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Cleaning CoVid19 from equipment

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We don't have a good way to protect or clean virus from textiles (attachment below from US Army).  If you are cleaning around your parachute equipment, you should protect your equipment from aerosols, droplets, or other cleaning agent contamination that could damage the material.

Many cleaning products are adverse to nylon.  To see examples of what might work and what doesn't, you can start with the following page:  https://www.calpaclab.com/nylon-chemical-compatibility-chart/ .  

Finally, some cleaning agents are adverse to our metal hardware, particularly bleach and chlorinated cleaners like Clorox wipes (attachment below from Bourdon Forge; the important paragraph is near the end).

MOR for Parachute Textiles During COVID19 Industry & Military 30 Mar 2020-signed.pdf COVID-19 Letter.pdf

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Using ANY type of chemical on your life saving gear for any reason is particularly unwise. There are a number of chemicals out there that can reduce the strength of nylon to effectively nothing. I'd say just leave it alone. Viruses cannot live without a host anyway so locking it in the closet until jumping season resumes is more than good enough.

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14 minutes ago, 20kN said:

Viruses cannot live without a host anyway so locking it in the closet until jumping season resumes is more than good enough.

I agree -- except I think there will continue to be a possibility of new contamination once we start jumping again.  We need to start thinking about what the protocols will be.

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Traditionally we have used dry-cleaning fluid or Woolite.

Since traditional dry-cleaning fluids are considered nasty, petroleum toxic waste, I have never used them.

OTOH I have hand-washed a hundred harness-containers with Woolite, warm water and a scrub brush.

I have even washed a few rigs in an industrial washing machine. Wrap hardware in rags (& tight rubber bands) to prevent it from ruining the inside of your washing machine.

Hang your rig - to dry - for 3 or 4 days.

Finally, spray it with (lawn furniture grade) Armourall to prevent new viruses from sinking in. Allow Armourall to dry over-night before delivering it to your rigger to repack.

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12 hours ago, riggerrob said:

Traditionally we have used dry-cleaning fluid or Woolite.

Since traditional dry-cleaning fluids are considered nasty, petroleum toxic waste, I have never used them.

OTOH I have hand-washed a hundred harness-containers with Woolite, warm water and a scrub brush.

I have even washed a few rigs in an industrial washing machine. Wrap hardware in rags (& tight rubber bands) to prevent it from ruining the inside of your washing machine.

Hang your rig - to dry - for 3 or 4 days.

Finally, spray it with (lawn furniture grade) Armourall to prevent new viruses from sinking in. Allow Armourall to dry over-night before delivering it to your rigger to repack.

Using skotchguard is common, but I’ve never heard of using armorall 

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Something to remember is that the Ultra Violet light in sunlight is lethal to viruses.
Not the best thing in the world for nylon, but it's an option.

There are also special "UV-C" lights that do the same thing, with less damage than full-on sunlight. 

(Note: Beware of believing anything like this just because it's posted. Fact check it yourself)

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On 4/1/2020 at 5:14 PM, wolfriverjoe said:

Not the best thing in the world for nylon, but it's an option.
 

That is perhaps a but understated. UV is very bad for nylon.

It would not be surprised if it ruined your gear in no-time.

 

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3 hours ago, evh said:

That is perhaps a but understated. UV is very bad for nylon.

It would not be surprised if it ruined your gear in no-time.

 

If we assume a total of 10 minutes of UV exposure for each jump, which I think is a reasonable number, I think it would help us to get a perspective of how much our gear is exposed during a season of jumping:

100 jumps = 100*10/60 = almost 17 hours of exposure. You may think the 10 min/jump is too much or you jump more/less, but we already allow the sun to drench our gear.


I don't know how much time it might take for UV light to take care of the cooties on nylon, but I wouldn't expect it to be hours.

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(edited)

The UV produced by a UV lamp is substantially, by an order of hundreds of times, stronger than the UV produced by the sun from the distance away that Earth is. Intentionally exposing your gear to something that is well known to damage nylon in an effort to kill this virus is exceedingly unwise and borderline paranoia.

You ever notice that no matter the brand of a rig, the Cordura portions of a brand new rig starts to become color faded after only a few months (about 200 jumps)? That's UV damage live in person.

Edited by 20kN

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On 4/3/2020 at 9:21 AM, evh said:

That is perhaps a but understated. UV is very bad for nylon.

It would not be surprised if it ruined your gear in no-time.

 

Also, the UV-C (as opposed to UV-A and UV-B from normal "black lights") which damages pathogens is also damaging to eyes and skin.  "Damaging" as in skin cancer and blindness.

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Apparently the coronavirus is quite a bit more robust than other viruses.

It's surviving quite a while on a variety of surfaces and sunlight doesn't kill it anywhere near as fast as others. Maybe not for days, which is way too long to leave gear out in the sun.

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8 minutes ago, Remster said:

Being concerned is one thing, but the bigger risk when skydiving will be spread from asymtomatic people, not their stuff.

Definitely true. But while I personally have a choice whether to skydive (no thank you at this point), I don't have a choice whether I provide customer service for my company, and I am sure many independent riggers are increasingly in a position where turning down work would be economically devastating. So it is good to know how to handle this stuff. For my part, I'm just not starting work on what comes in for a minimum of three days. The vast majority of my customers are fine with that, since skydiving in my area is not up and running yet, and flying season is pretty quiet too.

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29 minutes ago, Gary73 said:

Agreed.  Also, even if direct-ish human contact accounts for 90% of transmission, we owe it to one another to take reasonable precautions to address the other 10%.

absolutely. I take this step not just to protect myself, but also to protect my coworkers and customers, not to mention the essential workers with whom I come in incidental, hopefully-sufficiently-socially-distanced contact.

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51 minutes ago, riggerrob said:

Stop worrying about COVID-19 on your gear.

The worst thing about being a TI is the double layer of snot on your goggles.

It's not the TI who should be worried. They are going to get infected for sure. It's the next passenger who is at risk.

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