Taking Care of Your Chainsaw Pants and Chaps – A Quick Guide

How to take care of your chainsaw pants and chaps

For most of our clothes, cleaning is a pretty common practice.

For some clothes, we make an exception such as jeans, coats or the ones made with natural fibers like merino.

But what about your chainsaw pants and chaps?

Will washing increase, decrease or have no effect on the protection you will have from your chainsaw pants and chaps?

How should you wash and dry them?

How to take care of your chainsaw pants and chaps?

No worries, we have all your answers here. And if there isn’t, just leave a comment below and we will get back to you!

We also have created an Ultimate Guide post on how to best maintain, clean and repair your chainsaw pants and chaps going into a lot (maybe too much!) detail. 

One quick caution.

Manufacturers of chainsaw protective gear use a variety of materials. Make sure you check the specific instructions for your apparel.

#1 Can I safely wash my chainsaw pants or chaps?


But make sure to remove all the sawdust from the pockets, close the zips on your pants and to fasten the clips of your chaps.

#2 How should I wash them?

You can try to do it by hand if you want but a gentle, warm machine wash (max 100⁰F/40⁰C) should do the job!

Do not use bleach on your trousers it will obviously affect your overall look but it might also remove some of the important finishes that are built into the fabrics.

Don’t use fabric softener either.

Use gentle detergents only and cold rinse thoroughly.

The best detergents are marked “Free and Clear”.

Nikwax Techwash is our recommendation. 

#3 How do I dry my chainsaw protective clothing?

Air drying your gear is definitely the way to go. Avoid drying in the sun.

Do not tumble dry or dry-clean. And do not iron!

#4 And what if I don’t wash them?

Despite the smell and the discomfort of climbing into dirty trousers or chaps, it won’t have a significant effect on the wearability or protection of the product.

However, if you work in an environment where significant quantities of oil get splashes onto your gear you will have to wash it. The oil can clog the fibers of the chainsaw protective fabric and reduce its protective abilities. Also, if you have to wear fire resistant chainsaw protection and it gets impregnated with flammable products, you will have to wash it to get fire protection you need.

#5 If I am not wearing my chainsaw chaps or pants, how should I store them?

Make sure they are completely dry before storing them so that no mould and other nasties can develop.

And it is good practice to keep them out of direct sunlight and heat. Avoid leaving the apparel in a hot vehicle.

Make sure that they are protected from damage. It’s pretty common for chaps to get damaged when left in the back of a truck. 

Other than that, it is completely up to you!

When you want to wear your trousers or chaps again you should inspect them thoroughly (preferably you should do this after each time of use).

If there is any damage, any broken or defective buckles, straps or zips they should be repaired before use.

#6 I have a tear in the outer fabric, what should I do?

If the tear is on the front of your trousers or covering the chainsaw fabric, the best option would be to send us a picture of it so we can advise you.

This type of tear can be repaired by hand-stitching, but make sure you only stitch through the outer covering.

The other way involves specialist gear, we can advise once we see a photo!

#7 I have a tear on my trousers or chaps, and a bit of chainsaw protective fabric is coming out; what should I do?

Once again, the best option is to send us a picture so we have a clearer idea of what is happening.

If the apparel has sustained a cut from a chainsaw, you must discard the garment as it will not protect you from chainsaw cuts anymore.

Because it is a no-no to stitch through the protective material.

#8 I have a burn on my trousers or chaps. What now?

Burns can be a bigger problem. The surface material may look okay but the chainsaw protection material could be damaged from the heat.

Get in touch on this one also.

#9 My zip slider goes up but the zip stays open. What do I do?

Zippers in chainsaw pants get a hard time. We’re tested and trialed every available zip that we could find to get the best performance. Our current zips are rugged with a reverse coil or chain to keep debris out. Dirt, wood chips and other material can still get into coil between the teeth. The slider then starts sticking and the natural reaction is to pull the slider. This can damage the chain but most often it separates the front and back of the slider. The result is that the slider pulls up but the chain or the parts on each side of a zipper fail to mesh.

This video shows you how to use multi grip pliers to gently squeeze the top and bottom of the slider back together so the zip starts functioning again.

Some additional tips for zip care and maintenance

  1. Always wash the pants with the zips closed. This helps keep the sawdust fragments out of the zip teeth and makes sure that the slider does not come under pressure during the washing cycle.
  2. Stop pulling if the zip is hard to pull and see what is jamming it. Removing the obstruction is the best way to get the zip moving again.
  3. You can keep your slider moving freely by running a pencil up and down the teeth of the zip a couple of times. This will help reduce wear on the teeth and slider.

#10 My Chainsaw Pants or Chaps are damaged and I need to retire them. What do I do now?

That’s easy. Read our guide to choosing chainsaw protection gear and get a replacement that best fits your needs.

And remember:

We are always here to help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to us on social media or via email!

Pic: American Lawn & Tree

4 thoughts on “Taking Care of Your Chainsaw Pants and Chaps – A Quick Guide”

    1. Not sure exactly but some chainsaw fabrics do perform better after washing. Additonally, chainsaw products often are washed a number of times before testing. It might be related to that. The best thing is to check with Woodsafe.

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