NYPD Auxiliary Police officers in Central Park, NYC

Laundry is something that never seems to end, especially when an entire family or department is involved. While you might go on autopilot when doing the washing, this won’t work if you have articles of clothing that need special care. Clothing that has embroidery or patches should be cleaned with special instructions to preserve these items. For those who work as EMS responders, fire fighters, or police officers, knowing how to properly care for clothing with patches can save headaches later on.

Stains

It is important to check patches to see if they are stained before you wash the garment. Certain types, such as fire department patches on uniforms, may be more inclined to gather dirt and debris. If you notice that the patch is dirty, you should clean it before washing the garment. Using a toothbrush or other small brush, along with dish soap and cold water, can assist you with removing dirt and stains. Remember to scrub softly so that you don’t trap the dirt deeper into the fibers. Cleaning as much dirt off this way will help it come much cleaner when you wash it.

Washing

 

Most patches can be washed in the washing machine, so long as proper care is taken before they are placed into the machine. You should ensure that the garment is turned inside out first. It should be washed in cold water and on the gentle cycle. This reduces the chances that the patch will get torn up in the washer while washing. If you are worried about whether or not you can wash your garment in the washing machine, then hand washing is always an alternative.

Drying

Some patches are safe to be dried, especially embroidered ones. Clothing with more permanent patches, such as law enforcement patches, should be durable enough to handle a low temp drying session. You should remember to dry on a cool setting. If you need to iron the garment that has a patch, remember to place something over it to further protect it. Doing these things can extend your patch life and keep you from having to replace it.

Caring for your patches is just as important as finding a reputable company that makes patches. Many service personnel have these emblems on their clothes; knowing how to properly care for them will eliminate the need for replacement. If you consider there are almost 18,000 police agencies — including city, county, state and federal offices — in the United States, then you can imagine just how many professional uniforms have them. Caring for these uniforms can be tricky at times, but following these simple tips you can be sure that they will last as long as possible.