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How to Wash BDUs

C.K. Wren

BDU is an acronym for battle dress uniform. BDU's were initially created for military members as combat and training and regular use uniforms. BDU's are camouflage depending on the both the branch of the military as well as tour of duty depending on the local terrain.

BDU is an acronym for Battle Dress Uniform.

Because BDU's are intended to function as all purpose uniforms, they are durable and fairly simple to care for. However, there are some tips to follow when possible if you want to keep your BDU's from fading over time.

  1. Set your washer to the permanent press cycle on cold for the first time you wash your BDU. Do not use detergent.

  2. Tumble dry on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes and immediately remove the BDU from the dryer and allow it to air dry.

  3. Wash the BDU in the warm water, permanent press cycle any time after the initial washing. Use mild detergent that doesn't contain any kind of bleach or starch.

  4. Tumble dry on low heat and remove and hang immediately to reduce wrinkles.

  5. Tip

    Although this is a general care guide, you should always follow the specific manufacturer's instructions on the tag attached to your particular garment.


    Do not use starch or anything that contains bleach on your BDU to prevent fading.

    Do not use the high heat setting on either your washer or your dryer when laundering your BDU.