition is crucial for maintaining visibility and adhering to safety regulations.

  2. Durability and Longevity: Regular and proper care extends the lifespan of hi-vis safety apparel. By following washing instructions and avoiding harsh detergents, the fabrics and reflective materials are preserved, saving you from frequent replacements.

  3. Cost-Efficiency: Taking good care of safety gear is economical. By maximizing the lifespan of each piece of hi-vis clothing, individuals and organizations can significantly reduce the costs associated with frequently purchasing new items.

  4. Professional Appearance: Well-maintained safety clothing not only ensures safety but also presents a professional image. Clean and well-kept hi-vis jackets and vests reflect positively on an individual or a company's commitment to safety and professionalism.

  5. Environmental Impact: Proper care and maintenance of clothing items mean they need to be replaced less frequently, contributing to less waste and a reduced environmental footprint.

  6. Optimal Performance: Hi-vis safety apparel is crafted with materials designed for specific conditions, such as construction sites or roadside work. Proper care ensures that these materials, including reflective strips and fluorescent dyes, perform at their best, offering optimal visibility and protection.


Proper Care and Maintenance

1. Washing and Cleaning

Properly washing and cleaning high-visibility jackets is crucial to maintaining their reflective properties and ensuring longevity.

Instructions for Washing:

  • Always check the care instructions on your high-visibility clothing before washing.

  • Use a mild detergent and avoid bleach or fabric softener, as these can break down the fluorescent dyes and microscopic glass beads in the reflective tape.

  • Wash jackets in cold water on a delicate cycle to maintain the fabric's integrity.

  • For stubborn stains, spot cleaning is recommended. Gently rub a clean cloth or a light brush with some mild detergent on the stain before the washing process.

  • To maintain the clothing clean, turn your hi-vis clothes inside out to protect the reflective tapes and brand logos.

  • After washing, line-dry the garments away from direct sunlight. Avoid high heat from tumble dryers as it can damage the fabric and reflective strips.

Always read the care labels on the jacket. Care labels provide specific washing instructions that are tailored to the fabric and reflective material used in safety vests and jackets. Following them ensures the hi-vis safety apparel lasts longer.

For spot cleaning, use a stain remover and gently rub on the area without compromising the jacket's visibility. Ensure the stain remover is not made of harsh detergents.

2. Proper Storage

Storing your hi-vis clothing and safety gear properly is equally important in ensuring their longevity.

  • Prevent Fading and Wear: Store your high visibility vests and jackets in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and harsh conditions to prevent fading of fluorescent colours. Avoid hanging your hi-vis gear with rough fabrics that might cause wear and tear.

  • Keep it Dry: Ensure your safety clothing is completely dry before storing it to prevent any mould or mildew growth. This is particularly crucial for safety jackets used in the construction industry that may be exposed to moisture.

3. Regular Inspections and Repairs

Regularly inspecting your hi-vis safety apparel can help spot minor issues before they turn into significant problems. Check your safety vests and hi-vis jackets for any fading, tears, or peeling of the reflective tapes and ensure that all zippers and fastenings are functional.

Tips for Minor Repairs:

  • Minor tears can be carefully sewn to avoid further damage.

  • Broken zippers or fastenings can be replaced to extend the life of the clothing items.

When to Replace?

If the reflective material has worn off or the fluorescent colours have faded significantly, compromising the garment's visibility, it's time to replace your hi-vis safety gear.

Through proper care, regular inspections, and timely repairs, your high-visibility clothing can provide safety and visibility in harsh conditions for an extended period.



The proper care and regular inspection of high-visibility safety apparel are crucial for ensuring longevity and safety. For outdoor workers, the Fonirra FONIRRA JK49 Cold Weather Hi-Vis Jacket stands out as an exemplary choice.

With its 360° reflective strips, and waterproof and windproof design, this jacket is versatile for both work and daily wear. Let Fonirra's High Visibility Reflective Jacket be a valuable tool in your commitment to safety and well-being.

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