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How to Wash Hunting Clothes – A Definitive Guide for You

how to wash hunting clothes
Written by Robert Stevens

Hunting clothes require a special treatment to be washed properly. Not all cleaning products are appropriate in these cases. Some can damage the fibers or ruin some important properties of your hunting outfit.

While most expert hunters know very well how to wash their clothes, some less experienced don’t. If that’s your case, don’t worry. Today, we’ll explain in detail how to wash hunting clothes applying the right techniques.

The Most Appropriate Products for Washing Hunting Gear

Usually, brand-new hunting clothes, including high-quality hunting jackets have UV brighteners to look more eye-catching. However, these substances are also striking for deers and other animals. For this reason, it’s convenient to wash your hunting outfit before the first use.

Most commercial detergents aren’t appropriate for hunting clothes. They contain strong essences that are easily noticeable by animals. In these cases it’s better to opt for scent free products.

It’s also not a good idea to apply softeners, because most of them contain UV brighteners. There are many alternatives on the market that can help you keep your hunting outfit in perfect condition. In some supermarkets and hunting stores you can find various detergents specially formulated for these purposes.

For example, Country Save is a very popular detergent, used by US troops. This product eliminates traces of brighteners, which are easily detected by the night vision monoculars or the night vision binoculars. In addition, it doesn’t contain fragrances and other substances perceptible by animal smell.

How to Wash Hunting Clothes – Step by Step

1. Clean your washer

How to Wash Hunting Clothes: Clean your washer

Certainly, washing your hunting clothes with a washing machine gives you better results than doing it by hand. However, before getting started, it’s convenient to clean your washer thoroughly so you can erase any trace of detergent or fabric softener.

To do this, run a hot washing cycle with the washer completely empty. Add a pair of cleaner tablets or any similar product to the water before starting the cycle. Once the cycle ends and the washer is completely empty, let it air dry for several minutes.

2. Run a cold washing cycle

How to Wash Hunting Clothes: Run a cold washing cycle

Put a small batch of clothes into the washer and add the recommended dose of detergent. Remember that the product you use shouldn’t contain fragrances or UV brighteners. Finally, run a cold washing cycle.

It isn’t recommended to wash your hunting clothes with hot water because the fibers can shrink. Also, hot water may weaken the glue that keeps some accessories in place.

3. Run a second washing cycle

Run a second washing cycle, adding only baking soda to the water. Baking soda helps prevent bad odor. It also helps remove any remaining detergent that may clog the pores of your clothes.

4. Let your clothes to air dry

How to Wash Hunting Clothes: Let your clothes to air dry

After the second washing cycle finishes, take your hunting clothes outdoors to let them air dry. It isn’t convenient to use dryers because the applied heat could shrink the fibers.

5. Store your clothes in a plastic bag

How to Wash Hunting Clothes: Store your clothes in a plastic bag

After your hunting clothes are completely dry, use an iron at low heat to remove wrinkles. Then, store your clothes in a plastic bag to keep them protected from external agents, odors and pests.

After Wash Care

  • You better not wear your hunting clothes before arriving at the site. Common activities like eating, filling the gas tank or smoking can transfer odor to the fibers. If this happens, animals will be able to easily detect your location.
  • Some animals can smell human sweat from long distances. So, it’s also convenient to apply odor-remover sprays on your hunting clothes from time to time.
  • Don’t apply chlorinated products or other harsh chemicals on your hunting clothes. They can discolor and ruin the fibers. In addition, animals can detect their peculiar smell.
  • Apply baking soda on parts most exposed to sweat to remove bad odors.


As you can see, you don’t need to be an expert to learn how to wash your hunting clothes. You just need to apply each of our tips to get the desired results. Always remember that scented detergents and softeners aren’t an option. Always opt for specialized products, suitable for hunting and military clothes.


1. How often should I wash my hunting outfit?

Ans. You should wash your base layers and mid layers after each use. On the other hand, outer layers don’t require too much care. So, you can wash them once a month.

2. Can you wash hunting clothes with baking soda?

Ans. Yes. Baking soda doesn’t harm the fibers of your hunting outfit. Also, it kills pathogens, prevents bad odors, and removes detergent traces from your clothes.

3. Can you wash hunting clothes without detergent?

Ans. You could but this isn’t a good idea. Detergents may break the surface tension of water, helping to remove greasy residues and stubborn stains.

4. Can you put hunting clothes into the dryer?

Ans. It isn’t recommended to put hunting clothes into the dryer. The applied heat may shrink the fibers. It’s better to leave the clothes to air dry.

About the author

Robert Stevens

A Seasoned Hunter

It’s been several years that Robert, a retired teacher and a proud dad, has silently been piling up mature bucks down the South. This humble hunter began his hunting journey at quite an early age and since then, he spent countless hours in the woods and learned good lessons in terms of woodsmanship. Along the way, he also made money sharing his skill with his followers and well-wishers.

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