The Ultimate Guide To Tactical Gear Care

In this article we explain how to properly care for the different types of equipment in our range.

  • Warum ist richtige Pflege der taktischen Ausrüstung so wichtig?
  • Allgemeine Pflegetipps für taktische Ausrüstung
    • Pflege der taktischen Hosen und Kampfhosen (P-40 taktische Hosen & Striker Kampfhosen)
    • Wie werden taktische Jacken (Delta und Monsoon taktische Jacken) gewaschen
    • Wie werden Boonies und Caps gewaschen
  • Entfernen von Flecken aus taktischer Ausrüstung

Why is proper care of tactical gear so important?

Cleaning your tactical gear should be a daily routine, whether you wear it at work, during drills/training sessions, or during regular activities. The gear that is kept in perfect condition is gear that can stay functional and serve you whenever you need it most.

You may have heard the saying, “Take care of your gear and it will take care of you.” In whatever context you heard this, you should know that it is the truth.

Let’s take a look inside the average professional’s arsenal and consider a typical piece of gear that resides there: waterproof tactical clothing.

Well-maintained rainwear can make all the difference when you’re stuck in a monsoon rain for many hours – and even more so when you have to remain motionless the whole time.

One of the key features of such a garment is its DWR coating. It serves to let the raindrops roll off instead of absorbing them. As your rainwear soaks up water, it becomes heavier and loses significant or all of its breathability.

Proper care of your rainwear can extend the life of its DWR coating.

Another example. Dirt and grime from the oil and grease that oozes from your body and from salt crystals that are in your sweat can get trapped in the waterproof membrane. In the worst case, they can even damage the membrane (this happens when you move, causing these contaminants to rub against the layers of the membrane).

Regular washing of your rainwear removes these particles from the membrane and prevents damage.

General tactical gear care tips

When it comes to washing tactical garments, it is best to follow the manufacturer’s care instructions.

General tactical gear care tips

This guide is always included with every garment you order from UF PRO. You can find the instructions directly on the garment. Just look for the care label.

These little tags are key to the longevity and proper care of any gear you own. Because they are so important and you need to have a basic understanding of what they mean, we have already created a separate blog post about them. You can find more information about the care labels here.

Apart from the general care instructions on the labels, what else is there to consider? So you just follow these instructions and that’s it, right?

Yes. However, there are some additional general rules of thumb that you should be aware of. You should know the following:

Don’t overload your washing machine

This is probably a common sense thing that you probably already know.

Avoiding a fully loaded washing machine can help you clean your gear better (with a more effective wash cycle), minimize wrinkles on your gear, and is generally gentler on your washing machine.

We recommend loading the washing machine to a maximum of 70% and separating different colors to preserve the color properties (always wash light and dark clothes separately).

Separate the robust and rough items of clothing, such as the Striker X combat trousers, from your “softer” urban polo shirts or normal t-shirts. This may not be all that critical, but it is considered a best practice in our book.

Take all items from the bags

This is especially important when washing your rainwear. Sharp objects (such as keys, knives, pens or other sharp equipment) can puncture the 3-layer waterproof membrane, permanently reducing the waterproof performance of your gear.

Another minor inconvenience can be paper or tissues in your pockets, which can get stuck in the fabric and so easily affect its breathability. It can also be annoying to clean such clothes afterwards.

Before you wash any piece of gear, simply check the pockets and remove all items.

Avoid spinning with too many revolutions

At high speeds (revolutions per minute), the equipment dries better. But that also increases the likelihood of wrinkles on your gear.

If you’ve ever owned an urban polo shirt or t-shirt, you know what we’re talking about. After washing, simply hang them on a hanger and let them dry. You can wear them wrinkle-free the next day.

Be careful when ironing your clothes

The high heat of the iron can damage the outer fabric and permanently impair the functionality of your garments.

Check the temperature settings before you start ironing your gear and make sure the temperature is low.

Care of tactical pants and combat pants (p-40 tactical pants & striker combat pants)

Before you wash your tactical pants or combat pants, take a look at this checklist of what you should consider.

Care of tactical pants and combat pants (p-40 tactical pants & striker combat pants)

1. Remove all items from your pockets and velcro (such as fabrics, knives, patches, etc.).
2. Take out the knee pads (they can only be hand washed).
3. Fasten/secure all Velcro straps (e.g. in the side pocket).
4. Fasten all zippers and other fastening mechanisms such as buttons, Velcro or other (this prevents the fabric from being damaged by sharp-edged fastening mechanisms).
5. Turn the pants inside out.

