Removing the Smell of Smoke from Fire Gear
Just because you are a firefighter does not mean you have to always smell like you just came from a fire. With Envirotab, you have turnout gear options for deodorizing by dry and laundering methods.

The Odor Removal Challenge Begins with the Protection

Removing smoke odor from fireman's turnout gear can be a challenging and complex task. When exposed to dangerous fire conditions, the gear absorbs smoke particles, soot, and various toxic compounds, which eventually lead to a lingering odor. These odorous contaminants penetrate deep into the fabric, making it difficult to eliminate the smell completely.


One major difficulty in removing smoke odor from turnout gear is the strict regulations and guidelines that must be followed to ensure the gear's safety and effectiveness. Firefighters rely on their gear to provide protection during emergencies, so any cleaning process must not compromise its durability or flame-resistant properties. Consequently, conventional cleaning methods like using strong detergents or high heat can potentially damage the gear's materials, rendering it unsafe for use. Moreover, the complex structure of turnout gear adds to the difficulty. The gear is comprised of multiple layers, including a moisture barrier, thermal barrier, and outer shell. Each layer has its own specific properties and requirements for cleaning. A thorough cleaning process should address each layer separately while ensuring that the odor is removed from all components simultaneously.


Given the nature of their work, firefighters frequently encounter harmful chemicals, such as carcinogens, that are released during fires. These chemicals adhere to the gear and create an additional challenge in odor removal. Standard cleaning methods may not entirely eliminate these toxic compounds, which can pose serious health risks to firefighters if not properly addressed. Lastly, because turnout gear is crucial for fire safety, it must be readily available for immediate use at any given time. This necessity often limits the amount of time available for proper cleaning and deodorization processes. Consequently, finding a balance between maintaining gear hygiene and ensuring quick turnaround times for fire emergencies can be an ongoing challenge for fire departments.

The Traditional Practice For Laundering Firefighter Gear

A fireman launders his gear at the station

The traditional method for laundering firefighter gear involves a careful and meticulous process to ensure proper cleanliness and maintenance. The first step is to inspect the gear thoroughly for any damages or signs of wear and tear. This is crucial as any issues need to be addressed before the laundering process. Once the inspection is complete, the gear is typically taken to a specialized laundry facility equipped with industrial grade washing machines and dryers. The first stage of cleaning involves pre-washing, where the gear is rinsed to remove dirt, debris, and surface contaminants. The gear is then placed in a special washing machine that uses a combination of water, detergent, and disinfectants to thoroughly clean it.


After the washing cycle is complete, the gear is carefully dried using a specific process. This often involves air drying or using a low-temperature dryer to prevent any damage to the fabric or other components of the gear. The drying process usually takes several hours to ensure complete moisture removal.


Once the gear is dry, it undergoes another meticulous inspection to ensure proper cleanliness and functionality. This step ensures that the gear is in optimal condition and ready for use in the next firefighting operation. If any issues are identified during the inspection, the gear is sent for repairs or replacement.

Finally, the gear is carefully stored in a designated area to prevent any further contamination. This ensures that the gear remains clean and ready for future use. Additionally, routine maintenance and cleaning schedules are implemented to keep the firefighter gear in optimal condition for extended periods.


Overall, the traditional method of laundering firefighter gear encompasses thorough inspection, specialized washing and drying techniques, and meticulous storage to maintain cleanliness and functionality. Firefighters rely on this rigorous process to ensure that their gear is always ready to protect and serve in demanding emergency situations.

Three Methods for Deodorizing with Envirotab...

Laundering with Envirotab PLUS Synergy Micro Wash

With products from Synergy & Envirotab, you can gently remove the soot, ash and odor all while you launder. Our concentrated Synergy Micro Wash is a fragrance-free, and nearly neutral pH concentrate that is still powerfully equipped to remove the residue from working in a smoke-filled environment.

Here's what you do:

Simply add (1) oz of Synergy Micro Wash for every 15 lbs of gear in your frontload commercial washer and follow that with (1) 1 gram tablet dissolved into 8 or 16oz of warm water.

Envirotab Deodorizing Kit
Vapor Deodorization in a Closed Locker or Chamber

For excessive odors, that cannot be removed with laundering alone, we have another means of odor removal that is applied to pre-cleaned and dried turnout gear. This involves the use of a dry vapor applied to the gear in a sealed tote, cabinet or closet. This is a highly effective method that will generally eliminate all traces of odor in 2 hours or less.

Here's what you do:

Place the gear in a sealable tote or cabinet and treat with our Deodorizing Kit in the same manner as explained in our article, Removing Odors from Sports Gear with Chlorine Dioxide.

Dry Post Laundering Deodorization where it hangs

To continuously keep odors in firefighter turnout gear at bay, we would like to recommend another product from Synergy Americas, our Deodorizing Granules in Tyvek pouches each with their own wall mountable cabinet.

Here's what you do:

Using the supplied double-faced tape, mount the plastic cabinet on the wall 12-16" below the hook on which the gear normally hangs. Remove the pouch from the foil and secure in plastic cabinet. Replace the pouch after 60 days. This product is also available in both smaller and larger sizes.

Shop Envirotab Tablets and Get the Best Value in Cleaning & Deodorizing Available

Who Needs Envirotab Tablets & What Size Fits Your Applications Best?

To put it simply EVERYONE needs the simplicity, efficiency, power and efficacy of our Simply the BEST Chlorine Dioxide Tablets Available Anywhere!

  • Homeowners: Take a quick look at all of the applications below to see what you can do with just our 1 gram tablets and be AMAZED!.
  • Contract Cleaners: Every contract cleaner should stock and use our 4 gram tablets for cleaning, odor remediation, toilet reclamation, mold & mildew .
  • Hotel Housekeeping: Deep cleaning rooms after a long-term stay or pet stay will eliminate odors, freshen the air and reduce pet stress from past tenants.
  • Auto Dealers & Detailers: Detailers use the 1 gram tablets for washing down the dash, doors, headliner and upholstery, then gas the car with 20g.
  • Marinas & Campgrounds: Resell 1g tablets & 20g kits for deodorizing musty tents, campers and boats. Eliminate the odors and keep mildew from forming.
  • Veterinary Clinics & Kennels: 1 gram tablets are perfect for cleaning exam rooms while 10 gram tablets make a great 3 gallon solution for kennels.
  • Farmers & Homesteaders: The uses around the farm are endless! 1 gram tablets for udder wash before milking, removing black spots from plant follage and cleaning tools. 4 gram, 10 gram and 20 gram for treating water, cleaning greenhouses and sanitizing stalls after cleaning.