|Inspecting and Retiring Chaps
Chain saw chaps need to be inspected frequently and retired when appropriate. Retire chain saw chaps when:
- The outer shell has numerous holes and cuts. Such holes allow bar oil to contaminate the Prolar® pad. The oil acts as an adhesive, reducing the level of protection.
- Wood chips and sawdust are evident inside the layers at the bottom of the chaps.
Improper repairs have been made, such as patch jobs that stitched through the Prolar pad. Machine or hand stitching the pad prevents the fibers from moving, which lowers the level of cut-through protection.
- Chaps have been improperly cleaned. Using detergents with bleach additives decreases the level of cut-through protection. High-pressure washing destroys the pad
- The outer shell is caked with oil and dirt deposits that can’t be removed with cleaning. Testing shows that chaps with such deposits offer much less protection than relatively clean chaps
- The first layer of fabric has a cut that is more than 1 inch long
|Care and Cleaning of Chaps
Treat your chain saw chaps as a piece of CRITICAL safety equipment. Do not use your chaps as a chain stop. Keep them as clean as possible. Correct and timely cleaning reduces general wear and tear and the chaps’ flammability.
We recommend cleaning chain saw chaps with a commercially available citrus-based cleaning product called Citrosqueeze, which has been tested by DuPont. Do not machine wash or machine dry chain saw chaps.
Hose and brush off chaps to remove dirt and large contaminants. Dilute the CitroSqueeze and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. For heavy petroleum contamination, fill a soak tank with 10 to 15 gallons of diluted CitroSqueeze solution. Soak the chaps for at least 4 hours (overnight if possible). After the chaps have soaked, scrub them with a bristle brush, rinse them thoroughly with cold water, and allow them to line dry. Many pairs of chaps can be cleaned in the soak tank.
For light soiling, use CitroSqueeze solution in a spray bottle, containing 1 part CitroSqueeze concentrate to 10 parts water. Spray the solution on the area to be cleaned and scrub with a bristle brush. Wait one-half hour. Thoroughly brush the chaps, hose them off with cold water, and allow them to line dry.
Clean all chaps before repairing them. Repair cuts and holes in the outer shell as soon as possible to keep sawdust and petroleum products from contaminating the protective Prolar pad.
We recommend a commercially available product called Seam Grip for repairing damage to the chaps’ nylon shell. Seam Grip provides a flexible, waterproof, abrasion-resistant patch that will protect the Prolar pad from contaminants.
To repair holes shorter than one half inch, apply a dot of Seam Grip over the hole, and allow the Seam Grip to dry.
To repair holes and tears in the nylon shell that are longer than one-half inch:
- Cut a piece of notebook or printer paper that extends about 2 inches beyond the edge of the damage. Slip the paper inside the hole or tear in the nylon shell so that the paper lies on top of the Prolar pad.
- Lay the chain saw chaps on a flat, level surface and press the nylon shell onto the piece of paper.
Squeeze Seam Grip onto the paper and onto the sides of the tear, covering all sides of the tear or hole.
- Allow to Dry