How to clean your waterproof jacket ?

Hiking, trail running, trekking... waterproof and breathable jackets are essential for outdoor sports. The problem is that wear and tear, and the test of time, can damage a fabric’s water repellency. This is why it's necessary to take simple steps to clean your jacket, but also to reactivate its water repellency, so you can stay as dry as possible!

How to clean your waterproof jacket ?

A waterproof jacket for outdoor sports requires special attention in order to maintain its technical qualities. It’s produced with a fabric made of micro-pores, and so is designed for maximum waterproofness while being breathable to evacuate perspiration. It must therefore be washed carefully to preserve its waterproofness and breathability for as long as possible.

Preparing to wash

Before washing your waterproof jacket, remember to close all the zips and flaps. Then loosen the straps and all the elastic parts for optimal cleaning. Finally, turn your jacket inside out before putting it in the washing machine. Above all, choose an unscented liquid detergent rather than a powdered one. The small grains of powder could clog the micro-pores of the jacket and could cause it to lose all its waterproofing powers. Also, avoid chlorine, stain remover and fabric softener. It’s best to remove specific stains before the jacket goes in the machine. In this case, use a little laundry soap before rubbing with a flannel.

Machine washing

The best programme for machine washing is the synthetic programme, between 30° and 40°C. Above all, avoid mixing your waterproof jacket with other coloured garments, whose colours may bleed. Think about stopping the washing machine before spinning so that you can rinse your jacket twice. This way you can be sure that any traces of detergent that may have become embedded in the fabrics are removed. Finally, select a medium spin speed to avoid folding and creasing the fabric.

How to reactivate water repellency

There are two ways to reactivate the water repellency of your waterproof jacket. The first involves the drying stage, while the second will use a more specific treatment in case of wear and tear.

The drying stage

Your waterproof jacket can be dried in the washing machine, provided that you use a moderate temperature and a delicate programme. After washing, simply run the drying programme and regularly check the moisture content of your jacket. When it feels dry, you can leave it in the drum for another 20 minutes to remove any remaining water.

In addition to machine drying, you can also choose to air dry. However, make sure you dry flat and in a shady area. Above all, avoid the radiator, which could burn the fibres. Finally, in order to reactivate the water repellency, you’ll also need to iron your jacket whilst taking some precautions. For this, set your iron on a low temperature for delicate clothes. Then protect your jacket with a towel when ironing.

Specific treatment in case of wear and tear

If your waterproof jacket starts to wear out, then you should not hesitate to use a specific treatment. For example, you could run a standard wash before adding a treatment to the drum. In the same way as before, follow the normal cycle before drying. You could also try a spray treatment to revive the water repellency. This treatment is applied directly to your clean and already dry waterproof jacket. In the shade, and on a flat surface, cover the entire garment by spraying at a distance of 15 cm before waiting a few minutes to clean away the excess. Then, wait 4 or 5 days before enjoying your waterproof, breathable and good-as-new jacket!

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