Waterproof Garment Care

There’s a lot of recommended procedures for cleaning, re-charging, and maintaining waterproof gear. Generally, these are the universal tips to remember:

  • Wash often, it helps maintain the performance of your garment.
  • Use performance wash liquids intended for waterproof materials. If you don’t have any, use a gentle powdered detergent and rinse with water 2 or more times to ensure there is no residue remaining.
  • Never use liquid detergent. It clogs the pores of your garment and kills breathability.
  • Never use dryer sheets.
  • Never use in-wash Durable Water Repellent, it coats the inside of your garment. Instead, only use spray-on DWR on the exterior.
  • Use the heat in your dryer to help spray-on DWR coat your garment properly.

Now as for washing and re-charging the DWR, this is the method I found best works for maintaining mine.

  1. Does it need to be cleaned?
    1. Dirt/sweat stains
    2. It’s been awhile
  2. Garment prep
    1. Zip up anything that’s not a pocket
    2. Unzip pockets
    3. Loosen elastics and velcro
  3. Wash
    1. Add garment to wash by itself
    2. Add performance wash liquid (Grangers, ReviveX, etc) as instructed on bottle
    3. Wash on warm/cold, with as little water as needed
  4. Does the DWR need to be re-charged?
    1. Yes: Water is not beading off, it’s soaking in
      1. Zip up and close everything
      2. Apply preferred Durable Water Repellent per instructions on bottle
    2. No: Water is beading off universally
      1. Continue to step 5
  5. Machine dry
    1. No dryer sheets
    2. Medium-High heat for about 45 minutes

Stay dry out there!

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