Tarnished Badges


Lantern Swinger
I was wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to get the gold branch badge on a Number One unifrom looking shiny again without having to resort to sewing on a new one (God forbid). I did hear years ago that vinegar does the trick but can anyone confirm this? Interested in any other tried and tested mothods you may have - I'm all ears.


Lantern Swinger
Hmm the link wont open but that may be cos I am on a work computer (Shhh don't tell anyone). Can you cut and paste the article into here if it is short enough? Thanks


Book Reviewer
MCO P1020.34F


10100. GENERAL
1. The following information is presented to help prolong the useful life of uniforms and accessories so that they may be worn with the justifiable pride which distinguishes Marines in uniform.

2. No matter how well-fitting a uniform is when new, it will not continue to look its best unless well cared for both during wear and when not in use. A uniform should be put on carefully and kept buttoned. Large or heavy objects carried in the pockets will soon destroy the shape of the uniform. When not in use, carefully place uniforms on hangers and keep in a well-ventilated storage space. Well-constructed wooden or plastic hangers shaped to fit the shoulder contour, with locking trouser bar or clips, are recommended. When uniforms are folded in duffel bags or other containers for storage or shipment, fold them carefully to preserve their original shape.

1. Because of less frequent wear, use particular care when storing dress uniforms. Gold braid on evening dress uniforms may deteriorate if in close proximity to any substance containing sulphur, such as rubber and manila or kraft paper. High humidity or sharp temperature changes will also cause tarnishing if the uniform is not adequately protected. An airtight plastic clothing bag with a packet of desiccant (drying agent) enclosed will give greatest protection. Place the uniform carefully on a substantial hanger and store in a dry, cool, well-ventilated closet. Gold braid should normally be cleaned by an experienced tailor although liquid nontoxic preparations available may be used if applied according to manufacturer's instructions. Embroidered insignia may be kept bright by occasional scrubbing with a nail brush and a solution of ammonia and water. Do this periodically, or as soon as any signs of tarnish or corrosion appear. In case of severe corrosion, the insignia cannot be restored to its original condition and must be replaced. The synthetic tarnish-resistant gold braided accessory items do not require heavy cleaning. A soft cloth may be carefully used to remove dust. Since temperature changes do not affect these items, store as required to protect the uniform fabric itself.

2. According to manufacturer's label instructions, white dress uniforms of polyester or polyester/rayon gabardine may be either professionally drycleaned, or laundered and pressed. As drycleaning has frequently caused the polyester/rayon uniforms to become yellow or gray, hand or machine laundering of these uniforms is preferable. Hand launder in warm water using mild detergent; scrub soiled areas; rinse thoroughly in clear warm water; dry without wringing. Machine launder using a mild detergent; complete washing cycle for 30 minutes in 90o to 120o water; rinse thoroughly in clear warm water; set automatic dryer for regular fabrics and dry for 15 minutes. If pressing is required, use a cool iron. Do not use iron above rayon setting. Do not use hot iron.

3. Other dress uniforms should receive maximum care according to general instructions above and those for the particular type of uniform material. Wool and polyester/wool uniforms are best maintained by drycleaning by experienced drycleaning establishments.

4. Medals, insignia and other accessories should be cleaned and removed from the uniforms when not in use to reduce unnecessary strain on the material.

1. The same care required for dress uniforms is applicable to service uniforms; however, due to more constant use some additional measures may prove beneficial. As heat, friction, and pressure have a deteriorating effect on materials, service uniforms generally show more wear at creased areas. This may be partially offset by periodically pressing out old creases and reforming them slightly to either side of the previous crease. Sleeve cuffs and trousers/slacks/skirt hems should be periodically examined and turned if material permits. Drycleaning preserves the original appearance and finish of wool and polyester/wool garments and is recommended over hand laundering. However, when drycleaning facilities are not available, and only as a last resort, wool a nd polyester/wool uniforms may be handlaundered. Hand launder with a neutral soap and fresh lukewarm water 70o to 80o. If hard water is used, add small amount of water softener to the water. Do not use chlorine bleach. In laundering, thick suds are necessary for best results. The soap should be thoroughly dissolved in hot water and added to the cool water to reach a temperature of approximately 70o to 80o. In order to preserve the finish, rubbing should be minimized. Rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of the soap. Avoid high temperature, friction, and pressure as much as possible. Never run through a wringer or never twist to remove the excess water before drying. After washing the garments, squeeze gently to remove surplus water, shape garment by hand, and dry in open air. Colored garments should not be hung in the sun to dry. If this is unavoidable, garments should be turned inside out to dry.

