You probably have a dirty job and there is no way around it. But that dirt, industrial solvent, oils, built up salt from sweat and more can impact the longevity of your fall arrest harness. Just like the importance of washing the salt off your car in the winter, cleaning your PPE occasionally will pay in the long run.
Spot cleaning your equipment can usually be done with a mild detergent and a sponge or cloth. Let it air dry afterwards.
Need to dig a little deeper? Stick to cleaning solutions that are non-corrosive or non-abrasive. Never use bleach or an acid solvent as these can damage your PPE. Put your PPE in a mesh laundry bag to prevent snagging and unnecessary abrasion. In a clean bucket or sink, mix your solution so it is not too soapy to the touch. Too much soap can make your equipment feel tacky and uncomfortable to wear.
With a non-abrasive cloth or sponge wipe any loose debris off while everything is still dry. Wet your cloth/sponge with your solution and work a lather into the area to be cleaned. Do not soak your PPE as that can damage some materials. After scrubbing, rinse thoroughly with regular tap water and blot dry with a lint-free cloth.
Remove the PPE from the mesh bag and hang your equipment to air dry away from excessive heat, steam and sunlight. Be sure it hangs freely and without folds. Never machine dry your PPE or store it wet.
Once it is fully dry and clean, inspect your gear before returning it to active service.
What about machine washing? This can reduce the longevity of your PPE, cause fading or even soften the webbing. Always inspect your equipment and follow the instruction manual’s recommendations.