Waterproof Care Guide

Even the best waterproof fabrics need regular care and attention to keep them performing at their best. If you notice your waterproofs no longer repel water like they used to and instead absorb it and become soggy, the time has come to reproof them. In this guide, we’ll talk you through everything you need to know about how to wash, revive and extend the life of your trusty waterproof kit, so it stays wet-weather ready.



Why is it important to reproof waterproof clothing?

Waterproof jackets and trousers use a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatment, which protects the fabric by causing water to bead on the surface and then roll off it, rather than soaking in. It also improves the fabric’s breathability, allowing body vapour to release effectively, keeping you dry on the inside too.


This DWR treatment, however, doesn’t last forever. Over time and through usage, it slowly wears out, and when it does, you need to wash and reproof it to keep it performing at its best.

When is it time to reproof waterproof clothing?

In short, when you notice your waterproof clothing is starting to absorb water instead of it beading on the surface. Rather than getting caught out during your adventures, you can check by pouring some water onto the high-wear points of your jacket like the shoulders and your cuffs. If the water soaks into the top layer of the fabric and ‘wets out’, it’s time to reproof.

How often do waterproof jackets need reproofing?

This will depend on how much you use it and the intensity of the activities you do in it. If you wear your jacket frequently and are out in all conditions undertaking intense activities like hiking, running and climbing, you should reproof it every 3-4 months. However, if you wear your jacket less frequently, or are out in less extreme weather, then reproofing every 6 months should be sufficient.

Cleaning myths

It’s a common misconception that washing a waterproof garment will damage it. Concerns of putting your beloved waterproof through the washing machine and dryer are understandable, but it is essential that you wash them to maintain their performance. Things like mud, sweat, body oils, and insect repellents can contaminate your clothing's DWR treatment, stopping it from working effectively and often, a good clean is enough to revive it. With any wash though, never use standard detergent or fabric conditioner as this will harm the garment’s performance. Instead, use a technical cleaner and reproofer. Before washing, always check the care label on your jacket, and make sure you prep it properly to ensure the wash is as effective as it can be.

How do I clean and reproof my waterproof clothing and what products do I need?

We’ll now talk you through how to clean and reproof your waterproof jackets and trousers using products from both Nikwax and Grangers from our aftercare range. These products are suitable whether your jacket and trousers are made using GORE-TEX, DryVent, Pertex Shield, or e-Vent waterproof fabrics.



Using Nikwax Tech Wash:


1. Run your washing machine on a hot cycle with nothing in it and check that the tray is clean. This gets rid of any detergent left from previous washes, which work against your garment's DWR.

2. Gently rinse off any thick dirt by hand, or for stubborn stains apply some of the Tech Wash directly onto the garment with a sponge before washing. 

3. Fasten all zips and velcro and place in the machine.

4. Shake bottle, measure out the amount specified on the label, and pour into the washing machine drawer.

5. Wash on a full cycle at 30°C/86°F or according to care label instructions.


NB. Nikwax recommends washing no more than two items at a time. You should be able to wash reproofed kit 6-8 times with Nikwax Tech Wash before it requires reproofing with an appropriate Nikwax proofer.


Using Nikwax TX.Direct Wash-in:


1. Ensure garment is clean after its wash. There's no need to dry the jacket before proofing.

2. Use 100ml per garment (max 2 items)

3. Shake bottle and pour into washing machine drawer

4. Run 30°C synthetic cycle and slow spin

5. Air dry or tumble dry on low settting if care label permits.

NB. After reproofing clothing, you can maintain its waterproofing qualities through regular cleaning with Nikwax Tech Wash.


Using Nikwax TX.Direct Spray-On:


If your jacket has a fabric inner, you may prefer the spray-on proofer so not to coat the lining.


1. Ensure garment is clean

2. Protect working surface and lay clean, damp and fastened garment flat

3. Shake bottle, hold 15cm/6 inches away, and spray evenly onto damp garment

4. Wait for 2 minutes - remove any excess with a clean, damp cloth

5. Check carefully to ensure no areas have been missed

6. After several minutes check for and remove any surplus

7. Air dry or tumble dry on low settting if care label permits



Using Grangers Performance Wash:


1. Ensure there is no detergent or fabric conditioner residue in your washing machine.

2. Gently rinse off any thick dirt from your garment by hand, do up all zips and Velcro and place in the machine.

3. Shake bottle then add 1 capful (50ml) into the washing machine drawer for 1 jacket. Add an extra capful for every 2 garments added.

4. Wash on a full cycle at 30°C/86°F or according to care label instructions.


Watch video


NB: If you are short on time you can use Grangers Wash + Repel Clothing 2 in 1 instead which reproofs as well as cleans. However, heat activation is required for the DWR coating to be effective. After washing, tumble dry on low-medium heat, or gently apply heat using an iron or hairdryer. Watch video


Using Grangers Clothing Repel (wash-in):



1. Ensure garment is clean but still damp

2. Place garment in washing machine, close all zips and velcro straps

3. Shake bottle and pour two capfuls (100ml) into the washing machin drawer. Add and extra capful  (50ml) for each additional garment being washed.

4. Wash on a full cycle at 30°C/86°F or according to care label instructions

5. Air-dry naturally or tumble dry if care label permits


Watch video


Using Grangers Performance Repel Plus (spray-on):


If your jacket has a fabric inner, you may prefer the spray-on proofer so not to coat the lining.


1. Ensure garment is washed clean but still damp.

2. Protect working surface and lay garment flat.

3. Shake bottle and spray evenly from 10-15cm away, applying extra to high impact areas like the shoulders.

4. Use a clean cloth to wipe away any excess.

5. Air-dry or tumble dry if care label permits.


Watch video

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