Cleaning / Re-Waterproofing
In order to keep your outerwear in tip-top shape, it needs to be washed. Whether its Gore Tex, or any other form of waterproof Outerwear.
Over time, the pores in your jackets & pants get filled with dirt, oil & other various grime. This inhibits the garments ability to breathe and wears down the DWR coating, ultimately leading to reduced waterproofing performance.
How Often Should you Clean your Outerwear?
It depends. The DWR Coating will be the first noticeable failure and sign that your outerwear needs some love. When water stops beading off the surface and water begins to absorb into the fabric it is definitely time for a wash.
This rarely happens more than once a season, unless you are out in the elements every day. If you are a recreational skier, a great habit is to wash and care for your gear before putting it into storage for summer so that its ready to go for the next season.
If you ski back to back winters and put a lot of days in. We recommend to do a full care in Spring and a touch up once in Autumn when you get back from Overseas.
Ski Jacket Cleaning
Ski Jackets can be machine washed as normal, but with a specialised detergent: Nikwax Tech Wash. This detergent efficiently cleans and re-vitalises your jacket. It also prevents soap suds (from traditional detergents) from coating the pores and preventing breathability of your ski jacket.
Many garments will have a care guide, wash according to that if they have one. If not it is generally safe to use a warm washing machine cycle with a rinse cycle and minimal spinning. Avoid using any fabric softeners, bleach, or stain removers.
Before putting the Ski Jacket in, zip up all the zippers and fasten all velcro & buttons on the garment.
After washing, a medium heat tumble dry will help to re-activated the DWR. You can also line dry and re-activate the DWR coating with an iron on medium heat, no steam with a small towel between iron face and garment to prevent burning. If you follow these steps and your jacket still doesn't repel water in the way it used to, follow the Re-Waterproofing guide down below.
If your Ski Jacket has Down Filled Insulation, tumble drying is the best option. Add a few tennis balls into the dryer in order to maximise fluff of the insulation.
Ski Pants Cleaning
Ski Pants can be cleaned exactly the same way as Jackets. Zip everything up and wash in a gentle cycle with regular detergent. Avoid using any fabric softeners, bleach, or stain removers.
After washing, a medium heat tumble dry will help to re-activate the DWR. You can also line dry and re-activate the DWR coating with an iron on medium heat, no steam with a small towel between iron face and garment to prevent burning.
If water still isn’t beading off your garment after following the above steps, your DWR coating may be worn through. DWR Coatings are advertised to last for up to 20 launderings, but in reality, we rarely find that is the case. Good news is that re-applying a DWR coating is fairly easy.
There are two kinds of DWR application, Spray-on or Wash-In. Spray on DWR are good for insulated pieces or anything with a lining. Wash In DWR is only good for 3L shell pieces. If you are unsure, Spray is the way to go. After washing your outerwear, before drying it. Get a bottle of Spray on DWR coating and apply liberally. Focus on areas that wet out first, Shoulders and sleeves of your Jacket, and Thighs and Butt of Pants.
After skiing, hanging your outerwear in a warm, well ventilated, drying room is the best way to dry it out. Don’t leave it too close to an open fire or resting on a heat source to prevent damage to the garment.
Ensure outerwear is dry before storing for the offseason. Cleaning and re-waterproofing before long term storage is a great way to get yourself ready for the next season.