Care of Clothing
Care of Clothing
The following passage comes from FM 21-100 dated 1941
By being careful of your uniform, you have many advantages over a careless soldier. Your clothing will last longer, you will be neater and better dressed, and you will make a better impression on your comrades and officers.
The following information will assist you in the care of your clothing:
Whenever you wear the uniform, either on or off duty, be sure that it is complete and that it conforms to the instructions of your post, camp, or station. Have your shirt, coat, and overcoat buttoned throughout. Keep your uniform clean, neat, and in good repair.
Dandruff, dust, or cigarette ashes on a uniform give a bad impression. If possible, keep a whisk broom in barracks for brushing your uniform. Promptly replace missing buttons and insignia.
Keep your woolen uniforms pressed. This not only improves the appearance of clothing, but actually increases its life.
Clothing not in use should be hung in wall lockers whenever available. If there are no wall lockers, fold your clothing carefully and put it away where it will not accumulate dust. Uniforms that have become wet or damp should not be folded until they are dry. It is also a good idea to inspect clothing before putting it away. Missing buttons and rips should be attended to as soon as you take off your clothing instead of waiting until it is again needed.
Grease spots on uniforms are unsightly and unmilitary. The sooner a grease spot is removed, the easier. Usually it helps to place a folded clean towel under the soiled part of the cloth during the cleaning. The cleaning should be done by dampening a clean white cloth with a good commercial cleaning fluid and rubbing gently back and forth in a straight line over a larger area than the spot until dry. This usually prevents leaving a ring on the fabric. Turpentine will remove paint spots from clothing if used promptly, before the paint gets dry.
Insignia and buttons having a gold finish should be cleaned with ammonia and water. Don't use an abrasive, as it will remove the gold plating. Rubber bands, manila paper, or any material containing sulfur, if near medals, insignia, or buttons, will tarnish them.
Have your woolen uniform dry-cleaned for summer storage. Place adequate moth preventative between folds and store during summer in locker trunk or storage space as nearly airtight as possible.
In cleaning your boots or shoes, first remove all dirt or mud by scraping with a dull instrument such as a sliver of wood. Do not use a piece of glass or a knife. Next, wash them with a sponge saturated with a heavy lather of castile soap. Never use hot water or allow the leather to soak in water. Wipe off the lather with the wet sponge and rub the leather thoroughly and vigorously with a clean cloth until nearly dry. Drying by exposure to the sun, fire, or strong heat will cause the leather to stiffen and crack and is forbidden. Stuffing the toes with crumpled paper helps in the drying and tends to hold them in shape. After boots or garrison or dress shoes have dried, a good polish should be applied, provided that it has been authorized by the garrison or unit commander. In the case of work shoes an application of dubbing should be well rubbed in.
For other articles of leather equipment, clean as described above. In the case of unfinished leather, while it is still moist give it a very light coat of neat's-foot oil by rubbing with a soft cloth moistened with the oil. Any oil not absorbed by the leather should be wiped off. If more than a light coat of oil is given, the leather will be greatly darkened and will soil your clothing. If the leather is to be polished it should be cleaned as described above and then polished with a good grade of polish in the proper color.