(NOTE-- Carefully read your clothing and gears labels and follow them carefully. If you have questions or are unsure of how to appropriately care for an item contact the manufacturer/retail store directly.)
For Outer Layers (softshells, hardshells, waterproof jackets)
How often should you wash your waterproof jacket and gear? Of course it's dependent on usage and the maker's recommendations. I wash my softshells and waterproof jackets every other month if they've seen a lot of usage. A tell tale sign that you are due for a wash is finding that your waterproof jacket "isn't so waterproof anymore." While it probably needed to be washed months, or in some cases, years ago- I have seen jackets come back to life with a good wash in TechWash (NikWax).
- Wash on gentle cycle or reduce agitation on the normal cycle
- Wash in cold water (check your label-- I happen to prefer washing everything in cold water)
- Wash with like things- be careful of velcro, snaps, clips or anything else that can snag.
- I like to zip up pockets so they won't snag on anything.
- Unroll hood if it's rolled up
- You can use a very gentle detergent, but I prefer using TechWash by NikWax. I've used it for years and it really has done a nice job time and time again.
- One time I had a jacket that I neglected far too long and I washed it twice with TechWash. This did the trick and it was much more waterproof.
- Hang dry on a rack or chair
- I've used TX.Direct Spray On in the past and found it to be fabulous. I only used it on waterproof hardshells and I actually tried it on my tent. It had a nasty smell (this was years ago that I used it so I am not sure if this is still the case), but it really helped with waterproofing. After the product dried it no longer smelled. I haven't tried their softshell similar product yet.
- Fix or repair any holes, rips, or tears (see your local outdoor retailer for products- depends on the material of the item in repair)
- Always thoroughly dry out your gear when returning from a trip. Even if it doesn't feel wet it still may be damp and need to be dried over a chair or rack.
Also in this series:
Disclaimer: Product Reviews and How to's are based on opinion only and are not intended to condone, encourage, or promote a product. Some products are sent to me by the manufacturer or affiliates and are mine to keep. I mention this specifically on products sent to me. Compensation and/or product and/or services never interfere with the review of the product. Otherwise, products and services are purchased by me for personal use. I have purchased way too many bottles of Techwash and TX.Direct Spray On than I care to recall.