How to wash waterproof jackets and pants- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    9 lives
    Reputation: cyclelicious's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    14,626

    How to wash waterproof jackets and pants

    Good article to share

    HOW TO WASH WATERPROOF JACKETS AND PANTS


    When your waterproof jacket was new, you might have noticed the way water beaded up on its fabric. A quick shake was all you needed to get rid of that moisture.

    But after a season of adventures, your shell might need a little TLC. Maybe itís starting to look a bit soggy, like the jacket on the left in this photo Ė a phenomenon known as ďwetting out.Ē Or maybe itís just plain dirty.

    How to wash waterproof jackets and pants-waterproof-breathable-jackets.jpg

    Waterproof-breathable fabric wetting out (left) compared to the nicely beading water on the fabric on the right.

    WHY WASH A WATERPROOF JACKET OR RAIN PANTS?
    A waterproof-breathable membrane helps move moisture away from your body, while a durable water-repellent (DWR) treatment keeps rain and splashes out. But over time, the membrane and DWR finish can become clogged with dirt, sunscreen and oil from your skin, which makes them less effective. You know itís time to wash your jacket or pants when they start wetting out, or when you see dirt or visible stains.

    For small stains or dirt patches, try spot-washing with a wet cloth. But if your jacketís really dirty, it might be time for a full wash.

    HOW TO WASH A WATERPROOF JACKET



    1. Check the inner tag for the manufacturerís washing instructions. Weíll go over the best practices for most waterproof-breathable fabrics, but itís good to make sure they match what your jacketís maker recommends.
    2. Rinse out your washing machineís detergent dispenser, if possible, to get rid of any residue.
    3. Use a technical wash made especially for waterproof outerwear, or any mild detergent without additives like stain removers. Donít use fabric softener, powder detergent or bleach Ė these could permanently damage the waterproof membrane.
    4. Close all zippers and hook-and-loop closures to prevent snags. Use a warm wash setting, an extra rinse to remove all detergent, and a low spin cycle.
    5. Dry your jacket by hanging it on a rack or hanger, or in the dryer on medium heat.
    6. Once itís dry, put it in the dryer on a warm setting for 20 minutes. This heat helps reactivate the DWR treatment on the jacketís outer layer. If you donít have a dryer, put a towel or cloth over the jacket and iron it, using a low setting and no steam.
    7. Test your jacketís water repellency by laying it flat and spraying water on it. If the water beads up, youíre all set Ė youíve restored your jacketís waterproofing. If your jacket still wets through, itís time to reapply a waterproof finish.

    HOW TO RE-WATERPROOF A JACKET OR PANTS
    Restore your jacketís DWR treatment using either a spray or wash-in treatment. A wash-in waterproofer gives you more even coverage and is less messy, while a spray-on DWR treatment lets you target areas that are most likely to wet out because they get more abrasion and contact, like the shoulders, waist and cuffs. If your jacket has insulation or a fabric lining, your best bet is a spray-on waterproofer.

    Follow the instructions on the product. If youíre using a spray-on treatment, apply it evenly across the jacket, making sure not to miss seams and awkward spots like elbows.

    Test your jacket one more time, and youíre good to go

    CAN YOU DRY CLEAN GORE-TEX OR OTHER WATERPROOF FABRICS?
    Itís best to wash your waterproof-breathable gear in a regular washing machine. You can wash these items alone, or with a small load of lightly soiled clothing.

    If you absolutely have to dry clean your jacket or pants, Gore recommends asking the cleaner to use clear distilled hydrocarbon solvent to rinse it, and then spraying DWR on the outside before drying.


    sauce https://www.mec.ca/en/explore/caring...daptive_skiing
    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

  2. #2
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    32,911
    I do have a few issues with that article. Waterproof breathable layers are not DWR and the article is trying to make it sound like that at times (if the water beads up, you've restored it's waterproofing". There are ways to help restore the DWR, from ironing to simply adding more, but there's a distinct difference between the waterproof breathable membrane and DWR. Lots of people think "beading up=waterproof". Lots of stuff comes treated with DWR, but it's not waterproof.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MSU Alum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    4,301
    Seems straightforward to me. I didn't find it at all confusing. I've had to do this a bunch over the years. I also have a dry top for kayaking that is great - as long as it doesn't wet out! Once it does that, you lose the breathability and the condensation on the inside becomes a real issue. What with the PFD rubbing and such, I have to reapply the DWR finish a couple of times a season.

