When it comes to tactical pants care, there are a few things you need to know. The most important thing to know is that the type of uniform you have will determine the best route in terms of care. Here are a few care guides for the most common types of uniform pants. Please keep in mind, you should always check the care instructions of the pants prior to washing or drying to ensure the best outcome, and that these following guidelines are merely basic care suggestions in general.
ACU (Army Combat Uniform)
These Army compliant pants are the most commonly worn pant type in the military. It is important to note that you should never starch or iron your ACU pants because it can actually damage the material and affect the camo pattern. For instance, the use of starches or irons can lead to discoloration in certain spots which will make your uniform not up to standards, or you could end up creating brighter pigmentation which is also a concern because your fatigues will be too bright and pose a risk to stealth missions or interfere with night vision camouflage. When it comes to tactical pants care for ACU, you simply need to remove all insignia that uses Velcro because it can cause it to curl at the edges which is less than professional, wash in cold water with mild detergent free from bleach, ammonia, or optical brighteners, and then tumble dry on low heat. After 10 to 15 minutes, remove them from the dryer and allow them to finish drying by way of a rust proof hanger or on a flat surface. Make sure you never twist them or wring them since it will lead to wrinkles and creases.
BDU (Battle Dress Uniform)
These are commonly worn for combat situations by military professionals of all branches, as well as law enforcement professionals. When it comes to tactical pants care for your BDU, it is one of the easiest ones to handle. Simply wash them in warm water on the permanent press setting with a mild detergent. To dry, use a low heat setting and tumble dry. Make sure you hang the pants up after washing and drying are completed. While you can starch these tactical pants, it isn’t necessary since the material is naturally stiff and wrinkle resistant to begin with.
ABU (Airman Battle Uniform)
A special type of uniform pant worn by Airmen, these pants are also easy to care for and do not require starching to maintain their crisp, wrinkle-free appearance. These are actually the easiest to care for since unlike ACU pants, you can use optical brightening detergents without worry of altering the pattern. While you can use a less mild detergent for these pants, make sure you still avoid bleach, in general, to avoid fading. To care for the pants, simply follow the same guidelines of care suggested for ACU pants.