Keeping UV Brighteners Out of Hunting Clothes

The Problem

Many of the hunting clothes made in the past few years have UV brighteners in them.   Most of the laundry products on your grocer’s shelves have UV brighteners.  They make clothing look brighter and more attractive.

Unfortunately, turkeys and deer can see those UV brighteners – especially in low light conditions!  What’s a hunter to do?

A Solution

Hunting Wear with UV Brighteners Looks Bright & Blue (& Seems to Glow)! This Suit Does Not Have Brighteners

If you buy hunting camo wear without those pesky UV brighteners, there’s a way to keep them out of your camouflage wear.  You can buy an expensive product at a hunter’s supply store or you can use approved laundry detergents from your local grocery store.

It may surprise you to know that law enforcement and military uniforms cannot be washed in products with UV brighteners.

Here are products members of law enforcement and the military consider safe.

Military & Law Enforcement List of Safe Washing Products *

  • All® Powder (all versions)
    Bold Powder
    Cheer® Liquid (all versions)
    Cheer® Powder (all versions)
    Surf® Powder (all versions)
    Woolite® (all versions)
  • Country Save **

Other helpful info: If using a store brand or “generic” product, the label usually states “compare to [brand]” on the front panel. Match that product brand to the list above for ingredient content. ***

Products That are NOT Safe (They Have Brighteners)

Ajax® (all versions)
All® Liquid (all versions)
Arm & Hammer® FabriCare Powder (all versions)
Arm & Hammer® Liquid (all versions)
Arm & Hammer® Super Washing Soda
Arm & Hammer® Fresh ‘n Soft Fabric Softener (all versions)

Colgate-Palmolive laundry products
Delicare® Fine Fabric Wash (all versions)
Dreft® Liquid
Dreft® Powder
Dynamo® (all versions)
Era® Liquid (all versions)
Fab® (all versions)
Gain® Liquids (all versions)
Gain® Powders (all versions)
Ivory Snow® Liquid Ivory Snow® Powder
Rain Drops® Water Softener and Detergent Booster
Suavitel® Fabric Softener (all versions)
Surf® Liquid (all versions)
Tide® Liquids (all versions)
Tide® Powders (all versions)
Tide® Tablets (all versions)
Wisk® (all versions)
Yes® (all versions)

Dial® laundry products including:
20 Mule Team® Detergent (all versions) ****
Purex® Baby™ (all versions)
Purex® Fabric Softener (all versions)
Purex® Liquid (all versions)
Purex® Powder (all versions)
Zout® (all versions)


* This information comes from Ranger Joe’s

** This extra product comes from 4 Military Families

*** Compiled by A. Hammond, 3rd IBCT RFG Assistant 10th Mtn Div, July               2005

**** More about this next time!


This blog is a companion to my website:

Approved Detergents for Hunting Clothes


Four Separate Pieces to Cover the Entire Hunter!


Nothing was said last time about buying hunting clothes that have UV Brighteners.  This will be addressed in the next section —  Having Clothes With UV Brighteners.

Naming Names

Hunters aren’t the only group who want to avoid  UV brighteners.  The military and law enforcement have been avoiding these dyes for decades.

Washing Your Hunting Clothes

These directions are from two excellent sites: and  Important notes:

1) Are you using a generic or house brand of washing detergent?  Then look on the label to see ‘compare to [brand]‘.

For example: If your favorite grocery store chain detergent says on the label, “Compare this product with XYZ National Brand.”  The store brand has the same ingredients as the national brand XYZ.

Look at our list. If the brand is listed as “approved” then the generic is approved too.

2)Detergent brands are NOT going to list “UV Brighteners” as an ingredient.  The two sites mentioned above and I have called detergent companies and asked questions.

Approved Detergents (Do NOT Contain UV Brighteners)

Country Save**  ** Approved!
Bold Powder
Cheer Liquid (all versions)
Cheer Powder (all versions)
All Powder (all versions)
Surf Powder (all versions)
Woolite (all versions)

Two Others I’d like to add: *

20 Mule-Team Borax (although not a detergent in the normal sense, this product has had the same ingredients for over 100 years.)

baking soda (same reason)

Washing Instructions offers excellent instructions (for the newbie-hunters). Special ‘thanks’ go to A. Hammond, 3rd IBCT RFG Assistant 10th Mtn Div, for compiling this info.

1)  “Before washing, close hook and loop fasteners to prevent snagging.

2)  Washing: Machine wash in cold water using Permanent Press Cycle or hand wash using a mild detergent that DOES NOT contain optical brighteners or fabric softeners. DO NOT USE CHLORINE BLEACH. Rinse completely. DO NOT WRING OR TWIST.

3)  Drying: Hang dry or machine dry on low to medium setting ….  Remove from dryer immediately.

To drip dry, remove from water and place on rust-proof hanger.

4)  NOTE: Turning the uniform inside-out while laundering prevents the hook and loop from attaching to other items and prolongs the usefulness of the hook and loop.” (from Rangerjoe’s site)

Turning the garment inside-out — your clothes will last longer & there’s less wear on the pattern.


Next time — For the Hunter with Everything, Including UV Brighteners!

* More on these items later.

** Disclaimer: I don’t sell any products I will mention in this series. This is strictly educational information.


This blog is a companion to my website: