Like all clothing, your waterproofs can get damaged and worn over time. This is especially true for all ye who love the outdoors, as you’ll likely be working your gear harder than other folk.
Here are a few wee tricks you can use to extend the lifespan of your waterproof jackets, to keep them in tip-top condition for years ahead.
Why does my "waterproofs" need reproofing?
Waterproof clothing is made with a coating called DWR (durable water repellent). DWR coatings cause liquids to ‘bead’ on the surface rather than soaking through the fabric. It also helps to repel dirt, oil, and anything else you don’t want next to your skin!
However, like any coating, it will wear down over time. This is also sped up any time it is exposed to dirt or sweat. Older waterproofs start to ‘wet out’, meaning that water will start to sink into the outer layer, causing them to feel damp to the touch. This can also decrease the breathability, making you feel clammy when you’re hiking.
How to wash your waterproof jacket?
All you need to wash your waterproof jacket is a washing machine and a liquid specially designed for waterproof fabrics. We would recommend a product like Nikwax’s Techwash. Getting the right product is essential – ordinary washing products will harm the DWR, and might leave a residue.
Put your rain jacket in the machine alone and add the Techwash to the drawer, following the instructions on the bottle to select the right cycle.
You don’t need to wash your jacket after every hike. Just remember to brush it down with a soft brush after you get back, removing as much dirt as possible. Wash with a cleaner once or twice a year. And make sure to dry it with plenty of air, so it keeps its shape and stays fresh.
How to reproof your waterproof jacket?
Over time, the DWR coating on your clothing will wear out. Regular cleaning will delay this, but if your jacket starts to feel heavy, damp or clammy on the hill, all is not lost!
You can reproof your waterproofs at home and give them a new lease on life with products like Nikwax Tx Direct and flaky soap. They’re simple to use from home and instantly refresh your beloved rain jacket for another year of adventure. All you need to do is check the care label of the garment, and follow the instructions on the reproofing product.
We personally recommend reproofing immediately after washing. Start by putting on the wash, with Techwash or something similar. Once the cycle has finished, you can add the reproofing product in and start a new cycle – all without taking your jacket out of the machine. Finish off by air drying (unless the product says otherwise) as tumble drying can be too harsh on certain items.
A great waterproof jacket is a beautiful thing, and, with a little extra care, it can keep you dry through years of adventure. Do you have more questions about looking after your outdoor gear? Leave them in the comments and we’ll find your answers