Recommendations for disinfecting your personal protective equipment
In most parts of the world, the current phased lifting of the stay-at-home lockdown now allows for people to enjoy sports and other physical activities again, including outdoor sports like climbing and mountaineering. Nevertheless, we still need to abide by all health and safety guidelines in place. During the current COVID-19 crisis, many of you have sent us questions asking how to properly disinfect your gear, such as your harness, rope, or quickdraws. Here are the basics that you need to know to clean and disinfect your PPE, whether an amateur outdoor sports enthusiast, or a professional managing a fleet of outdoor PPE.
May 29 2020
To clean PETZL PPE or other equipment, please follow the instructions provided in the technical notice for each product. As a reminder, chemical cleaners damage plastics and textiles, breaking down the compounds and the fibers. The only cleaning products tested and recommended are soap and water.
In the specific case of COVID-19, hospital disinfection methods involve high temperatures (>150°C) or low temperatures (<100°C) and using bleach. We cannot apply these protocols to Petzl PPE. To date, no health authority has announced an official, reliable disinfection protocol using low temperatures (<100°C) and without bleach.
In this context, we recommend the following two protocols and you are free to choose which one best suits your needs:
- protocol 1: quarantine the product for 72 hours
- or protocol 2: immerse the product in hot (65° C) water for at least 30 minutes, then wash it with soap and water.
To dry your equipment, please follow the instructions provided in the technical notice. This protocol will highly reduce the risk of contamination, but of course is not 100% guaranteed. You can also request further information from your local health authorities concerning low temperature disinfection protocols.
Note: cleaning products manufactured by ECOLAB, used in accordance with their recommendations, are also approved as being compatible with all Petzl helmets and can thus be used (Sekusept™ MultiEnzyme P, Incidin™ OxyFoam S, OxyDes® Rapid). Warning: we do not know if they are effective against COVID19. For more information visit ECOLAB website.
Please remember that even though many countries are allowing outdoor sports to resume, they still remain subject to a specific set of health and safety guidelines (more or less strict depending on the country). We recommend that you enquire about local measures in place and follow the official guidelines for participating in these activities. Obviously, all protective measures remain applicable, as do the fundamental safety techniques for each sport.
While the current circumstances are truly unique, we share your enthusiasm for getting back out into the great outdoors and hope that you enjoy yourselves whatever the adventure.