Waterproof Gear - Care
One of the most common questions when it comes to waterproof
jackets is do they need to be washed as well? For some, the idea of washing a
garment which is waterproof might see somehow odd. However, just as all your
other running kits, waterproof jackets also need to be washed. Perhaps not as
often, but it is still a good idea to.
Things like mud, sweat, body oils, insect repellents and detergents/conditioners can contaminate your clothing's DWR (Durable Water Repellent) treatment, stopping it from working effectively, so washing them is actually essential to keep them working properly.
Before we continue, we would like to encourage you to always
read the care label inside the garment and wash accordingly. Every item is designed
and manufactured in its’ unique way. Therefore, it is crucial to know its’
requirements for when it needs to be washed.
In this guide, we will break the process down in 6 simple
steps for some general advice which can be followed.
- When it comes to cleaning products use either a waterproof washing liquid for down or technical outerwear. If you can’t get hold of one, then a non-biological laundry detergent can work equally well. By rule, don’t use fabric conditioners/softeners as this can damage the DWR treatment of the garment.
- Before inserting your waterproofs, make sure the washing machine is clean and free of any detergent left from previous washed. It is advised to run a short rinse cycle to make sure the washing machine is ready.
- Ensure any pockets are free of items. Any zips need to be done up alongside Velcro fastenings and any tensed drawcords released.
- Wash at 30 degrees and if possible, on a gentle cycle. This could be either the delicate or hand wash cycle – if your washing machine allows.
- Do not overload the washing machine but rather wash two items at a time.
- It is safe and recommended to tumble dry your waterproof garments.
Over time, your garments will lose their waterproofs abilities and the question of how can to reproof them is raised.
Contrasting as it may sound, you can iron your waterproofs on a medium heat ensuring you use a clean tea towel as a barrier between the iron and the garments. The heat can helps the DWR to bond with the fabric.
Another solution is to apply a water-repellent coating using a waterproofing spray like Nikwax.
Lastly, it is helpful to know when it's time to replace your waterpoofs. A simple way to do this is by dripping small amounts of water alongside the garment. What should happen next is the water will bead on the surface and rolls of your waterproofs. If your garment starts to absord the water instead, and you have already tried all the above, it might be a good indication it's time to replace them.