2. Uniform items manufactured of polyester/cotton should not be bleached or starched.

10103. UTILITY UNIFORMS. Washing instructions, to preclude shrinking of the camouflage utility uniform, are as follows: during the washing, drying, and finishing cycles, use the lowest possible temperature setting so that at no time will the garment be exposed to temperatures greater than 130o. Some laundry facilities may not press utilities due to potential damage from automated presses. Thus, any pressing required will be the individual Marine's responsibility. Although the use of starch or sizing is authorized as an individual option, it may adversely affect the comfort and durability of the uniform.

10104. COMBAT UTILITY UNIFORMS. In order to maximize service life and maintain optimum performance, the following instruction should be followed when caring for the uniform.

1. Wash in warm water and mild detergent containing no optical brightener or bleach. Tumble dray at low hear (to to exceed 130° F). Remove immediately for the dryer and fold flat or place on a rustproof hanger to ensure heat from the dryer does not set wrinkles. to drip dry, remove from the washer/water and place on a rustproof hanger. Do not wring or twist.

2. A hand iron set on low heat may be used to individually press areas such collar points or pocket flaps to help maintain a neat appearance. Care should be taken when pressing creases, as the uniform is manufactured with permanent creases. Improper pressing may result in multiple permanent creases. No new creases may be created.

3. The use of starch, sizing and any process that involves dry-cleaning or a steam press will adversely affect the treatments and durability of the uniform and is not authorized. (ALMAR 015/02)

10105. ALL-WEATHER COAT/TANKER JACKET. The AWC and tanker jacket should be dry-cleaned only. A water repellency treatment should be applied after four or five drycleanings.

1. Gold buttons are plated to prevent tarnishing and should not be polished with abrasives or polishing cloths containing chemicals. Clean gold buttons with a weak solution of household ammonia and water.

2. Gold-plated buttons that have had the plating removed are likely to turn green due to exposure to moist air. This can be removed by rubbing gently with acetic acid or any substance containing this acid, such as vinegar, followed by a thorough washing in fresh water and drying.

3. The gold-filled parts and the sterling silver rhodium-finished parts of metal insignia are cleaned by washing with soap and water. Avoid using silver polish or abrasive.

4. Service insignia will not be polished. If the black finish wears off, replace the insignia or refinish with USMC approved liquid, black protective coating as sold through the Marine Corps exchange. Use of paints or other unapproved coloring agents is prohibited.

1. Maintenance of leather footwear is necessary to ensure maximum wear and to protect the healthy, sanitary condition of the feet. When not in use, the shape of the shoes should be maintained using shoe trees. Foot powder should be liberally sprinkled inside the shoe to absorb moisture. Constant inspection is necessary to ensure prompt repair to avoid breakdown of the upper leather.

2. Shoes should be kept clean as sand, dirt, grit, etc., have a deterioration action on shoe threads and shoe leather. Clean leather uppers periodically with saddle soap which is a leather preservative. Dubbing should never be used on footwear as such compounds seal the pores of the leather and cause excessive perspiration.

3. Synthetic leather shoes. For normal care, these shoes may be cleaned by wiping with a damp cloth or sponge. Occasional polishing with paste wax or cream polishes may be required; however, excess dust and dirt should be removed before polishing. Use liquid polish with care to avoid streaking. For white synthetic shoes use a good polish in moderate amounts. To cover abrasion or scuff marks, apply a paste wax shoe polish, then paste wax. Stains should be wiped off as quickly as possible, and then cleaned. For stubborn stains, try lighter fluid. On white synthetic shoes, a mild abrasive cleaner may be used if rubbed gently. Do not use chlorinated cleaners, bleaches, or harsh abrasives. For cleaning, never use acetone, nail polish remover, chlorinated dry cleaning solvents, or alcohol. When in doubt about a cleaner or polish, try a little on the instep, close to the sole.

