How to care for your waterproofs

This guide will help you maintain your waterproof garment properly, ensuring years of quality performance and enjoyment.

Waterproof jackets use a Durable Water Repellent treatment (DWR). It protects the fabric allowing water to bead and roll off. This effect helps the jacket release body vapour more effectively, improving breathability. DWR however, does need maintaining. Follow these steps to revive your old waterproof chum.

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It is a common misconception that washing a waterproof garment will damage it. Concerns of chucking a £350 jacket into a washing machine and dryer are understandable, but in reality, it is essential that you wash your waterproof jacket to maintain its performance.

  • Prep

    Prep | Use a sponge or soft nylon brush to apply Nikwax Tech Wash or something similar to any stubborn stains.

  • Wash | Before washing, check the care label on your jacket. Pop it into your washing machine or hand wash with the recommended amount of Nikwax Tech Wash or similar.

  • Dry | Tumble dry the garment on a low or no heat setting. If tumble drying is not recommended for your jacket, drip-dry. You can use an iron if you do not own a dryer. The application of heat resets the DWR treatment giving you near new performance.


You may find that washing alone is not enough to revive the water repellence of your jacket. If this is the case, you need to re-proof your garment. It’s a simple process and essential if you want your jacket to last.

  • Check | Make sure you have the right treatment for your jacket. Use Nikwax Softshell Proof for softshells and Nikwax TX Direct Wash-In for hardshells.

  • Wash | Always check your jackets label first. Machine or hand wash your garment with the chosen agent.

  • Dry | Check to see if you can tumble dry your garment. If yes, pop it in on a low setting, if no, hang your jacket to drip-dry.

What do I need?

There are plenty of waterproof cleaning and re-proofing treatments out there and sometimes it can be difficult to know which one you need. A simple tip, always read the label or online description to see if it is suitable for your jacket. If you are still unsure, you can always ask one of our expert staff in-store. Find your nearest store here.

Cleaning agents

Cleaning agents like Nikwax Tech Wash are designed to be less aggressive that your standard detergent to help protect the fabric of your garment. They remove grime, oils from skin and other marks all in order to restore the jackets original waterproofing properties.


Re-proofing treatments are for when washing alone is not enough to restore your jackets performance. You can either wash in the treatment much like the cleaning agent, or opt for a spray-on solution for ease like Nikwax TX Direct Spray.