Oct 1, 2001, 8:57 AM
Post #1 of 8
Blood On Gear (Not Morbid)
This isn't morbid or a troll, but I need to find out how to get blood off of gear.
As I was setting up for a 3-way tube exit from a King Air this past weekend, I snagged my pinkie finger on the door track. The exit and the dive were great, but when I was gathering up my gear, I noticed dark spots on the mesh of my pilot chute and some of the lines and stuff. It was then that I actually saw a my finger dripping blood pretty quickly. I tried not to get much on anything as I collected my stuff and walked back to the hangar.
I band-aided myself up and everything, but now I'm wondering what I should do for my gear. I probably screwed up by not doing anything right away, but I didn't think of it. I actually made another jump and was surprised that band-aids held up to freefall.
After the second jump, everything was dry, and my rig is now packed up. Should I pop it open and use water to rinse everything as best as I can? Or is it no big deal so long as I don't mind the minor discoloration? I just don't want to do anything (or anything further) to deteriorate the strengh of lines of fabrics.
As an aside, the hand I used to grab onto another jumper during the tube left big old splotches of blood on his suit, with splatters on the legs. I apologized for it, but he said it wasn't any big deal as long as his suit didn't acquire a taste for blood.
The easiest way to remove blood is to rinse it off with lots of fresh water before it has time to dry. After that, you may want to wash it with a mild detergent such as ERA. But, frankly there is not much point ot worrying about blood on a main pilotchute. Chances are, the pilotchute will wear out before the acid in the blood has chance to weaken it significantly.
Blood is actually an alkaline. It has a pH level of 7.3 to 7.5. The ideal pH is 7.461. Netural substances are at 7.0. (I guess those advanced bio and chemistry classes in high school were useful for something after all Blood is acidic on nylon. the protiens and hemoglobin in the blood react with nylon. This normally is'nt a problem since nylon is usually not under stress. The blood will cause a weak spot on the stressed nylon. Since we place our nylon under stress on every jump that weak spot can rip in no time if the blood is left on it for too long without treatment.
Well... blood in its natural liquid state has a pH value of around 7.4. So its alkaline to begin with. Its not that is turns to an acid, but since it is not a neutral substance it will react with anything. Nylon happens to be one thing that reacts quickly to it. You can drop a piece of Nylon in a tube of blood and given enough time it will desolve. In canopies you only need to fracture or abraize part of the nylon strands in order to make them weak enough to rip when stress is applied.
Be safe, be smooth, be fast..... and most importantly.... be phree