Another important step is to avoid using harsh laundry soaps and to keep washing temperatures low. This helps the NyCo fabric stay strong and prevents it from losing its colour.

Striker combat pants

You need to check the knee pad pockets and close them as the tough velcro can cause possible abrasion of the fabric in the washing machine.

Tip from the pro: It is best to hang up the pants and let them dry overnight.

How to wash tactical jackets (delta and monsoon tactical jackets)

Our tactical jackets and combat jackets can be washed with all their additional elements and do not require any special care (hood/harness system, air/pac inserts).

Although they can be washed with the air/pac inserts, we recommend removing them whenever possible to reduce drying time.

How to wash tactical jackets (delta and monsoon tactical jackets)

Alternatively, the hood/harness system can be washed together with the jacket. However, we recommend that you use a wash bag and wash it separately if you don’t want to leave the system on the jacket and want to give it a thorough wash instead.

Before you wash the jacket, you will find below a checklist with points that need to be considered:

1. Take all items out of your pockets and Velcro (like tissues, knives, patches, etc.).

2. Take out the elbow pads (they can only be hand washed).

3. Fasten all zippers and other fastening mechanisms such as buttons, Velcro or other (this prevents the fabric from being damaged by sharp-edged fastening mechanisms).

4. Turn the jacket inside out.

If you have a Monsoon rain jacket, this article will teach you how to properly care for the DWR coating and waterproof properties by ironing the jacket at a low temperature after washing.

Tip from the pro: We recommend drying the jacket on a hanger to reduce wrinkles and possible deformation.

The Delta Eagle Gen.2 softshell jacket

We recommend opening the collar pocket and removing the hood/harness system so that it can be washed better than in the pocket.

How to wash boonies and caps

Velcro straps on these hats are all soft so you don’t have to worry about them damaging the fabric or other gear.

How to wash boonies and caps

Caring for the boonie hats and caps is easy and uncomplicated. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you wash them:

1. Remove any documents or other items you keep inside

Removing stains from tactical gear

We know that your gear may have gotten a lot of stains over the years and some of them may be difficult to remove.

Here’s a list to keep in mind when you see your next stain and you want to remove it quickly.

Blood stains

Always wash fresh blood stains with cold water. Never use hot (that causes blood to coagulate, making it harder to remove).

Fresh blood stains must always be washed with cold water, never use hot water. Hot water can cause the blood to clot, making it much more difficult to wash out.

Remove with the salt

One of the best and most natural ways is to add salt to the cold water and hand wash the clothes before putting them in the washing machine. You can use regular salt from your kitchen cupboard.

Old and dried blood stains are removed by applying water to the affected area and then covering it with salt.

Immediately (or as soon as you can) after your clothes come into contact with blood, simply soak them in a salt bath. The salt is easily washed out of the washing machine with detergent and is excellent at removing blood.

laundry detergent

Apply the detergent directly to the stain, wait a few minutes for the stain removing properties to kick in and rinse with cold water. Then wash the clothes normally.

alcohol vinegar

Submerge the gear in a mixture of water and vinegar. Let them soak overnight and wash them in the washing machine the next day. This will remove the bloodstains from your gear.

baking soda

Apply the baking soda to the fresh stain, wait a few minutes, and then wash the clothes in the washing machine.

Tip from the pro: You can add the baking soda to the detergent in your normal wash cycle. Baking soda will make your white clothes even whiter.

MUD

If the mud on your clothes is still wet, let it dry. Use a brush to remove most of the mud (any big clumps in the bigger spots) that may still be stuck to the gear. Use a clear detergent to rub into the mud stains and leave the clothes in a plastic bag for 5-6 hours. Then wash your equipment in the washing machine.

Banana

Wash the stain immediately with hot water. If the stain is still there after washing, you can apply a clear detergent or soak the stain in warm milk. If that doesn’t work, you can try removing the stain with glycerin. Rub it with a cloth soaked in the glycerine and then leave it on for 10 hours.

After 10 hours, wash the clothes in the washing machine.

Food stains

Apply clear cleaner to the affected areas of your gear and let it sit for 5-6 hours.

Alternatively, you can soak the clothes in a 50/50 mixture of water and glycerin. If the stain is still visible after a machine wash, you can try removing it with a cloth soaked in petrol or 25% ammonium (equivalent to 1 tablespoon of ammonium in 1L of water).

