Flame retardant clothes and sleepwear have been chemically treated to reduce flammability. Although they are not fireproof, the material is slow to ignite and provides protection when exposed to flames or high temperatures. Children's sleepwear is generally flame retardant. Those items labeled as not intended for sleepwear, even though they look like pajamas, do not contain the chemicals required to create flame retardant pajamas. The fabric's ability to retard fire declines with time and repeated washing. Following recommended washing procedures prolongs the effectiveness of the sleepwear or clothing.
Wash in warm water between 105 and 120 degrees. Temperatures above 140 degrees may damage the material and break down the fire retardant properties. High temperatures may also cause the fabric to shrink or wrinkle, ruining its appearance.
Use a mild laundry detergent. Most fire retardant clothing contains a label directing you to avoid soap. Laundry detergent is not soap and does not contain the fats in soap. The fat in soap deteriorates the flame retardant capabilities.
Avoid fabric softeners. These break down the chemicals used to create the fire retardant fabric.
Tumble dry with low heat or line dry to prolong the effectiveness of the material. Remove promptly and avoid over drying.
Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.