So far it's been a poor winter for motorcycling. I couldn't get out in December or January. The day after tomorrow we're going to have the biggest storm of the year so far, and after that, the 2 week forecast says no thawing in sight.
Mary Ann is out of town to visit her relatives, so my entertainment for the day is to wash my motorcycle jacket. Early last season I bought a high-visibility green Scorpion Commander motorcycle jacket. You get noticed on the highway, with that colour, and I think that's a safety benefit. Unfortunately it does not take long before the jacket starts to look dirty, and the last day I went riding in November, I got caught in the rain. The road spray makes the jacket look dirty, and there are also black marks, it looks like they are caused by rubbing something. Anyway, it's dirty and a bit of wiping seems to make it worse. So I decided to try a real cleaning. I am going to write about it in this blog. Disclaimer: I do not know that your jacket and machine will work the same as mine, and in fact I don't even know if my jacket or washing machine are going to survive. That's why I waited till Mary Ann was out of the house.
The label inside the jacket says "machine wash, cold". We have a Bosch front-load washing machine that has a whole bunch of settings more complicated than that, so I had to get out the owner's manual and read it a bit. I finally decided to set it to the "permapress cold" cycle (suitable for synthetic fabrics), and set the spin cycle to 1000 rpm.
Before starting, I took out the liners and the armour. All the shoulder and elbow pads are the same, so I should not have to worry about mixing them up. The back armour is actually not armour at all, it's a bit of light foam. I would not trust it to protect my spine in an impact. Anyhow that's another issue, right now I'm supposed to be cleaning the jacket. Next I stuffed the jacket into the machine all by itself, after turning the sleeves inside out (that was a suggestion in the Bosch manual, no idea why.). I set the spin to 1000 rpm (max). Then I put about half a cap of high efficiency detergent in the soak tray and and the wash tray.
One thing is for sure, I would not have the patience to do this jacket by hand. The washing machine just tumbles it back and forth gently coaxing the dirt out while I sit down and write my blog.
My final stage would be to hang it on our wooden drying rack. Our house is very dry in the winter, and we never need to use the dryer for anything. Besides, I don't think a dryer is even recommended.
OK, right at the top I should have mentioned "Empty the pockets". I forgot, and I'm pretty sure I have some gas station receipts in one of the pockets.
The jacket is out of the washing machine now. The two front pockets still had water in them, as they are meant to be waterproof. The rest of the jacket is spun dry. I found a few receipts and papers in one pocket, but not shredded. In some other pockets I found four packets of desiccant that came with the coat.
Pic 1: That's our washing machine with my jacket inside.
Pic 2: I am surprised the jacket is so clean, but then this washing machine always seems to do a good job. When the jacket is dry and I get it outside in the sunshine, it should be just like new (i.e. blinding)