Re-Proofing your Gear

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How To: Aftercare for Waterproof Garments

Nikwax Washing Machine and Clothing ready to be reproofed

When do I need to reproof my water repellent / Waterproof Clothing?
Waterproof Jackets, Trousers Coats etc need pretty much the same aftercare. The important thing is to know how your garment has been made waterproof in the first place. Ask in the store when you buy the garment what the aftercare requirements are, you should be told as a matter of course.
(Read our Blog about Waterproof Clothing Construction to get an overview of how garments are made waterproof)
How should I look after my waterproof garment? 
  • Only wash your garment in liquid detergent, either a Tech Wash by Nikwax, or with a propriatery detergent. Never use Bio Powders or those with built in conditioners. Wash the garment once a year if used regularly as the finish will wear off and you won't notice this at first but suddenly might!
Why should I not use Biological Powder on my Waterproofs? 
Bio Powders can disolve the glue on the taped seams.  Conditioner normally has lanolin (Oil from Sheeps wool) in it, this coats the cloth and inhibits the function of the waterproofing
Tech Wash cleans and revives the outer water repellent finish on your garment and stops Wet Out.  Water should bead and run off the surface of the garment, if it soaks into the cloth, then it is time to reproof the outer shell
  • Wet Out: When the water repellent finish has been worn off the outer shell of the garments, you will start to feel that the garment is leaking, but can't find a leak.  Wet out happens with natural wear exposure to UV light and rubbing caused by Back Packs etc.  When the finish has degraded the cloth will start to get wet, you will feel the cold cloth when it is wet.  The membrane underneath will stop water ingress, but it will feel like it is leaking.
I don't think my garment is waterproof at all. How do I waterproof it?
For Garments that where not made waterproof in the first place, you can use different products to wash into the garment.  These are very effective, but you must use the right product for the cloth you want to make waterproof. Use a Cotton Proof for 100% cotton, Polar Proof for Polyester Fleeces, Softshell Proof for Neoprene Garments etc.
Should I use a Spray or Wash In Waterproofer? 
Which ever you prefer: Wash in is more effective as it soaks from both the inside and outside of the garment.  Sprays tend to soak into the outlayers only.
Can I use these "wash-in waterproofing" treatments in my washing machine at home?
Yes you can with most waterproofing brands such as Nikwax.  Always read their instructions fully and follow these carefully.  Nikwax waterproofing products have been designed for home use, they are all detergent soluble so once you have finished treating your garment, then the next time you use your machine for a regular cycle, any traces of the treatment will be removed from the washing machine.
If you have any further questions, call into our store, email us or call us