Is your rig filthynastydirty? You can wash it! Yup! I washed three rigs this week that came home from DZs in the American Southwest looking like John Wayne had dragged them behind his horse on a roundup. Here ya go:
-cut your main away & store it -remove the cutaway handle, reserve ripcord, RSL, pack data card, closing loops, pull-up cords, reserve free bag, hook knife, etc. and store those as well -have your Rigger remove the AAD and disconnect the reserve and store them for you (you're not going to wash the canopies!!!) -all you should have left is the rig itself with the integral hardware -get a couple of feet of 1" pile velcro from your rigger, and cover all of the hook velcro on the rig. Mash it down well so it stays put -spot-clean any really bad spots with "Shout" spray (don't over do it) -put the rig into a STURDY laundry bag (I used a cotton Army issue one), and tie it shut TIGHTLY -wash it in an industrial type front-load washer at your local laundramat: cold water wash & rinse -for detergent, use half a capful of liquid "Tide." Make sure it's NOT the kind that contains bleach -DO NOT throw the rig in the dryer! Just pull it out of the bag, spread it out indoors on the back of a chair, and let it air dry for two or three days
I could not believe how clean those rigs were when I was done! Bear in mind that this is a once-in-a-while thing. These rigs I washed (made of 500 denier Cordura by-the-way) were several years old. So don't wash your beautiful new rig every couple of months, OK? Now, the hot tip: the perfect time to do this is when your rig is down because your CYPRES is at the factory for it's four year check!
Skeptical? Consult your local Rigger. If he thinks I have been smoking old pull-up cords, then call your rig manufacturer (especially if your rig is made with funky fabrics). I got this advice from a rig manufacturer!
Email me if you have any questions. Mr. Moderator, sir . . . I would appreciate any feedback you or any Riggers in the field might have as well.
Hey Slotperfect Thanks for the post, I had no idea you could actually wash these things. Here I am trying the spot clean stuff with a soft bristle brush. But next time look out.... I'm gonna get clean.
I use Woolite and do it by hand in the bath tub, me and the rig get clean at the same time. I then pat it dry with towels (special attention to hardware), like a sweater, then hang it to air dry completely. As stated earlier by DB, be sure to RINSE thoroughly. An older, grungy looking rig can look almost new and will make much more appealling to a potential buyer, if you are selling a rig.
I have done both the bathtub and the washing machine methods and have gotten good results with both. One step I give a little extra attention to is ensuring the cutaway and reserve ripcord housings are completely dry, inside and out, just as soon as I am done washing the container. I also check all the tacking; this especially if you machine wash.
I had my rigger do mine for me when I had it in for a repack. He used the bath tub method. I can't remember exactly what he charged me, but it wasn't very much and worth every cent. I was amazed; he made it look brand new. And I have had more than my share of "interesting landings", so it was pretty grungy!
I just did the four year (cypres) on my rig, so the perfect oppertunity has passed for the full wash, but I actually have one pretty small grass stain on my container, about the size of a silver dollar, would this spot clean method work to get it out versus a "full container wash"? If so, a soft bristled brush with what? (dish soap?, laundry detergent?)