How To Clean And Maintain Your Scouts BSA Uniform

When it comes to Scout uniforms, cleanliness is essential! However, whether you’re camping, hiking, participating in service projects, or just playing games with your troop buddies, your Class A uniform is bound to get dirty at times. So, get ready to learn my best tips to keep your uniform looking (and smelling) its best!

How Should You Wash A Scouts BSA Uniform? To clean a BSA Class A uniform, first apply a spot treatment to stains and then machine wash in cold water with a mild detergent. Its recommended to turn the uniform inside out to protect patches and embroidery. Then, tumble dry on low heat or air dry to protect the patch adhesive.

P.S. This article is a guest post collaboration with Eagle Scout and AOL recipient, Michael M🙂

In this article, I’m going to take you through the best methods for washing and maintaining your BSA Scout uniform! I’ll also explain some spot-treatment hacks, give you a couple of product recommendations to keep your uniform looking great, and even explain the lesser-known significance of a clean uniform. Let’s do this! 😀

Cleaning a Scouts BSA Uniform

Why Scouting Uniform Cleanliness Matters

You might be wondering, “Why is maintaining your uniform important?” Well, first off, it shows respect for yourself! Don’t forget, a Scout is clean. By following the principles of the Scout Law, you put your best foot forward! If your uniform is a dirty mess, it suggests that you don’t care what impression you make on others.

Of course, the personal benefits of cleanliness aren’t only superficial. They’re also important for your health! By keeping your uniform clean, you can avoid the annoying or even dangerous effects of dirty clothes:

  • Rashes
  • Breakouts
  • Infectious bacteria

Keeping your uniform in good shape also shows respect toward the Scouting movement. The uniform is an important symbol of Scouting, so keeping yours clean demonstrates that you value Scouting at large. To even a casual observer, your commitment to Scouting will be perfectly clear.

Lastly, maintaining your uniform shows respect toward your fellow Scouts. You’re all part of the same team, and don’t want to be that Scout who’s stinking up the tent! Having a clean and fresh-smelling uniform will help you to feel more put together, confident, and prepared to have a blast with your troop! 😀

How To Clean and Maintain a Scout Uniform

All right, it’s time for the main attraction! Let’s go over a few of the best ways to keep your Scouts BSA uniform in pristine shape. By the time you reach the end of this list, you’ll have a much better idea of what goes into a spotless and scentless uniform!

However, you should note that these aren’t the only tips and tricks available to you. There are many other laundry tips that might better suit your unique situation, especially for rare kinds of stains. Still, following the pointers on this list is guaranteed to go a long way:

  • Wash the uniform inside out. By concentrating the detergent’s effects on the inside of the uniform, you’ll make it more effective at removing sweat stains and pit smells from the fabric. As an added bonus, following this tip will keep lint from piling up on the outside of your uniform!
  • Use lower heat when washing and drying. This keeps the dryer from ruining the Badge Magic adhesive. If you settle on Badge Magic as your go-to way to attach badges to your uniform, then this is a really important one to remember! You can find out more about Badge Magic in ScoutSmarts’ very own guide to attaching merit badge and uniform patches 🙂
  • Soak the uniform in oxygen bleach. Oxygen bleach — not chlorine bleach! — can be used on colored fabrics, and is great if your uniform still smells after standard washes. Not only will it remove the long-lasting stench of sweat, but it’ll also take out any ugly stains that have gotten on the fabric!
  • Wear an undershirt with the uniform. Keeping a light, breathable extra layer like your class b shirt between the uniform and your body will help prevent sweat from reaching the fabric. This goes a long way toward preventing unpleasant odors!
  • Pick up a second uniform shirt. This might seem like overkill at first glance, but it’s well worth shelling out a bit of extra money! Once you’ve got a second shirt at your disposal, it’s a simple matter to alternate between the two. When you’re out camping, switching out your shirts once daily will help to reduce the smell of sweat.
  • Hang up the uniform after use. Here’s another one specific to camping! By letting the uniform air dry after taking it off, you help to combat the natural odor released by sweat. If it’s gotten wet on the outing, try to dry it in the sun – inside out – to better rid yourself of odors!

There you have it! While there are other ways to keep your uniform in good shape, you should get plenty of mileage out of these tips alone. If you want to test some other methods, check out this informative video (5:51) that suggests stink-removal tips like steaming, freezing, and sachets!

Another thing I’d add is to ditch the antiperspirant deodorant if it sticks to the armpit part of your uniform, as that could trap in smells from wash to wash. Soon, we’ll be discussing spot treatment to get rid of nasty stains. First though, let’s talk about how uniforms get dirty in the first place (and how to prevent it)! 😀

Helpful Link: Check out this handy guide on how to remove any stain from mud to maple syrup!

How Scout Uniforms Get Dirty

Now that we’ve gone over some ways to clean up Scout uniforms, let’s discuss how they tend to get dirty in the first place! Once you have a solid understanding of where these stains and blemishes come from, you’ll have a better idea of what to look out for.

When it comes to keeping your uniform clean, there are lots of things to watch out for! Here are just a few that come to mind:

  • Dirt: Chances are this is the very first one you thought of! After all, dirt can be really visible on clothing, especially garments dyed with light colors. It’s especially noticeable on the Scouts BSA uniform since its tan color is on the lighter side.
  • Sweat: This one is especially prevalent during the summer months! When the weather’s at its hottest, the body will naturally release more sweat to compensate for the higher temperatures. A sweaty uniform is not only uncomfortable, but it can be a bit unsightly as well!
  • Food spills: No matter how careful you are, accidents happen. Do your best to avoid getting food on your uniform, but don’t beat yourself up if a little bit spills on you. It happens to the best of us! 😜
  • Campfire smoke: Who doesn’t love a good campfire? It’s a staple of the camping experience, and sitting around it as a troop is the perfect way for everyone to bond! Sadly, campfires have their downsides too. Scout uniforms are definitely susceptible to smoke or brushes with ash, so don’t be surprised if yours gets a bit dirty after sitting by the fire.

Products for Spot Treatment on Scout Uniforms

You may be used to just tossing your dirty uniform in the laundry. Hover, if you have any noticeable stains, it’s always a good idea to spot-treat your uniform before putting it in the washer! By giving extra attention to the stained areas of your uniform, you can be sure that you’ll avoid the blemishes from setting in the wash cycle.

Here are two products on Amazon that I’d recommend for spot-cleaning! I’d also suggest you do some online browsing of your own to see if any other products catch your eye:

  • Sard Wonder Concentrated Stain Remover Wonder Stick: This is a less artificial alternative to some of the spot-cleaning solutions available in stores and online. And not only is it full of natural ingredients, but it also works like a charm! I’ve had a really positive experience using this product for my own laundry.
  • Shout Free Laundry Stain Remover: This one is a lot more well-known than spot remover sticks, and for good reason! “Shout” has been a household staple for many families since the ‘80s. “Shout Free” is especially notable due to the ingredients it uses, which are more natural than many of its competing products.

Finally, below is a fantastic video (11:39) that goes into a lot more detail on how to remove stubborn stains from your Scout uniform or other clothes. Once you’ve got spot and scent removal down, you’re fully prepared to take good care of your Class A uniform for years to come! 😀


As you can see, there’s a lot to know about keeping your Scout uniform in great shape! The good news is, as long as you keep using what you learned in this article, your uniform is sure to be clean and stink-free! With that worry taken care of, you’re free to enjoy Scouting to the fullest. 😀

Remember, the more you practice cleaning your uniform correctly, the easier it’ll be. In fact, it’ll become an automatic part of your routine before you even know it! Thanks so much for reading. Next up, be sure to check out any of the following articles if they spark your interest:

That’s all for now! Thanks for dropping by ScoutSmarts. Until next time, we’re wishing you all the best on your Scouting journey!


I'm constantly writing new content because I believe in Scouts like you! Thanks so much for reading, and for making our world a better place. Until next time, I'm wishing you all the best on your journey to Eagle and beyond!

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