Waterproof jackets need just as much care as the rest of your kit. Keeping the jacket's waterproofing top notch will keep you protected when you're out on the hills. Wash your jacket regularly and it'll serve you for years. We'd advise washing your waterproofs every 8-10 wears, or earlier if it gets dirty.
Washing waterproofs tips
- Rinse your washing machine out before use. This clears any leftover detergent and softeners that might damage the fabrics and coatings.
- Close all zips, pockets, and hook & loop fastenings.
- Make sure the pockets are empty.
- Use a non-biological liquid detergent, pure soap or a technical cleaner such as Nikwax Tech Wash.
- Machine Wash on a gentle, cool setting. Check the white care label, but 30ºC or 40ºC is usually ideal both for your jacket and the environment.
- If the care label allows, tumble dry your garment on a low heat setting to help maintain the DWR treatment after washing.
- Avoid biological detergent and fabric softeners.
- Do not dry clean or iron the garment.
You can also hand wash your jacket if you don't have access to a washing machine. Keep the water cool, detergent as gentle as possible, rinse it well and give it plenty of time to dry, out of direct sunlight.
Waterproofing your jacket / DWR coatings
Your waterproof jacket or trousers has a Durable Water Repellent coating on its outer fabric. Known as a DWR. It's what makes the water droplets bead and roll off. This is your shell's first barrier to the weather, and also helps it breathe better.
Regular washing will keep this fresh. But over time it will wear down.
When you notice water's stopped beading and rolling off it's time to revitalise the DWR. You'll first need to get hold of Nikwax TX Direct. The spray-on is best.
Reproofing your waterproofs
- Wash your waterproofs, but don't yet dry them.
- Whilst they're still damp, hang your jacket or trousers up.
- Spray the outer fabric with the Nikwax proofer, following the bottle's instructions.
- Then continue with the drying process. Tumble dry on a low heat setting.
PRO TIP: We recommend using a spray-on product rather than a wash-in. Spray-on waterproofing only goes on the outside, and therefore does not affect the breathability. Wash-in waterproofers will also proof the inside!