How often do you wash your rain jacket or overpants?
If you said, as often as a pair of jeans, give yourself a gold star. That’s right, that jacket you probably paid well over $200 for needs to be cared for, and regularly. If you have not been following this regime, now is the time to start.
Firstly, read the care instructions inside the garment. Use this link to interpret the symbols on your garment.
(There are a diverse range of fabrics now available, and all will require slightly different treatment, but let’s just look at the general guidelines you should follow.)
Most manufacturers will suggest a cold to warm wash (up to 40 Deg C) with a mild detergent or one of the many proprietary products, such as Nikwax Techwash . Note: when using your normal detergent (no wool wash, this contains natural oils which may damage your garment), use a small dose as per a light wash.
When the wash cycle is over, hang the jacket outside in a sunny location, if possible, to dry.
Some garment manufacturers recommend tumble drying instead of line drying. If you have this option, it is recommended. The dryer heat helps re-activate a treatment on the outside of the garment.
In a limited number of cases it will recommend a cool iron. Only iron the outside of the jacket and do not set iron any hotter than settling 1 (Nylon).
If you want to test the effectiveness of your washing process on your jacket or pants, flick a few droplets of water from your fingers onto the jacket. The water droplets should bead up, just like the image on the right.
If the water droplets are absorbed by the fabric, you have another couple of steps to follow. This is known as reproofing.
To reproof your jacket/pants you will need to purchase one of the following products:
Nikwax TX Direct Spray On – Water based, no heat activation required
Grangers Performance Repel – no heat activation, silicon base
Grangers Xtreme Repel – C6 fluorocarbon based, heat activation required)
With all of these products it is best to follow manufacturer’s instructions to achieve optimal results. At The Equipment Library we use Nikwax to maintain all of our products, but we suggest you consult your local outdoor retailer as to which product is best for your garments.
For any further information on this subject or others please contact The Equipment Library on: 0413-470-930