Vomit

Gently rub the stain with clear detergent and place the clothing in a plastic bag for 5-6 hours. Then wash the equipment in the washing machine to remove the stain.

TEA

If you’re a big tea fanatic and your gear keeps getting a bit of it, you don’t have to worry. It’s easy to remove again.

Soak clothing in skim milk until milk begins to stain. Afterward, apply some clear detergent directly to the area and place the gear in a tightly sealed plastic bag for 5-6 hours.

The second option is to apply some glycerin directly to the stain and leave it on for 15 minutes.

In either case, wash the gear in the washing machine after soaking it.

Chocolate

Apply some soap, clear detergent, or glycerine to the area, then put the clothes in the washing machine.

If you have an oily stain, you can remove it with sparkling water/soda.

You can also try soaking the stain in some low-fat milk and then letting it sit for about 15 minutes. After soaking, you can gently rub the stain with a cloth until it disappears.

Wash the gear in a washing machine after removing the chocolate stain with milk (and grab some cookies while you’re at it).

Coffee

You can use either glycerin or milk to remove a coffee stain. You can use both for best results.

Rub some glycerin into the stain and let it soak in milk overnight when you’re done. Wash your gear in the washing machine once you’re done with everything.

Adhesive

Acetone-based adhesives can be removed with non-oil-based acetone or nail polish removers (ask your buddy if they have any).

OIL

Rub the stain with butter, let it soak up the oil stain, and then put the clothes in the washing machine.

Another option is to drip some gasoline over it and press on the affected areas with a paper towel.

DEO

Rub with a 1:4 mixture of white vinegar and water and rinse with water.

Alternatively, you can moisten the deodorant stains with some water, then apply some baking soda and leave overnight.

Milk

Apply some clear detergent to the stains and place the clothes in a plastic bag overnight. If the stains are still there in the morning, you can remove them with sparkling water/soda.

Then wash the clothes in the washing machine.

Mould

Mold is removed with a washing program at over 60 degrees Celsius.

!Important for clothing that must not be washed at temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius: you can rub white vinegar into the affected areas. If your gear still has a distinct musty odor, you can use a non-bleach disinfectant to eliminate the odor. Wash the clothing after applying the disinfectant.

Dirt

Soak the equipment in cold water for a short time, then rub in soap or clear detergent.

If you have oily stains, you can remove them with sparkling water/soda.

Wash the clothes in the washing machine after you’re done.

Beer

You’ll be happy to know that you can easily remove beer stains with a normal washing program. Coincidentally, we were able to test this several times.

Rust

Soak the equipment in a mixture of 2 tablespoons white vinegar and 1l milk or alternatively use lemon juice and water. After soaking, rub the stains with salt and lay the gear in the sun to dry.

Wash the gear in a washing machine after you’re done.

ASH

Vacuum the large areas or remove them with duct tape. Then soak them in clear detergent and then place them in a plastic bag for 5-6 hours. Then wash them in the washing machine.

Epoxy

Lay your gear on an absorbent surface and rub it with acetone or a mixture of rubbing alcohol and turpentine. Then immediately dry the stain with a paper towel.

Then remove the clothes from the surface and wash them in the washing machine.

Tobacco

Use a regular detergent with an enzyme that softens your gear and apply it directly to the stain. Let it sit for a couple of hours and then wash the gear on a regular wash cycle.

Grass

Apply glycerin directly to the stain and leave on for 10-15 minutes.

Another alternative is to use a toothpaste brush to gently rub the stain until it begins to dissolve.

After both variants you can wash the clothes in the washing machine to remove the stain.

Burn holes

*Disclaimer: Only works on small burn marks and will not work on laminate fabrics. We cannot guarantee that this method will work for you. If possible, we advise against using them unless it is really necessary.

Cook the garments in a 1:2 mixture of milk and water at a low temperature (try not to exceed the garment’s recommended washing temperature too much).

Then wash the clothes in the washing machine while you keep your fingers crossed.

Chewing gum

Pack the equipment in a plastic bag and seal it. Place the plastic bag in the freezer for a few hours until the gum sets. Take them out of the freezer and scrape off the gum. If the stain is still visible, use a cloth soaked in gasoline, place it under the stain and wait for it to dissolve. Then you can rub the area with your cloth until the stain disappears.

After that, put the clothes in the washing machine when you’re done.

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