Avoid detergents that contain optical brighteners and bleach. These can cause working or combat uniforms to be more visible at night. Avoiding detection is critical for operational effectiveness during combat or training exercises.
Avoid fabric softeners. The chemicals in fabric softeners interfere with properties such as permethrin (insect repellent) and FR (flame resistant) treatments by reducing effectiveness.
Wash all uniforms in cold water separately. High temperatures are harsh on fabrics and lead to fading while separating uniforms from the rest of your laundry will prevent dye transfer.
Tumble dry on low. Should you choose to line-dry your uniforms, do not hang directly in the sun to prevent fading.
Do not iron. Using starch and ironing uniforms will damage the fabric and hook and loop fields used to secure pockets and insignia.
Remove all patches, knee/elbow pads and belongings from pockets and brush away any loose dirt or debris from garments.
Choose a mild laundry detergent. Avoid bleach which breaks down tough fibers in tactical clothing.
Avoid fabric softeners. Some fabric softeners are oil-based which could contribute to flammability. Softeners also begin to coat hook and loop fields, reducing their ability to fasten.
Turn garments inside out to prevent items from sticking to hook and loop fields and keep them from wearing down. Wash tactical clothing in cold water on a gentle cycle (unless heavy-duty is required). High temperatures are harsh on fabrics and lead to fading and bleeding.
Tumble dry on low. High-heat cycles reduce colorfast. Remove clothing from the dryer as soon as it’s finished to avoid wrinkles. Should you choose to line-dry tactical clothing, do not hang directly in the sun to prevent fading.
Note: If garments are heavily soiled, pre-soak and spot-treat them prior to washing.
Brush suede boots daily with non-metallic bristle brush to remove loose soil and debris. In most cases, a rubber eraser can get rid of smudges and dirt. In the case of muddy boots, let the mud dry first. Use a brush to scrub away excess soil. If stain remains, mix ½ teaspoon of dish soap with one cup of warm water. Dampen a sponge or cloth with solution and wipe away dirt. Avoid harsh cleaners that are alcohol or oil-based as they will stain.
Use a damp cloth to wipe off loose dirt along soles and sides of boots. A thick layer of all-purpose leather cleaner applied in circular motions with a cotton cloth is best for removing stubborn stains. Once boots have been hand-dried, buff the leather areas using polish and a soft rag to restore original color, aid in waterproofing, protect from cracking and enhance durability.
Shake off any excess dirt or debris and remove all attachments and belongings from gear. Pre-treat set-in stains with a stain remover or equal parts water and laundry detergent, then use a soft brush or toothbrush to clean spots. Fill a sink or bathtub with mild soap and cool water and scrub gear with a soft bristle brush or cloth. Drain dirty water and refill with cool clean water to rinse gear thoroughly. Squeeze out excess water and air dry upside-down.
Avoid fabric softener and make sure to use detergents free of bleach and hydrogen peroxide. Some fabric softeners are oil-based which could aggravate flammability. Bleach and hydrogen peroxide can destroy FR coatings and discolor fabric.
Turn garments inside-out to prevent streaking from abrasion. Wash in cold water on a gentle cycle.
Tumble dry on low and remove garments from the dryer immediately to prevent wrinkles.
Note: Never spray DEET / insect repellent on FR garments as it is highly flammable.
Water resistance in DWR-treated products can deteriorate and lose effectiveness over time due to repeated laundering, abrasion, weather exposure, dirt, grease and sweat.
Use a mild, additive-free detergent or soap on DWR-coated garments and wash in cold water. Use your washing machine’s complete cycle to maximize the number of rinses. Repeat rinse cycle as necessary to ensure all soapy residue is removed.
Tumble dry on a low, warm,gentle cycle.
To reactivate DWR treatment on fabrics, tumble dry your garment another 20 minutes on a warm setting.