Uniform Care

Hi Everyone!

My husband is very particular about his uniforms and was constantly saying that he needed a new set of Digies (aka NWU or Navy Working Uniform) because his were getting too faded.  So I did some research and changed my laundry habits and guess what?!  It saved us money.  Even though I was buying a more expensive detergent, we noticed that he didn't feel the need to purchase new uniforms as often.
There are two rules to remember when laundering NWUs.  One, NWUs should only be washed in detergents that do not contain any optical brighteners as they make the uniform more visible (defeating the purpose of them being camouflage).  And two, fabric softeners should not be used as they can ruin the durability of the uniform.
I apply both of these rules to all the uniforms just to keep it easy.

What I do:
I did some research on what brands of detergents contain optical brighteners (see list below) and selected Woolite because it also helps to prevent fading.  I use the Woolite Dark for Digies, Coveralls, blue Undershirts, Dress Blues and the Peanut Butters pants (aka Navy Service Uniform) then the Woolite Complete on the Dress Whites and Peanut Butter blouse.  I also turn everything inside out before putting it in.  In lieu of fabric softener, I use Downy Unstoppables to help everything smell clean.  He has a "uniform only" laundry hamper so that only uniforms go into the wash together.

PS. CHECK THE POCKETS BEFORE WASHING!!!  I cannot stress this enough.  CHECK THEM!  I'm speaking from experience here.  Lets just say it was dress whites vs a blue ball point pen and I'll leave the rest to your imagination...

Dreft Liquid
Dreft Powder
Era Liquid (all versions)
Gain Liquids (all versions)
Gain Powders (all versions)
Ivory Snow Liquid
Ivory Snow Powder
Tide Liquids (all versions)
Tide Powders (all versions)
Tide Tablets (all versions)
Fab (all versions)
Dynamo (all versions)
Ajax (all versions)
Suavitel Fabric Softener (all versions)
All laundry products made by Colgate-Palmolive
Arm & Hammer Liquid (all versions)
Arm & Hammer FabriCare Powder (all versions)
Arm & Hammer Fresh 'n Soft Fabric Softener (all versions)
Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
Rain Drops Water Softener and Detergent Booster
DeliCare Fine Fabric Wash (all versions)
Wisk (all versions)
All Liquid (all versions)
Surf Liquid (all versions)
Yes (all versions)
All Dial Laundry Products including:
Purex Powder (all versions)
Purex Liquid (all versions)
Purex Fabric Softener (all versions)
Purex Baby (all versions)
20 Mule Team Detergent (all versions)
Zout (all versions)

Bold Powder
Cheer Liquid (all versions)
Cheer Powder (all versions)
All Powder (all versions)
Surf Powder (all versions)
Woolite (all versions)


  1. Any tips on cleaning my hubbie's cover (NWU). I've got the rest of the cammie cleaning under control, but his starting to look more "Army green/brown" than Navy...if ya catch my drift.

  2. Hi Scarlet!
    I just throw the covers in the wash along with the rest of the uniform. They are pretty cheap to replace as well.


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