How To Clean Plate Carrier?

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Whether you’re a law enforcement officer or a military personnel, a plate carrier is an essential piece of equipment that you rely on for protection. But after a long day of use, it’s important to know how to properly clean and maintain it to ensure it’s always in top condition.

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In this guide, we’ll take you through step-by-step instructions on how to clean your plate carrier. From removing the plates and straps to washing and drying, we’ll cover everything you need to know to keep your plate carrier clean and ready for use. So grab your cleaning supplies and let’s get started!

How to Clean Plate Carrier?

How to Clean Plate Carrier?

A plate carrier is a vital piece of personal protective equipment that is used by military personnel, law enforcement officers, and other individuals who require protection from ballistic threats. Although plate carriers are designed to withstand harsh conditions, they require regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure they function properly and protect the wearer. In this article, we will discuss a step-by-step guide on how to clean a plate carrier.

Step 1: Disassemble

The first step in cleaning your plate carrier is to disassemble it. Remove all plates, pouches, and other attachments from the carrier. This will allow you to clean each component thoroughly and prevent any damage to the carrier.

Once you have removed everything from your plate carrier, inspect it carefully for any damage or wear and tear that may have occurred during use. If you notice any damage, it is important to address it before proceeding to clean the carrier.

Step 2: Wash the Carrier

The next step is to wash the plate carrier. You can do this by hand or by using a washing machine. If you decide to use a washing machine, it is important to use a mild detergent and wash the carrier on a gentle cycle.

If you opt to wash your plate carrier by hand, fill a large sink or bathtub with warm water and add a mild detergent. Soak the carrier in the water for a few minutes, and then use a soft-bristled brush to scrub away any dirt or grime.

Step 3: Rinse and Dry

After washing the plate carrier, it is important to rinse it thoroughly to remove any remaining soap residue. Once you have rinsed the carrier, hang it up to air dry. Avoid using a dryer or exposing the carrier to direct sunlight, as this can cause damage to the carrier’s materials.

Step 4: Clean the Plates

While the carrier is drying, clean the plates. Use a mild detergent and warm water to scrub away any dirt or grime. Rinse the plates thoroughly and dry them with a soft cloth. Once the plates are clean and dry, reinsert them into the carrier.

Step 5: Clean the Pouches and Attachments

Next, clean the pouches and attachments that you removed from the carrier earlier. Use a soft-bristled brush to remove any dirt or debris, and then wash them in warm, soapy water. Rinse them thoroughly and hang them up to air dry.

Step 6: Reassemble the Carrier

Once everything is clean and dry, it is time to reassemble the plate carrier. Start by reinserting the plates into the carrier, and then attach the pouches and other attachments as necessary. Double-check that everything is securely fastened and in its proper place.

Step 7: Inspect and Test

After reassembling the carrier, inspect it carefully to ensure that everything is in working order. Check that all straps and buckles are securely fastened and that the carrier fits properly. Once you are satisfied that everything is in order, put the carrier on and test it out to make sure it is comfortable and functional.

Benefits of Cleaning Your Plate Carrier

Regularly cleaning your plate carrier has several benefits. It helps to extend the lifespan of the carrier, ensures that it remains functional and effective, and keeps the wearer safe from harmful bacteria or viruses that may be present on a dirty carrier.

Plate Carrier Cleaning vs. Replacement

While cleaning your plate carrier is essential to its longevity and effectiveness, there may come a time when replacement is necessary. If your plate carrier is damaged beyond repair or has reached the end of its lifespan, it is important to replace it to ensure that you are adequately protected in dangerous situations.


In conclusion, cleaning your plate carrier is an essential part of maintaining your personal protective equipment. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your plate carrier remains functional, effective, and comfortable to wear. Remember to inspect your carrier regularly for any signs of damage or wear and tear, and replace it as necessary to ensure your safety.

Freequently Asked Questions

Plate carriers are essential gear for military personnel and law enforcement officers. However, they can get dirty and smelly over time. Here are some frequently asked questions about how to clean plate carriers.

1. What materials can I use to clean my plate carrier?

You can use mild soap, warm water, and a soft-bristled brush to clean your plate carrier. Avoid using harsh detergents, bleach, or fabric softeners. These can damage the material and weaken the stitching. You can also use a specialized cleaner designed for plate carriers, such as Nikwax Tech Wash or Granger’s Performance Wash.

Before cleaning, remove any detachable components, such as the cummerbund and shoulder pads. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for any specific cleaning recommendations.

2. Can I machine wash my plate carrier?

Most plate carriers are not designed for machine washing. The agitation and spin cycle can damage the material and stitching. Instead, hand wash your plate carrier in a tub or sink. Use lukewarm water and a small amount of mild soap. Gently scrub any dirty spots with a soft-bristled brush.

After washing, rinse your plate carrier thoroughly to remove any soap residue. Squeeze out any excess water and hang it up to air dry. Do not put your plate carrier in a dryer, as the heat can shrink or melt the material.

3. How often should I clean my plate carrier?

It depends on how often you use your plate carrier and the conditions you encounter. If you wear it daily in hot and humid environments, you may need to clean it more frequently than someone who wears it occasionally in a temperate climate. As a general rule, you should clean your plate carrier at least once a month to prevent bacteria and odor buildup.

If your plate carrier gets wet or soiled with blood, sweat, or other bodily fluids, clean it immediately. These substances can harbor harmful bacteria and viruses that can spread infection.

4. Can I use a pressure washer to clean my plate carrier?

No, you should not use a pressure washer to clean your plate carrier. The high-pressure water can damage the material and stitching, and force water into the seams, which can lead to mold and mildew growth. Stick to hand washing with mild soap and water, and use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub any stubborn stains.

After cleaning, hang your plate carrier up to air dry in a well-ventilated area. Avoid direct sunlight, as this can fade the material and weaken the stitching.

5. How can I remove odor from my plate carrier?

If your plate carrier has a persistent odor, you can try a few things to freshen it up. First, make sure it is clean and dry. Then, sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch inside the carrier and let it sit for a few hours. Vacuum or shake out the powder, and the odor should be reduced.

You can also hang your plate carrier outside in a well-ventilated area to air out. Avoid storing it in a damp or humid place, such as a basement or garage, as this can promote mold and mildew growth.

How To Clean Your Plate Carrier! AR500 Armor

In conclusion, cleaning your plate carrier is an essential task that should not be overlooked. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that your plate carrier is clean and ready for use whenever you need it. Remember to always use the right products for cleaning your plate carrier, and to be gentle with the material to avoid damaging it.

In addition, regular cleaning of your plate carrier can help prolong its lifespan, ensuring that you get the most out of your investment. By making it a habit to clean your plate carrier after every use, you can prevent the buildup of dirt, sweat, and other contaminants that can cause damage over time.

Finally, a clean plate carrier not only looks good but also provides better protection. A dirty plate carrier can compromise its effectiveness and put you at risk during critical situations. By taking the time to clean your plate carrier properly, you can ensure that it is always in top condition when you need it the most.