  4. #4
    Don't worry, be happy!
    Reputation: formica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    8,134
    What this article misses is that Techwash and similar are not cleaners. They are vehicles to get the DWR to adhere. Ever notice that you wash your stuff with Techwash and it still seems grubby?

    Here's technique I learned from a guy who did tons of commercial treatment of Goretex and similar.

    Wash item with liquid detergent. Go ahead and pretreat any grime or stains with Shout or similar. You won't hurt it. Rinse item 3 times. NOW it's clean.

    Wash with Techwash or similar following directions.

    Treat with DWR - I do not recommend the wash-in as it makes the lining and insides of the items funky. I learned this method from my guy:
    Lay item out flat. Use the sprayer application and use a foam paint brush to make sure you apply evenly. You can put extra on areas that need extra like shoulders and seat. Wipe up drips and put in a low dryer for 10 minutes then line dry.

    Shameless self-promotion. I am a technical clothing specialist with over 20 years experience. Technical Clothing Repair - Skiing | Biking | Mountaineering

    Other notes on care of waterproof breathables:
    A quick 10 minute run through a low dryer can reactivate the DWR if it hasn't worn off.
    You will not mess up your item by washing it. On the contrary, dirt, grime, body oil and what-not will reduce ability of your expensive product to work effectively.

  5. #5
    9 lives
    Reputation: cyclelicious's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    14,626
    Thanks for your additional comments formica. very helpful!
    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: RS VR6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,273
    I've got a North Face jacket that I wash in cold water with my other laundry and hang dry. Still seems waterproof. My washer does not have an agitator in the middle. Doesn't beat up my clothes as bad...lol.

  7. #7
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    32,911
    Full cycle drying beats the living **** out of clothes, ok for most stuff, but it tears at the seams and the delicate fabrics and membranes of our performance clothing. A "hot flash" though can help reactive water-resistant coatings and I've also seen the same articles suggest using a warm iron to help reactive. I still think the article mixes waterproof fabrics (gore-tex) with DWR too much. You can take almost anything and put a bunch of DWR on it and it'll work pretty well till it starts to get overwhelmed or starts to wear. Mostly in lighter-rain conditions. You can also take waterproof fabrics in the same conditions and they'll do just fine regardless of whether they have a DWR, the DWR might help at the seams a little more, but once you start to get to crazy heavy conditions the waterproof fabric can get overwhelmed as well, most of us don't plan to go out in those kind of conditions though. I've come to see DWR as more of a "gimmick", people see the beading and figure that =waterproof, not realizing what the membrane below does. In the last few years, we've even seen a few jackets that now "reverse" the membrane and put it on the outside, rather than the traditional inside. I can't see this being a good idea for any sport where you brush up against stuff or have contact (like a hip pack, camelback, etc), but if you want to drop $200+ on a light Northface, they have them now. The point though is the difference between the waterproof breathable membrane and the DWR. IME, I don't find DWR to be so critical, except for the placebo effect and "visual beading". It'll definitely boost non-waterproof or older stuff, no doubt there, but it'll be a lot of re-applying to really maintain that level IME.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  8. #8
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    28,016
    I think I see why putting the membrane on the outside might make some level of sense.

    I've burned through enough 2 layer jackets where the inner membrane disintegrated from sweat and skin contact that I get it. Even if it's brushing against stuff, that's less contact than the membrane gets when it's on the inside. True, no good for wearing packs and such.

    But also, DWR is doing something useful, even on a garment with a WxB membrane. When the shell fabric wets out, that moisture is in constant contact with the membrane, and IME, that constant contact means an increase in water pressure on the membrane, and that water will leak through. Maintaining your DWR ensures that your garment as a whole will work as well as it can and keep you dry.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    982
    Lesser membranes break down, that's why I'm pretty much a GoreTex snob. I've had other types of membrane/coatings start crumbling apart, I haven't had a single GoreTex piece break down like that. The seam tapes eventualy fail, or the fabric just plain wears through/tears. I've heard the competing fabrics have caught up now, but GoreTex has never let me down, I guess there's something to be said of their somewhat draconian policies.
    Which kind of brings to mind a point my friend brought up, is there an environmentally friendly way to dispose of these textiles? Does anyone recycle?
    DWR helps shed moisture and keep the fabric from "wetting out". When it does that, it's not that the water outside is seeping through to the inside, it's still waterproof. What happens is that it stops up the membrane and keeps it from "breathing", from vapor being able to pass through it to the outside. Your sweat vapor then condenses on the inside of the membrane making it wet and clammy.
    I just bought one of those ultra light Northface Gore shake dry jackets. We shall see how well it works, used it a couple times on rainy rides in Whistler and it worked well. It's basically a single layer membrane. Super light and high vapor transfer, but I dread ever taking a spill or brushing against anything. I also used only on days when I rode without a pack.

