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Cleaning ACU's

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  • Cleaning ACU's

    The knees on my pants are getting really dirty and the laudry soap on its own doesn't seem to be cutting it.

    I have the list of 'approved' laudry detergents for my ACU's but it doesn't say anything about 'stain sticks' or pre-treaters.

    I believe it DOES say, NO to Spray-N-Wash, but does not list any others.

    Any suggestions?

    I not only want to keep my ACU's in compliance, but also want to portray the appropriate image in the public eye and not look dirty and unkempt.

  • #2
    Re: Cleaning ACU's

    I honestly threw their detergent list out the window and have not known any personally...that lives by it. The "approved" brands also happen to be the harder ones to find/less popular (cept for maybe Cheer.) Nor have I personally known anyone that lit up during any night training. I only came upon the list by accident myself. Between my last 2 units, there was never any training, notification, powerpoint or speech by some desk jockey about it. Must have not been that important. Again, this was from my own experience and opinion.

    I always throw in a scoop of Oxi Clean for any laundry that I feel needs some extra cleaning power. As for ACUs...it's common practice to keep "garrison" and "training" sets, to include boots. I recommend you do the same if it is that important to you.

    Being infantry and all men of course, we would wear our dirt like a badge of honor. If you weren't dirty...you're either new or you're the commander.
    Last edited by SteveLord; April 13th, 2011, 01:29 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Cleaning ACU's

      My son keeps a "nice" set clean and another set for FTXs and field activity... this latter set has seen so much mud, dirt, grass stains, blood, etc... when he brings them home, I just throw them in the toughest, longest, most thorough wash in the machine with lots of arm & hammer + oxi clean and an extra rinse... that's all I can do so far, no issues.

      Originally posted by SteveLord View Post
      Being infantry and all men of course, we would wear our dirt like a badge of honor. If you weren't dirty...you're either new or you're the commander.
      I have no ACU's of my own yet... I'm sure at some point when I do, my clean ones will dissapear and I'll be wearing my son's "badge of honor" ones... ugh... that's what moms do I guess...

      MG

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      • #4
        Re: Cleaning ACU's

        Originally posted by SteveLord View Post
        As for ACUs...it's common practice to keep "garrison" and "training" sets, to include boots. I recommend you do the same if it is that important to you.
        Unfortunately, as I am only at RSP, I have only been given one set (which I will have to return when I head off to BCT), but I will take note of my 'sizes' and definitely make sure that, for the future, I have additional sets depending on the activities for the day...

        I have NO aversion to getting dirty, (although I am a woman so obviously not infantry); I just want to look appropriate when I need to. As for boots? I have LOTS of pairs of those.....they are 'shoes' you know (girl joke)

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        • #5
          Re: Cleaning ACU's

          Personally I didn't worry about it during RSP or IET. You're supposed to be training hard, so it's generally acceptable if you're a little scuffed up (your stuff will be gross after BCT). I keep a set or two nice for security details, etc. too, so I haven't really tried out stain removers. Maybe try a stain pen on a small area first?

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          • #6
            Re: Cleaning ACU's

            I dirty my ACUs the first chance I get. I hate crisp ACUs...it doesn't feel right.

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            • #7
              Re: Cleaning ACU's

              The odd thing is that I found a website (I won't post the link to avoid lengthy mod approval) but it claims that ALL of the 'approved' detergents also have optical brighteners and showed them glowing in a black light, so I was really confused as to WHAT I should use to wash them...LOL

              Mostly it is stains on my blouse from crawling across the rope bridge, not just dirt in general and for some reason those 'rope dye' lines won't come out!

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              • #8
                Re: Cleaning ACU's

                Use a stain stick, it works, some ink wont come out, but the blood will go away after a few times. Dont worry about glowing in the dark, it doesnt stick out under IR, and dont wear them to a club with black lights if that is true. Just wash them and you will be good, treat them like normal, the velcro will wear out. Dont sweat the small things..

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                • #9
                  Re: Cleaning ACU's

                  Originally posted by Phantom View Post
                  Use a stain stick, it works, some ink wont come out, but the blood will go away after a few times. Dont worry about glowing in the dark, it doesnt stick out under IR, and dont wear them to a club with black lights if that is true. Just wash them and you will be good, treat them like normal, the velcro will wear out. Dont sweat the small things..
                  Why would I wear them to a club?? lmao I can hear the techno music now....

                  For blood, use hydrogen peroxide; it bubbles up and rinses right out, no soap needed.

                  Thanks!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Cleaning ACU's

                    Phantom is right on the velcro and there's no way around it. The velcro is probably the worst "feature" of the ACUs (and this was brought up way back when the Army was promoting them.) Especially the velco on your pants, which you'll obviously use most often.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Cleaning ACU's

                      Guys, here's a tip... If you can find a pair, and your commander lets you get away with it... Find flight medic pants. They have no velcro, it's all zippers. I have a couple pairs for the field since we have fuelers and all that **** gets in the velcro, it was the best investment of my ACU career. Then I just wear the regular ones to non-field drills or garrison meetings

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                      • #12
                        Re: Cleaning ACU's

                        Dunno how to clean my ACUs, my Mother cleans them.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Cleaning ACU's

                          Adorable.

                          Also, must be nice.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Cleaning ACU's

                            Originally posted by dva5222 View Post
                            Dunno how to clean my ACUs, my Mother cleans them.

                            LMAO, perfect. That's going on my list.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Cleaning ACU's

                              I do some serious special cleaning, let me tell you... I turn them inside out and stick them in the washer with all my other clothes that need to be cleaned. LOL. These aren't the old school BDU's we pressed, so I don't treat em like it. Wash em and stick em on a hanger. They are going to get dirty and fade and need to be replaced no matter what.

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