General Cleaning Recommendations
- No Bleach! Bleach is not appropriate for ANY of our products. It will ruin most if not all of them.
- No Ovens! Conventional, microwave, kilns, etc.. Do not put ANY of our products in any sort of oven. It will ruin them.
- Washed and/ or altered items are non-returnable. Be sure the item fits properly before you wash, clean or alter it.
WASHING/ CLEANING OF CLOTH
Here are our recommendations on caring for and cleaning our products. When in doubt, hand wash and hang dry.
Cleaning Agents:Use standard laundry detergents or soap on cloth items. We have no particular endorsements. Woolite and Arm & Hammer products are what we use here. We have never had a problem.No Bleach, nothing with bleach in it. Never, ever, EVER.
Cotton Uniforms:Cold wash (hand or machine), hang dry. Our cotton uniforms will handle hot washers and dryers. However, this will fade the color faster and degrade the fabric more quickly than hand washing. If uniform has a wool lining, then refer to "wool uniforms" section.
Cotton Shrinks! Be aware that cotton garments will shrink about 8% in length- that's 1-1.5" for jackets and 1.5-2" for trousers. The shrinkage of waists and chests is very limited. Wash cotton trousers before getting them hemmed!
Wool Uniforms: (Includes uniforms with wool linings.) Dry Clean or hand wash and hang dry. Washers and dryers will ruin them.
Linen Uniforms: (44 Dot) Hand wash cold and hang dry.
Canvas and Web Field Gear: Allow dirt to dry and brush off. Although technically washable, the hardware on fieldgear does not take kindly (nor sound nice) to be banged about in a washing machine. If you must, then hand wash the item in cold water or hose it off. Allow it to air dry (do not use a dryer.)
CLEANING OF LEATHER
Leather Gear and Boots: Allow dirt and mud to dry and brush off. The rest can be rinsed off with water in a sink or with a hose. Oil lightly with Neetsfoot or mink oil. "Roughout", unfinished boots (Jackboots, German lowboots, Boondockers, Combat Service Boots) are best treated with Sno-seal, boot dubbing or a similar product before use.
Wet leather should never, ever, under any circumstances be dried in front of an open flame, next to a wood burning stove, in a clothes dryer or any other heating device. The leather will harden and shrivel. Yes, we are very certain. Wet boots can be packed with newspaper and dried at room temperature. If the item has been treated with oil or dubbing before it gets wet, it will be more supple after drying.
When oiling a leather item do not soak in the oil. It will break down the cells of the animal skin. To soften leather take your time and lightly apply until you have the desired effect.
- Uniforms with snaps or metal hardware are best washed inside out. This prevents damage to the parts from banging against the sides of the machine.
- Do not put Reinforced Airborne Uniforms in the dryer. It will leave highlights on the reinforcing fabric. (Light colored streaks). This is a trait of all cotton canvas, not a flaw in the fabric.
- Do not wash helmet covers in a washing machine. It may damage the clips on SS covers, and all covers may shrink and thus no longer fit your helmet.
- "Washer dryer safe" means that the garment will survive a ride in the Maytag. It does not mean this is the best choice.
- "Colorfast" means that the color will not run out of the fabric like food coloring coming off of a bad Easter egg. However, it does NOT mean that the garment will never fade.
Only knuckleheads use bleach on colors, and we know that none of you are knuckleheads. But if you are curious what Clorox does, feast your eyes below at what some guys' "wives" have done to their living history gear...
A "salty" Marine.
Bleach will ruin your uniform. Guaranteed!