Living in the UK involves a lot of grim weather, so having a good set of waterproofs is pretty vital!
Whether it’s a case of your child splashing around in puddles or your dog jumping up and smudging its muddy paws all over your jacket, sometimes your waterproof coat needs a good clean!
We often assume it’s ok to leave the muck on our outdoorsy items as “they’ll get dirty again anyway!” or “the rain will wash it off!”. However, leaving dirt to settle on your coat (or any other kind of waterproof you own) may cause damage, thereby reducing the waterproof quality.
The long and short of it is that the dirt allows more opportunity for moisture to seep into the material, making it less effective. So, the aim of the game is to remove any dirt before there’s any chance of damage!
Before Cleaning Your Waterproof
- I’ll say it before, I’ll say it again: Always check the care label!
- Does your waterproof include any other materials? It’s worth checking, as that section of the waterproof will need to be washed specific to the requirements of the material.
- Wipe off any visible dirt or debris using a microfibre cloth dipped in warm water (this is a quick job, and you don’t have to be super thorough).
- Empty all pockets.
- Fasten all zips, pockets and straps.
- Take off any removable features. If they’re also waterproof you can wash using the same method.
What to Use to Wash a Waterproof Coat
The care label should tell you to either dry clean or use your washing machine with a suitable detergent to maintain the quality of the waterproof.
Waterproof coats shouldn’t be washed with regular detergent. Here are a few options that are specifically designed for waterproof coats and jackets:
- Grangers Performance Wash – This liquid detergent cleans waterproof coatings without damaging them. It is suitable for GORE-TEX and PVC, as well as other common waterproof jacket materials. See on Amazon.co.uk.
- Nikwax Tech Wash – This product can help restore your coat’s waterproof coating if it has got very dirty or been washed in regular detergent. This will help improve breathability. See on Amazon.co.uk.
- Mountval Wash & Care – This gentle laundry detergent helps prolong the life of waterproof coats and jackets. It’s suitable for GORE-TEX as well as other waterproof jacket materials. See on Amazon.co.uk.
Always use a liquid detergent when washing a waterproof coat, never powdered.
You should also avoid the use of fabric conditioner.
Do not wash your waterproof with other items, and only wash a maximum of two waterproofs per wash.
After Washing Your Waterproof Coat
After washing, the best way to dry your waterproof is hang it to dry. You can also tumble dry on a low heat setting if the care label permits.
Ensure the detergent compartment and machine drum are clear of any leftover detergent from previous washes
Washing your waterproof is not a job that needs to be done often – this will reduce the quality of the garment
Goretex products may require specific cleaning—ensure to check the care label!
How to Clean a Waterproof Coat
- Prepare your waterproof and what you need using the tips above.
- Choose a gentle machine wash setting. Some washing machines have a hand wash setting, which is ideal. 30 degrees and a low spin cycle is recommended.
- After the wash cycle has finished, check your garment for areas that have absorbed the water rather than repelling it. These areas may need to be treated with a reproofing product, which will repair any damage to the material. Keep in mind that reproofing doesn’t need to be done often—it should only be required after prolonged use or several washes.
- Hang dry for best results, either on a clothes horse or on the line!
- Enjoy your fully functioning waterproof and feel confident that you can go out and have fun whatever the weather!
There’s a lot of information to take in here, but as long as you have the right products, it’s a pretty quick and simple job all in all! Good luck!
Hi, I’m Bron. I’m an elite endurance athlete, love the outdoors and anything involving food! All of which have the potential to make a mess! I don’t have a huge concentration span (and like to use the excuse of being too busy), so go for quick and easy cleaning methods where possible!