Cleaning personal protective equipment (PPE) often comes with a high price tag, but failing to properly clean gear could cost even more and presents a serious health risk as well.

Firefighters especially could find plenty of other uses for precious funds rather than paying for expensive, specialized equipment to clean and sanitize PPE.

Meeting the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1851 standards for cleaning PPE at a fire station might mean shelling out $100,000 for an Esporta washing machine.

The Esporta was engineered to clean equipment without the agitation found in most washing machines, and by all accounts it does an excellent job.

But the Esporta is a one-machine-fits-all solution, designed for everything from industrial and firefighting personal protective equipment to sports equipment and even wedding dresses. Different items require special cleaning formulations, meaning you pay for multiple settings and a lot of capability you’ll most likely never use.

A less expensive and more practical solution would combine an Omegasonics ultrasonic cleaner (cost around $15,000) combined with a Milnor industrial washing machine extractor (also about $15k). The ultrasonic cleaner gently cleans and sanitizes hard parts like helmets and boots, while the washer/extractor handles soft parts like jackets and pants.

Allowing for soap and extra equipment, you will pay less than  $50,000. That’s half the price for the same cleaning capability necessary for personal protective equipment.

Wouldn’t it be nice to spend that extra $50,000 on something other than a high priced, multipurpose washing machine? Especially given that you’ll rarely if ever use most of the settings on the more expensive machine? Rather than take the expensive route to cleaning personal protective equipment, you could get the same clean for half the price, and still have money to purchase infrared imagers, extraction tools, or additional safety equipment.

Before you overspend, visit our website to learn more about how our ultrasonic cleaners, used along with Milnor’s industrial washer/extractors, can help you meet the NFPA 1851 standards for cleaning personal protective equipment.