  10. #10
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    28,016
    Quote Originally Posted by root View Post
    DWR helps shed moisture and keep the fabric from "wetting out". When it does that, it's not that the water outside is seeping through to the inside, it's still waterproof. What happens is that it stops up the membrane and keeps it from "breathing", from vapor being able to pass through it to the outside. Your sweat vapor then condenses on the inside of the membrane making it wet and clammy.
    Both things happen. The membranes WILL leak if there's enough pressure on the moisture. What that cutoff is depends on the membrane in question. More breathable typically means water will leak through sooner/under less pressure.

    I can tell if my jacket is leaking by the fact that it's COLD water, rather than warm, clammy sweat. The misty drizzle stopped just before my ride today, and the sun came out. So after about 2 minutes, I ended up putting it away in my pack.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    478
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I do have a few issues with that article. Waterproof breathable layers are not DWR and the article is trying to make it sound like that at times (if the water beads up, you've restored it's waterproofing". There are ways to help restore the DWR, from ironing to simply adding more, but there's a distinct difference between the waterproof breathable membrane and DWR. Lots of people think "beading up=waterproof". Lots of stuff comes treated with DWR, but it's not waterproof.
    This is true but a waterproof breathable fabric requires a DWR coating to remain breathable. If the fabric wets out it canít breath.

  12. #12
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    32,911
    Quote Originally Posted by someoldfart View Post
    This is true but a waterproof breathable fabric requires a DWR coating to remain breathable. If the fabric wets out it canít breath.
    Yeah, but the level of rain that is going to do that IME is going to wet it out whether it's got DWR or not IME. Light rain is usually not a big problem, due to body heat part of the fabric stays dry anyways, so maybe at a little heavier rate but then the intensity of the rain eventually also overcomes the DWR anyway. I've had times when the fabric was wetted out, but few where the DWR made any difference (have used the replenish and also comparing new vs. old stuff). It was the intensity of rain that did it.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: manitou2200's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,029
    2 layer waterproof breathable fabrics are basically just plain junk. Not worth any money youíd spend on them. The only reason they exist is to hit certain price points and maybe a target weight. They wear out faster and they allow the water vapor of your sweat to condense on the membrane inner surface because they cool faster (from the outside ambient temp) than a 3 layer WPB fabric will. When the sweat condenses inside your garment the breathability goes to shit.

    The DWR treatments on the outside of the fabrics do just what theyíre meant to do and thatís bead up the water droplets. When waterproof breathable fabrics get dirty they become hydrophilic and wet out the outer surface. When they wet out they donít breath as well because the capillary film of water thatís wetting out the outer surface of the fabric inhibits the breath-ability. Itís clogging the pores of the fabric and membrane which inhibits the transfer of moisture in the form of water vapor from inside your garment out through the fabric.

    Cleaning the garment preferably with a non detergent soap and then heat activating it with a short dryer cycle or and iron is the best way to refresh the DWR.

    The W/P breathable membrane (GTX) really needs to be close to the body, inside of the fabric to work properly. It takes a positive pressure created inside the garment (or boots/ shoes) from your body heat to vaporize your sweat and allow it to be pushed through the pores of the WPB fabric.


    Function in disaster, finish in style!
    Function in disaster, finish in style.

  14. #14
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    32,911
    Quote Originally Posted by manitou2200 View Post
    2 layer waterproof breathable fabrics are basically just plain junk.
    I assume you mean outer layer fabric and the waterproof layer bonded to the inside?

