Cleaning Officer's Peaked Cap

Try rubbing gently with a slice of bread

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Dab-it-Off was a dry-cleaning fluid (Carbin Tetra Chloride) in a glass bottle which had a cloth pad in the neck. Excellent stuff.
CTC was also used as the extinguishant in the old fashioned brass pump-action fire extinguishers (may have been painted in Service use) common on RAF stations many years ago (50s/60s?). Needless to say, airmen soon discovered this free cleaning solution which, of course, was “awkward” if there was a fire! Answer - add a red dye. These fire extinguishers were taken out of use due to H&S - smoking was far more prevalent then and it was not uncommon to see someone tackle a fire with a fag in their mouth. Someone then realised that drawing the CTC fumes through lit ciggy was producing some other nasty and dangerous compounds which were drawn into the lungs as the cigarette was a compact chemical factory mixing CTC with tobacco and heat. Can’t remember the nasty compound though. Obv same result if smoking whilst cleaning but all a matter of volume of fluid and amount of heavier breathing whilst fire fighting and pumping.

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I’ve been debating this for some time (I still have the SD hat issued to me in 1997). After countless years of wear and getting wet, it could with a spruce up.

Ive just gone over the worst areas with an electric toothbrush. I used a new head so the bristles could do the job. Also used a bit of water on the brush and, although I’m waiting for the hat to dry it’s looking a lot better…

Do report back. That sounds useful.

I ended up using an old manual toothbrush, some water and a tiny amount of Vanish (tested on the underside first and it didn’t seem to stain or bleach it.

The peak got quite damp so had to leave it to dry for a bit, despite me trying to minimise the amount of liquid there.

Seems to have had an OK effect, not perfect but it’s certainly cleaner than before.


Now the hat is perfectly dry it looks a lot better, but I think it needs another going over (the seam directly above the badge was where the most dirt was…)

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We used to have a SWO at Laarbruch who would insist that you “go to stores and purchase a new cap, unless you were transferring to be a submariner”, if he spotted an officer with droopy sides. I suspect your’s would have got a closer look.

He also hated anyone wearing their aircrew romper suit unless sitting in an aircraft or walking to/from one. But he was a professional and us non commissioned types were equally tormented by him for “making my station look untidy” if our sideburns weren’t perfectly square and level or similar offences.

Ah the good old times!

Not droopy sides
Just a handy teaching aid to demonstrate the anhedral wing.

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I remember being told not to keep the top flat otherwise the AAC would try and land a Gazelle on it…

lol, we always tried to follow the probably best with a broken in appearance rather than box fresh or battered when shaping our No1 hats, but equally there were a few rocks knocking around who had tri-wall in theirs to give rigidity!

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Got home from a week away. Turns out the kids found mine and used it for craft. Along with taking fabric scissors to it. Wife chucked it out as it was beyond repair. :rage:

Now to try and find a replacement before remembrance weekend. Unless I can wear my chip hat/beret with No 1s @AlexCorbin

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Locked, and inappropriate stuff removed.