How to iron a military BDU is something anyone who is in the military or ROTC should know. Being able to have sharp creases is something you should not have to go to a dry cleaner in order to achieve. Dry cleaners are more expensive, and they tend to make the uniform too shiny when they starch it.
Step 1 – Get Your BDU out of the Dryer
The sooner you get your BDUs out of the dryer, the easier it will be to remove any wrinkles from them. This is because the tumble cycle will loosen up the fabric. If you have a lot to iron, hang up those which are in line to be ironed until you are ready for them.
Step 2 – Heat the Iron
You do not want for your iron to be at the hottest setting, but you do want it to be fairly hot. A good setting will be for cotton blends. You will also want to make sure the iron has plenty of water in it and the steam is turned on. The more steam you have for ironing, the better.
Step 3 – Lay out the Shirt
When ironing your shirt, you want it to be as flat as possible on the ironing board. Smooth it out with your hand before applying the iron to it. Iron the cloth in long motions. Make sure when you iron the pockets of the shirt, you use a piece of cardboard under the pocket flap. This will prevent the stitching on the flap being imprinted on the pocket itself. Be careful not to iron the buttons, as you will cause them to be shiny. If using starch, make sure to iron first in order to heat up the fabric. This will help the fabric absorb the starch. After starching, smooth the fabric with your hand and then iron.
Step 4 – Roll the Sleeves
Take your time when rolling the sleeves, in order to get the tightest roll possible. Smooth out the roll every time you make a fold in the fabric. Iron the roll in order to make sure the roll is not going anywhere.
Step 5 – Iron the Pants
When ironing the pants, you need to start from the inside out. Make your crease and then iron it down as flat as you can get it. When flipping right side out, add a piece of masking tape to the crease you have made. Using a lot of steam, press hard on the seam you are looking to create. Starch is a good thing to use here if you don't plan to use the BDU in combat. Just like with the shirt, you will want to avoid ironing the buttons.
Step 6 – Hang It
After you have the creases you want, hang up the uniform until you are ready to use it. The best method for hanging is to drape the pants on the seam, and hang the shirt with every other button buttoned.