    These are one of the best things for riding, because they are so packable. Find the smallest/lightest, they are great for rain jackets for unexpected conditions. Anything more gets huge, these can be balled up to slightly larger than your fist. Nothing really approaches that. I don't wear them for winter rides when it's snowing, that's dumb, pretty fast in the 20s and below waterproof doesn't mean crap and breathability becomes the number one. Some of the 2-layer have some pretty good ventilation too (and some are pretty crappy).
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: manitou2200's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,029
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I assume you mean outer layer fabric and the waterproof layer bonded to the inside?

    These are one of the best things for riding, because they are so packable. Find the smallest/lightest, they are great for rain jackets for unexpected conditions. Anything more gets huge, these can be balled up to slightly larger than your fist. Nothing really approaches that. I don't wear them for winter rides when it's snowing, that's dumb, pretty fast in the 20s and below waterproof doesn't mean crap and breathability becomes the number one. Some of the 2-layer have some pretty good ventilation too (and some are pretty crappy).
    I mean a supposed 2 layer waterproof/ breathable fabric vs 3 layer waterproof breathable fabric.

    If you want light and donít care about breathability then use the internally coated waterproof but not breathable layups. The 2 layer waterproof (supposed) breathable fabrics suck on the breathability aspect. None of the 2 layer WPB fabrics breath well, they may ventilate with pit zips or with your zipper down but other than that theyíre junk. Also these 2 layer shells donít have the exclusive on lightweight and compact.

    I have Goretex active 3 layer shells that weigh a few oz. and pack to the size of your fist. The difference is theyíll actually breath and keep you dry inside your shell to a point.

    The bottom line is if youíre going out hard, full effort in wet conditions youíre just as well in a super lightweight 2-3 oz. DWR treated wind shell. Youíre going to be wet either from sweat or from the rain leaking through the seams but theyíll control the evaporative heat loss.

    The technical outwear industry can find suckers for anything theyíre trying to market and sell. Like when Marmot created the Precip jackets 16-18 years ago. Hey weíve got this 2 layer lightweight shell thatís waterproof and breathable (NOT) and itís $99. Of course they found a bunch of suckers to buy their POS throwaway jackets. How much are you saving when you have to buy these jackets that last maybe a year or two at the best. Iíve got lightweight 3 layer GTX and Toray fabric shells that are over 10 YO and actually still work.

    So donít kid yourself thinking youíre buying cheap, 2 layer waterproof ,breathable shells because theyíre not.




    Function in disaster, finish in style!
    Function in disaster, finish in style.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sethd513's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    290
    Iíve always been under the impression detergents ruin wp items. So you gotta tech wash and then rewaterproof with a wash in or spray on. I do all 3 and it still never works as good as new.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    982
    Quote Originally Posted by sethd513 View Post
    Iíve always been under the impression detergents ruin wp items. So you gotta tech wash and then rewaterproof with a wash in or spray on. I do all 3 and it still never works as good as new.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    No. Key is to rinse thoroghly to get rid of any left over, ive run mine 3 times or even more through rinse cycle if used a bit too much detergent.
    then spray on dwr and in dryer. Comes out working well, doesnt last quite as long as the factory treatment.

  18. #18
    Don't worry, be happy!
    Reputation: formica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    8,134
    Quote Originally Posted by sethd513 View Post
    Iíve always been under the impression detergents ruin wp items. So you gotta tech wash and then rewaterproof with a wash in or spray on. I do all 3 and it still never works as good as new.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    That is old information from 1980 or so when first generation Gore-Tex items came with directions to wash with Ivory Soap flakes. Things have changed a bit since then. Cleaning your item is important. Dirt, grime, slime, sweat, salt all block the function of the waterproof breathable and ultimately degrade the fabric.

Similar Threads

  1. Waterproof jackets?
    By Swissam in forum Apparel and Protection
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 10-30-2015, 07:20 PM
  2. 3/4 length waterproof shorts/pants/knickers?
    By TooSteep in forum Apparel and Protection
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-28-2015, 02:20 PM
  3. Waterproof/Windproof cycling pants?
    By Tincup69 in forum Apparel and Protection
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 12-10-2013, 06:12 PM
  4. Best waterproof jackets for commuting?
    By Roger___ in forum Commuting
    Replies: 39
    Last Post: 05-05-2011, 07:43 PM
  5. Waterproof/windproof pants
    By Nuget in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-18-2005, 10:02 AM

Members who have read this thread: 1

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.