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Is it safe to wash a p41 uniform?


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#1 airborneaviator

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 04:49 PM

Hey Everyone, is it safe to wash p41s? I have a set that needs it but I don't want to damage them, any suggestions?



#2 SergeantMajorGray

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 05:00 PM

I wouldn't wash any old uniform if you do it should be hand washed.



#3 subsystem4

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 05:05 PM

Why do you want to wash the uniform?

 

I have been told to hand wash uniforms/field gear with cold water with woolite if you really have to. I usually don't wash them because it can do more harm than good. If its dirt/mud let it dry and brush it off with a soft brush. 



#4 mattsmilitary

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 05:11 PM

Don't wash it.  Dry clean it if anything



#5 airborneaviator

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 05:27 PM

It has a pretty pungent moldy smell which leads me to believe it has mold spores in it.



#6 gunbunnyB/3/75FA

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 07:54 PM

any good dry cleaner should be able to get rid of that smell, and or spores.



#7 ThompsonSavage

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 07:11 AM

I would never wash an item from my collection, unless washing it is the only way to save it (like with a very agressive and destructive mold).
Specialized drycleaning only if you must (they might ask you to sign a waiver in case they destroy the piece).
You might want to consider tackling the 'problem zones' locally instead of washing the whole item. I did that with some Blucher boots that had mold inside. 



#8 SergeantMajorGray

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 08:02 AM

I would try soaking it with water and let it dry outside (not in the sun) and see how bad the smell is after that.



#9 uplandmod

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 08:11 AM

Of all my uniforms I've owned over the years I've only had to wash one set, Navy whites that were yellowed out. 

 

I washed them by hand with oxiclean to bring back the white, then washed them a second time in a washing machine with Blueing white treatment. Finally I took them to the dry cleaners.

 

They came out beautiful and will most likely never need to be washed again for many years.

 

Sometimes a piece of clothing comes along that does need to be washed.

 

otherwise 99% I just take them to the Dry cleaners, if they need to be cleaned.

 

Good luck!

 

LF



#10 5thwingmarty

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 10:31 AM

If they are moldy I would not soak them in water.  That would just support the mold growth.  Sunlight would help deter mold growth but too much can cause fading.



#11 BROBS

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 10:53 AM

if they are just stinky I put them in my "collecting closet" which is filled with incense sticks.

It makes all my uniforms and patches smell nice. :)

 

-Brian



#12 doyler

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 11:02 AM

If the oder is the only issue you can bag them with a dryer sheet as well.Some people put the sheets between padges in books that are old to absorb the smell.I had a old sun helmet that was musty smelling from being in a basement.Didnt appear to have active surface mold or mildew on it.I placed it in a plastic trash bag with a dryer sheet for a couple of weeks and sealed the bag by just folding it closed..I would check it every few days as the smell would lessen over time.

 

If there isnt spot on it hanging it out on a clothes line in the sun and air can do wonders as well.

 

As stated if you launder it do it by hand and air dry on a rack or outside.



#13 Nack

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 06:23 PM

I'm not a USMC collector, but aren't P41s HBT cotton? If so, I don't see how hand washing in woolite would not be a good idea.

#14 BOLO

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 06:35 AM

I once had a brand new Navy Pea coat dry cleaned because it had a surplus smell and it came back with a damaged liner

 

the satin lining was frayed like it got damaged by the dry cleaning machine

 

it's safer to let it air out than wash it, old uniforms may also have a little aging or dry rot that could get ruined if you wash it



#15 Bob Hudson

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 07:23 AM

FEBREEZE: I get a lot of stinky stuff (my newspaper ad even says, "I'll even buy the stinky stuff your spouse thinks is trash").  I spray the heck out of it with Febreeze and then hang it in the sun for a couple of days. That can work miracles. 



#16 airborneaviator

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 12:49 PM

Thanks guys, it wouldn't be a problem if I weren't allergic to mold, so should I just take it to the dry cleaner?

#17 SergeantMajorGray

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 12:54 PM

ferbreeze it and let it air outside. I wouldn't trust dry cleaners to not mess it up.



#18 oldabewla

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 01:59 PM

I use compressed air to clean gear & clothing of dirt and soiling and natural air to get the smells out but it takes time.

 

Craig



#19 airborneaviator

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 02:17 PM

Would febreeze kill the mold?

#20 doyler

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 03:08 PM

Wash it by hand and hang it to dry.If you dont want to hand wash it take it to a laundry mat and wash in cold water on  a gentle or delicate cycle.I just laundered a WW2 shirt that was musty and out of a milewed duffle bag.Hung it to dry and no damage was done.

 

If you have to re-wash a second time do so.Im sure there are soaps and detergents to help with the mold. 

 

Dry cleaning is a chemical process and when taken to a cleaner its out of your control.

 

Dont over think this.Its a pretty simple procedure.



#21 P-40Warhawk

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 03:21 PM

 

Dont over think this.Its a pretty simple procedure.

 

 

Absolutely. The major things you want to avoid are machine washing and machine drying. With a washing machine the drum and agitator can leave scuff marks and damage the fabric. As for a dryer, vintage clothing should never be exposed to harsh heat.

 

If you have to wash something old, hand washing very delicately is the only way to go. No matter what you will risk damage by doing anything, but unless it is rotted you should be ok with your P-41s.



#22 airborneaviator

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 08:24 AM

Alright thanks, would woolite be safe to wash them in?

#23 Nack

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 08:33 AM

Alright thanks, would woolite be safe to wash them in?

 

That's what I use, even if it's not wool.



#24 VladimirBerkov

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 10:40 PM

Febreeze will mostly just cover up the smell, plus leave a residue.  For items that originally are meant to be washed in water (cotton P41s for instance) handwashing with a small amount of white vinegar will often work very well.  It also deodorizes the item, and leaves no residue.  Hang dry on a drying rack or good hanger that won't distort the shoulders.  The key is to make sure it dries fairly quickly.  If indoors, use a fan, or better yet, hang it where the outdoor breeze or sun is on it for a short time.  The UV of the sunlight will also disinfect and deodorize it, in addition to drying.  As has been said, use the sunlight sparingly to avoid fading.  



#25 BROBS

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 07:12 AM

Vladimir..

are you a white vinegar salesman??!!!  :P  :lol:

 

I agree about Febreeze though, I would not use it on historical objects.

 

I'd be more prone to brushing with a proper brush and blowing it with compressed air.

I feel this would remove any mold/mildew.

 

-Brian




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