How to Iron Navy Dress Whites

Rows of soldiers dressed in white Navy uniforms
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
What You'll Need
Ironing board
Tumble dryer
Clean cloth

Navy dress whites are among the hardest of the military uniforms to launder yourself. It takes the right plan in order to keep your uniform from being stained from ironing it at home. Not everyone can afford to take their uniform to the cleaner every time it is ready to get washed. This is why it is important to have the right plan in order to clean your uniform and press it yourself.

Keep It Clean

The first thing you need to do when cleaning your uniform is make sure the iron you will be using is absolutely spotless. Make sure you do not wash the uniform with anything other than white clothes in order to keep it from picking up any lent. Obviously, you need to remove any ribbons and medals before attempting to wash anything. Wash the uniform in cold water if possible in order to keep the material as new as possible for as long as possible. As the uniform is washing, inspect the dryer and the ironing board as well as the iron to make sure they are spotless. When the wash cycle is done, tumble just your uniform for a few minutes. All you are looking to do is warm up the fibers in the uniform slightly. You are not looking to actually dry the uniform. After the uniform has been tossed about for at least five minutes, immediately hang it up. This will help to keep all extra creases to a minimum.

Flipping Out

iron on ironing board

Knowing how to iron Navy uniforms means knowing how to keep every stain off of the outside of the uniform. To make this happen, flip the uniform inside out as you begin to iron it. You will still get the uniform pressed, but you will not have to worry about anything from the iron or ironing board getting on the outside of the uniform where people can see it. Start with the flap of the jumper behind the collar. Press it down into the board with long sweeping motions. You will then want to put the jumper around the ironing board. Iron from the neck to the waist of the jumper turning as you go. You do not want to have any creases on the body of the jumper. In order to get the creases on the sleeves, fold the sleeves on the crease while inside out. Iron flat until dry. After you flip the jumper out, place a clean, damp, white cloth over the sleeve. Press hard in order to create the right seam in your sleeves. In order to get the same result on the pants, repeat the same process.

Work around the groin and buttocks area in order to achieve no creases. Iron the inside out legs in order to remove all wrinkles. Iron creases in the right side out pants under a clean, damp, white cloth until dry. Make sure you inspect your uniform for any loose threads of lent so you can remove it immediately.