4. Marine Corps Combat Boots (MCCB's). The brown MCCB(TW) and MCCB(HW) should be kept clean by using a stiff bristle brash to remove mud and dirt and then rinsing with plain water. Allow the boots to naturally dry by placing them in a cool, dry area with good air circulation. Use of forced hot air to dry boots will stiffen the leather and cause cracks. Application of special treatments such as waterproofing sealants and wax polish will seal pores and restrict breathing of the leather and is not authorized. Other treatments such as leather conditioning and saddle soap will cause excessive and permanent fading or darkening of the brown leather tanning and is not authorized. The use of edge dressing is prohibited. Spots worn smooth by excessive wear may be gently abraded with either a wire-bristle brush or rough-grain sandpaper until they have a surface appearance consistent with other areas of the leather boot. (ALMAR 015/02)

1. Although the dyed cotton material used in brown or green undershirts has a strong tendency to fade, proper laundering and care will eliminate or reduce the probability of this occurring. However, fading/discoloration alone does not render the undershirt unserviceable.

2. Launder the brown or green undershirts using the permanent press cycle or hand wash in cold or warm water. Do not use bleach or detergents which contain bleaching agents. Tumble dry on the permanent press cycle, drip dry on a rust-proof hanger, or line dry out of the sun's direct rays. Allowing the undershirt to come in contact with oxidizing agents, such as benzoyl peroxide (used in most acne medications) may cause spots which cannot be removed without ruining the shirt.

1. When belts are laundered, shrinkage is a normal reaction of untreated webbing. To compensate for shrinkage, the belts are manufactured three inches longer than the waist size; e.g., size 34 belts are 37 inches long. Belts should be washed at least three times before cutting to normal waist size.

2. To prevent excess shrinkage after laundering, hand stretch the belts while wet.

10110. STORING WOMEN'S SERVICE AND DRESS CAPS. Utilize the packaging material (tissue paper and chipboard cylinder) as it was originally used for storing. The cap should fit snugly within the box, with tissue paper used to prevent shifting of the cap and to support the crown. The chipboard cylinder should be placed flat (not on edge) within the crown to afford additional support.

10111. SERVICE/DRESS SWEATERS. Drycleaning the sweaters is recommended. However, the sweaters may be hand laundered following the guidance in subparagraph 10102.1 for service uniforms.

1. The sword blade and scabbard with chrome plating have been plated to prevent rust; however, should the plating be removed by use of abrasives or as a result of scratches or misuse, rust is likely. When not in use, the blade and the scabbard should be kept in a dry place and should be coated with a film of light oil.

2. The grip should be cleaned by wiping with a damp cloth and drying thoroughly.

3. The mountings on the sword and scabbard, including the hilt, are made of solid brass, highly polished or gold-plated. For best results clean all mountings with a cloth moistened with soap suds to which a few drops of household ammonia have been added. Do not use abrasives or polishing cloths containing chemicals. Wipe with a cloth moistened with clear water and dry thoroughly.

4. The scabbard of the noncommissioned officers' sword is covered with leather and should be cleaned with saddle soap. The sword blade and the gold-plated brass mountings should be maintained as indicated above.

10113. WHITE VINYL COVERS/CAPS. The white vinyl frame cap covers and the women's white dress vinyl caps may be cleaned with a soft brush (for light dirt/dust) or with a soft cloth dipped in warm soapy water. Brushing/cleaning motion should be in the direction of the grain of the vinyl.

10114. MATERNITY UNIFORMS. The maternity tunic, slacks, and skirt may be drycleaned or washed in warm water on the gentle cycle with mild detergent and allowed to drip dry. Items may be tumble-dried if the dryer has an air cycle with no heat. Do not bleach. The maternity uniform should not be washed with other dark clothes. If touch-up pressing is desired, a cool iron should be used. Maternity shirts and the camouflage work uniform will be maintained in the same manner as the equivalent standard uniform items.

10115. CUTS IN CLOTH. A clean cut in a cloth uniform can be repaired by being rewoven with threads drawn from the material in another part of the garment. This must be done by an experienced tailor and is an expensive process; however, a well rewoven cut cannot be noticed.

10116. PREVENTING MOTH DAMAGE. Frequent brushing and exposure to sunlight and fresh air will effectively prevent moths. If uniforms are to be put away for a long time and left unattended, they should be thoroughly cleaned and packed in an airtight plastic bag or protected from moth damage with camphor balls, naphthalene, cedar wood, or paradichlorobenzene.


