Rain jackets, rain pants, tent flies, and other waterproof gear all need a bit of TLC to maintain their effectiveness at keeping you dry and comfortable in wet weather. Below, we will provide you with the best recommended practices and tips to increase the longevity of your favourite waterproof gear.
Follow the Manufacturer's Care Instructions
Always check the care label on your rain gear for specific washing and care instructions, as different materials require different care methods.
Membrane materials require additional care, as they need to be washed more often with specific types of washes to maintain their breathability and waterproofing. For example, Gore-Tex is a waterproof membrane material that needs to be washed to maintain breathability and waterproofing.
There is no need to wash your gear after every use; just keep an eye out for when it starts to get messy or shows signs of wetting out. When water droplets no longer roll off the material and start to absorb into it, this is known as "wetting out". Additionally, dirt and grime can diminish the effectiveness of the waterproof coating and breathability of your rainwear.
We recommend using Grangers Tech Wash, which is ideal for most rainwear and safe to use with membranes such as Gore-Tex.
Do not use any fabric softeners, bleaches, or harsh chemicals that could damage or strip the gear of its waterproof coatings.
Close all zippers, pockets, cuffs, and flaps to prevent snagging in the washing machine.
Brush off any visible dirt, and if necessary, rinse with cold water first to remove stuck debris.
Use a specialized performance gear wash, such as Grangers Performance Tech Wash for unlined gear.
Machine wash your gear at 30°C (86°F) on a gentle cycle.
After using a specialized wash, make sure to give your machine a quick clean cycle to prevent any residue from sticking to your other clothing in the next cycle.
We recommend tumble drying on low heat to reactivate the DWR/waterproofing, but you can also air dry your gear in a warm shady spot or inside the house.
Do not use tennis balls in your dryer, as they can catch fire. We do recommend using dryer-specific balls, usually made of a heat-resistant silicon material, to help the gear dry evenly.
Keep your gear out of direct sunlight and avoid using dryers on high heat, as this can damage the waterproof membrane and reduce its effectiveness.
Don’t dry clean
Do not store gear when it is damp or wet, as the mould and mildew that grows can damage the waterproofing on your gear.
Over time, the waterproof coating on your rain gear may wear off. In this case, you can purchase a waterproofing spray or a wash-in waterproofing solution to reapply the coating.
On rain jackets, always check shoulders & back for 'wetting-out' as this is where a pack would normally rub and wear-down on the material.
“Wetting out” or when water no longer beads and rolls off the material, but soaks into it, is a sign that it is time to reproof your gear.
If your gear has fleece or other fabric linings, we recommend using Grangers Performance Repel Spray on the outside after washing. Simply spray on and leave it to dry.
If your gear has no linings, you can use Grangers 2 in 1 Wash and Repel that provides powerful cleaning and durable repellence while also conserving energy, water, and time.
Always read the care instructions on the gear before reproofing to ensure there is no effect on its breathability.
By following these tips, you can extend the life of your rain gear and ensure that it keeps you dry during wet weather. Do you have any tips to share? Leave a comment below!
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