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Anybody clean their B-4 life preserver???


AZPhil
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Hello All,

 I hope everybody is staying well!

  I got a B-4 LP off of Ebay.

 I have to give Kudo's to the sellers camera skills.

 It sure looked a lot yellower in the photo's.

It's dirty and dusty, I cleaned a cobweb off of the Co2 cartridge holder. The cartridges are still in there and not punctured.

 

So anybody here do a deep cleaning on there LP before?

Any secrets/advice would be appreciated.

 

Sellers pic

2081753228_B-4USAAF1944front.jpg.c5c2c6261b86b2864e1f67e696908a06.jpg

 

Semper Fi

Phil 

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Sorry, I went out to take this pic and when I came back , my edit time had expired.

Here it is. This is in the shade as it was 114 out.

Semper Fi

Phil

1173492561_B-4LPnew1.jpg.0fc2e5ad39e3455a2fe9454af15e45ab.jpg

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pararaftanr2

Phil,

A few options, if done carefully. Since they were made to be waterproof, you can screw on the CO2 cylinder caps and  close the oral inflation valves, then dunk it in clear water. Soak it a bit to loosen any accumulated surface dirt from the last 75 years. A light brushing with a soft bristle brush will help also, especially on the web straps. Start on the reverse side first. If you see any color loss, stop what you are doing. Be careful with any ink stamps that you want preserved. You can also use a cleaner on any oil or grease cleans. I've used Armor All universal cleaner in a spray bottle before with success, but again, take it easy as you don't want to damage the surface finish, just remove the storage dirt. Before you even start though, be sure to check your vintage photos of vests in service. They got dirty from use and wear and color loss from being worn under a parachute harness, or aircraft seatbelts, and also could easily get stains from the environment they were in, be it gun oil, or other fluids found in the aircraft. Good luck!

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Thanks Paul,

It is mainly the surface dirt I want to clean up. I'll start with a water rinse and light scrub with a soft brush. 

I'll try not to remove the 75 years of history it has carried or the markings that have survived this long. It has some small AAF insignia stamps I don't want to damage.

 

I was wondering if anybody else has ever heard of using shaving cream as a cleaner?? Rub it on , Scrub and then wipe and rinse.

I used it to clean leather boots in Boot camp.

 

Those pic's are excellent example of the usage.

 

Thanks for the Guidance!! 

 

Semper Fi

Phil

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hello,

if amount of dirt /stains isn't really a big one (so it looks to me, judging by photos) couldn't it be better if you leave the item as it is currently? Maybe just me, but these things (if not in relic-shape of course) looks more appropriate when aged and with signs of their use?

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I don't think you'll ever get it too clean, that grime really gets into the woven fibers. You got some good cleaning advice, also a rag with hot light soapy water will get some immediate dirt off.

Fielders choice for you!

Also as mentioned, they get dirty. Inside aircraft of that age was a dirty environment. 

A couple more examples, bomber aircrew.

 

whistle_europe_(1)c.jpg.1bb954beec3a4bad64ab731b9c7032fb.jpg716825154_jordan(1)c.jpg.e2f36f2db5134086cfea9d2cb3838c69.jpg

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Hello Gent's,

 Thank you for your thoughts and comments. My main concern is the surface dirt.

 

 It has cobwebs and it 's dirty to the touch. I'm not trying to make it shine.

I plan on putting this on my Phil display and I don't want that grime to get onto those other items of clothing.

 

I'll take the cleaning advice given and I will start with a light rinse and wash with hot soapy water and a soft brush/cloth.

I'll start on the back and see how that turns out.

 

Semper Fi

Phil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok,

 What  I did was use a garden house on a patio chair. I did this on the back first to make sure it would work first to see the results Good or Bad. It was good and I went ahead with the entire cleaning.I used a gallon bucket with a couple drips of Dawn dishwashing fluid. Foamed it up and used a sponge to wash and rinse all the nooks and cranny's, 

 

 For the straps I used what I was taught in USMC to use on web belts.

 Wet them down, smear some Barbasol shave cream on them and then use a soft bristle brush to clean. I also address the Oxide that was already on the sling slides and hardware.

 

I used my wife's phone for these pic's. The sellers and then mine after clean.

 I very happy with the straps. They went from dingy dirty brown back to the yellow.

1953027867_B-4USAAF1944front.jpg.3f456fa1a1a3f266e5e6b51f28d881ba.jpg

 

Then after the clean. 

12805245_B-4LPcleanedfront.jpg.6cd10d31233e70e05edca9e049e270de.jpg1281026170_B-4cleanedstraps.jpg.f87efb70cf8f5b217e613fec2bff5723.jpg

 

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Thank you Gent's,

I took the gentle approach for the cleaning and tried to avoid scrubbing any area's that had a ink stamps on it.

I didn't want to fade any of the mfg. dates and inspection stamps.

 Now I can check the B-4 off the list and move on to a B-3.

 

Semper Fi

Phil

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  • 7 months later...

Interested how the B-3 did with the cleaning being it was more cloth than the B-4. What products did you use, if you have? Any pics of before and after? 

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M4s88,

 When I said, "Now I can check the B-4 off the list and move on to a B-3."

 I meant that I now need to look for a B-3 to add to my collection,

Not that I was going to clean my B-3.

 

 I still have not added a B-3 yet!!!

 

Semper Fi

Phil

 

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