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How do you remove discoloration on white uniforms?


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#1 AirMechanic

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 05:43 AM

I recently bought a set of WWII USMC Officers Dress Whites. The uniform has a lot of discoloration, and these areas look like a very light brown coffee color. Is there a way to remove this discoloration, or even dye or bleach the uniform white?

#2 MAW

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 06:24 AM

I recently bought a set of WWII USMC Officers Dress Whites. The uniform has a lot of discoloration, and these areas look like a very light brown coffee color. Is there a way to remove this discoloration, or even dye or bleach the uniform white?



A friend of mine said that they can be bleached and cleaned. I have a set of WW2 officer's whites and a white visor hat that I'm probably going to clean sometime soon.

#3 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 06:28 AM

Is it cotton or polyester blend?

#4 Sgt Saunders

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 03:27 PM

I've used something called Iron Out. I was given a totally stained set of cotton navy whites.
They were headed for the trash they looked that bad. I figured what did I have to loose. I used the iron out and it took most of the rust type stains and yellowing out. Then I washed them again with a little bleach and they came out looking pretty good. I have some stuf called blueing that you put in the wash water. I haven't tried it but some one her said it works too.
When washing anything old be carefull. Use a gentle cycle and then hang and air dry. Anything like the Iron Out or bleach will weaken the material. So be carefull and good luck.

#5 AirMechanic

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 04:04 PM

They are made of cotton.

#6 EGA-DOG

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 07:20 PM

I too have a set of WW2 USMC whites. Can taking them to the dry cleaners work? I would die if they got damaged in the wash.

#7 Captainofthe7th

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 08:32 PM

I believe oxy-clean works quite well and is gentle. Woolite may also be an option. Search around the forums for topics about dirty Navy white jumpers, you should find your answer.

Rob

#8 ClaptonIsGod

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 02:16 PM

:lol:
lol.jpg
RIP

Edited by ClaptonIsGod, 06 January 2010 - 02:16 PM.


#9 itsybitsy

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 07:15 AM

I soaked some dirty, nasty, rust stained, and yellowed NAVY waves hat covers in a high concentration solution of oxy clean and water for several days and they came out stark white with just the smallest, slightest, faint orange spots where the rust stains had been. I would definately recommend trying it.

-Sarah

#10 Allan H.

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 08:09 AM

The US Navy's Blue Jacket's Manual recommends white vinegar.
It is a pretty mild cleaning agent and washes out of the cloth quite easily.
You might want to try it before going to a harsher chemical cleaner.
Allan

#11 kammo-man

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 12:24 AM

Leave it .
It is the battle scars of all the good times !!
owen

#12 normaninvasion

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 06:50 AM

WARNING!!! To anyone even thinking about using bleach, esp. on older items, STOP!!! My recommendation is to first try a milder product such as Oxy or others. Bleach is very harsh and if not used extreamly carefully can destroy an item. I cleaned a soiled dress blues cover, very carefully, making sure to heavly dilute solution and rinse w/clean water ect. Looked alot better, not 100%, after air drying, cover was tight as a drum. Needless to say putting cover on frame was hard and the cover had weakend due to the bleach = small tear.

#13 AirMechanic

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 08:34 AM

Well, I tried soaking them in Iron Out, and it did absolutely nothing. The next thing I tried was white bleaching dye that they sell at the grocery store. That did absolulety nothing as well. I finally decided to just go with the bleach. I filled a 5 gallon bucket with warm water and a cup or two of bleach, and mixed it thoroughly. I then submerged the jacket, then the pants in the water/bleach solution for about 2 or 3 minutes. I then rinsed them thoroughly with water to remove the bleach. They look really great now, and there is no damage to the material either.

#14 37thguy

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 08:49 AM

Cream of Tartar powder works great. Make it into a paste and work it in then let it set awhile. Buy it where you find cooking spices!

#15 fortworthgal

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 02:45 PM

RIT White Wash. About $1.65 near the fabric dyes & laundry supplies in your grocery store. Stinks to high heaven, but works wonders for items you can't bleach. I recently did my husband's original USMC white dress cover and gloves using this method. For extremely yellowed items, doing it on the stovetop works best.

That and I highly recommend a few drops of Mrs. Stewart's Liquid Bluing in the rinse water (make sure you dilute it and mix the water first, so you don't end up with blue stained items!)

#16 Robbo

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 04:56 PM

WARNING!!! To anyone even thinking about using bleach, esp. on older items, STOP!!! My recommendation is to first try a milder product such as Oxy or others. Bleach is very harsh and if not used extreamly carefully can destroy an item. I cleaned a soiled dress blues cover, very carefully, making sure to heavly dilute solution and rinse w/clean water ect. Looked alot better, not 100%, after air drying, cover was tight as a drum. Needless to say putting cover on frame was hard and the cover had weakend due to the bleach = small tear.


I would agree here BUT use your instincts. Is the material strong?? If there are weak areas, some of the more harsh detergents will rot right through it. I have had some vintage flags that have similar age discolouration and have had good results by soaking them in a bathtub with lukewarm water and FABRIC bleach, it comes in a powder form but DO NOT USE the same stuff that you might use to clean the drains!!!!!!


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