10200. GENERAL
1. Enlisted Marines will plainly and indelibly mark every article of uniform clothing with the owner's name (except for organizational clothing). Marks will be of a size appropriate to the article and the space available for marking and will consist of block letters not more than 1/2 inch in size. Marking machines, stencil, marking tape or labels, or stamp, as appropriate, may be used. Names will be marked in black on light-colored material and inside the utility uniform and in white on dark-colored materials. Marks will be placed so that they do not show when the uniform is worn except that nametapes will be worn on the outside of the utility uniform as prescribed in paragraph 3032. When a marking tape or label is used, it should either be commercial or one made by printing or stamping the name on white tape, other than adhesive tape. In order to standardize throughout the Marine Corps and prevent variation from station to station, no elaboration of the following guide for marking will be made, nor will any greater preciseness of location be prescribed

2. Articles marked with another individual's name will have the first owner's name obliterated by blocking out the name or using a commercial eradicator. The new owner's name will be re-marked according to these instructions. All re-marked clothing, with the exception of uniforms stamped RC 1/2, (Recovered Clothing 1/2 Price) must be substantiated with an appropriate entry on the administrative remarks page of the service record book.

3. If Marines have clothing marked according to previously published instructions, re-marking is not required until the markings become illegible. If a Marine's name is legally changed, re-marking with the new name is not required until the old markings become illegible; however, an appropriate remark will be entered on the administrative remarks page of the service record book.


1. Bag, Duffel. On the outside of the bottom of the bag.

2. Belts (Except Trouser Belts). On the underside, near the buckle end.

3. Belts, Trouser, Web. On one side only, as near the buckle end as possible.

4. Caps. Inside on the sweatband.

5. Coats. Inside the neckband.

6. Crown, Cap. Inside the band.

7. Drawers. Outside, immediately below the waistband, near the front.

8. Gloves. Inside at the wrist.

9. Handbag. On the space provided.

10. Liner (All-Weather Coat). Centered near the top.

11. Necktabs. On the underside near left end.

12. Neckties. On the inside of the neck loop. (Hook-on ties: On the inside, near the top.)

13. Shirts. Inside the neckband.

14. Shoes/Boots. Inside near the top.

15. Socks. Outside, on top of the foot.

16. Sweater. Stamped on manufacturing label or use marking tape/label sewn inside the back of sweater, below the neckband, with thread to match the sweater.

17. Trousers; Skirts; Slacks. Inside near the top.

18. Trunks. Inside, immediately below the waistband.

19. Undershirts. Inside back, near the neckband.
How often do you use your Nos 1s ?, it can't be that many times surely, and if you haven't had more than one grat issue you must be slipping !!



Lantern Swinger
Thanks Janner - that has to be the most comprehensive list of how to look after your kit ever produced, but I have to say that it is a bit scarey that you had a link to it to hand so quickly - and a Yank site at that :shock: :lol:
To answer your question Whitemouse - Yep just the one Grat issue. I was fat then, and I am fat now, so no need to change it!!
Hmm, are there diffent sized badges for different sized sailors ?

But what I was intimating was, as a Dusty (I presume from your profile you are one ?) you are in an ideal position to grat issue more than one set of badges...?? Or miscount on a stocktake (you do still do those?).... not saying that I ever did it of course......... :neutral:



Lantern Swinger
whitemouse said:
Hmm, are there diffent sized badges for different sized sailors ?

But what I was intimating was, as a Dusty (I presume from your profile you are one ?) you are in an ideal position to grat issue more than one set of badges...?? Or miscount on a stocktake (you do still do those?).... not saying that I ever did it of course......... :neutral:


Sorry, got the wrong end of the stick there - thought you meant a whole new uniform not the badges. I need therapy. To answer your point though, yes I could go into Slops with my right arm leading the way, and "borrow" a badge, but where's the fun in that? Plus as I stated in the original post, I want to clean the badge I have to avoid having to sew a new one on. Now you're going to tell me to use a tailoress aren't you...aarrgghh. I just want a bright shiny badge for the JD's farewell bash :cry:
A trick an old Sea Dad told me was to put plastic sheet under a badge, and then iron it on, trimming off any bits showing after - but this was Nos 8s, and not Nos 1s. I can't confirm it ever was truly successful as I always managed to find a Wren friend who would give a helping hand, and if I couldn't managed to do it on my own, with a few rivers of blood to mop up afterwards.

Good luck in your hunt, and enjoy the bash, a pity I can't be there to down a few in the name of the 'Dusties', but I'll raise a glass or two in my local in memory.


ps What's the new badge like ?