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machine wash your GORE-TEX jacket?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
hello.

gore-tex claims that washing & tumble drying the coat actually helps the outer waterproof coating. this seems weird. anyone try that. has anyone reapplied the outer coating before? any tips?

i bought a new gortex jackety/shell, but the tag shows that it's been on the shelf for 3 years. i paid $79.99 for it so that's fine for the price, but the water doesn't seem to bead up as well as it should.

thanks!
post #2 of 19
I usually wash that stuff only once a year, in the machine on gentle cycle, and I use Arm & Hammer powder detergent. I think washing too much destroys the surface treatment of the material. Ironing is supposed to restore the surface a little. I've never done that, but my son swears it works. I never use any spray on waterproofing, like Scotchguard. I think the spray on stuff has a slovent that destroys the original waterproofing. In any event it doesn't last very long.
I work at a ski school, and it seems to me that the people who wash their uniforms a lot, and use Scotchguard, are always complaining about wet uniforms after the first year. I generally don't notice too much deterioration in my jackets after 4 years, although my pants have usually deteriorated a lot after 3 seasons.

Regards, John
post #3 of 19
There is a detergent specifically made to wash waterproof breathables like Gore-Tex. I use it on my Gore-Tex XCR Arcteryx jacket in the washing machine. It is Made by Nikwax. Then it goes in the dryer per the directions. Works great

[ November 22, 2003, 09:40 AM: Message edited by: Atomicman ]
post #4 of 19
There was a thread about this not too long ago.I just used plain powderred laundry detergent..warm,gentle..a little hi speed spin is ok..hang it up..but not drenching wet.Worked good..'TILL I got a shell jacket.
post #5 of 19
I'll second Atomicman's commment. Tech Wash by Nikwax is great for general cleaning. They also make both a wash-in and a spray-on waterproofing treatment. I've only used the wash-in and it works great on both 2 & 3 ply shells. I usually do the Tech Wash 2 or 3 times a year and the wash-in waterproofing every year or two. My garments seem happy and I've often been dry & comfy while lots of other folks are looking distinctly soggy.
post #6 of 19
Those products are on the expensive side. I usually compact the jackets with a bit of water and squeeze the air out of them in order to reduce the volume.

You can use just half of the bottle and save the rest for a mid-winter treatment (or the spring rains) .... by placing the machine fill setting on 1/2.

The jackets don't "know" that they are only in half of the water by volume ..... surface treatment and chemical concentration is the same.
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by spindrift:
I'll second Atomicman's commment. Tech Wash by Nikwax is great for general cleaning. They also make both a wash-in and a spray-on waterproofing treatment. I've only used the wash-in and it works great on both 2 & 3 ply shells. I usually do the Tech Wash 2 or 3 times a year and the wash-in waterproofing every year or two. My garments seem happy and I've often been dry & comfy while lots of other folks are looking distinctly soggy.
Right On! I have not used the spray-on waterproofing treatment either only the wash-in. I have been told it is hard to get the spray distributed evenly on the garment and I don't really want to breath it. So use the NikWax wash followed by the Nikwax waterproofing 2-3 times a year and your good to go. DO NOT USE REGULAR POWDERED DETERGENT AS SUGGESTED ABOVE. IT IS VERY HARSH AND LEAVES A PORE CLOGGING RESIDUE ON WATERPROOF BREATHABLES!

FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS ON THE NIWAX BOTTLE, BUT IF THEY CONFLICT WITH THE INSTRUCTIONS ON YOUR GARMENT, FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE GARMENT!

[ November 22, 2003, 10:36 AM: Message edited by: Atomicman ]
post #8 of 19
I respectfully disagree about the powderred laundry detergent.I guess it could depend on the quality of the coat.Or the washing/drying techinque.
I have had a "Far West" Gore tex jacket for YEARS and years..this thing has been stuffed into the machine..and washed with plain old powderred detergent..several times a season..for..gotta be 5/6 years..it is still LIKE NEW!..and breathes..looks..works the same.
Bro-in law has several Gore tex things..does exactly the same thing.Same results.

I think that the problem may be(scientific here..HEHA)..that they reccommend a very gentle cycle wash cycle..little real h/d spin..and dryer.

Actually I could see the pores in the Gore tex gettin' plugged if enough of the detergent is still in the water..and doesn't get spun out..plus the baking(not natural drying) effect of the dryer.

I give 'er a good enough spin..and NEVER! have put it in the dryer..

Oh well..anyway..
post #9 of 19
just to clarify...

DWR (durable water repellency) from products like Nikwax are awesome for providing the beaded water effect on the nylon outer surface of your garment. It prevents wetting-out the outer nylon layer which keeps you warmer.
That DWR coating will deteriorate in the wash. It'll deterioate from UV exposure too. So, if you want the beaded thing happening, you gotta reapply the stuff about every two seasons. Prolly every season for you full-time instructors.

None of this has any affect on the inner Gore laminate at all. Don't know about powdered verse liquid detergent and the consequenses on the Gore laminate either.
post #10 of 19
I just washed my 3 year old Gore Tex jacket with the tech wash and reapplied the DWR with the spray. The washing instrutions were to wash on a heavy duty cycle and dry on high heat the same for after spraying on the waterproffing They said dry on a high heat. I am happy with the results
post #11 of 19
Washing does deteriorate the DWR.... but washes all your sweat out of the pores of the actual waterproofing....

Grease tends to decrease effectiveness... :

Goretex likes to be CLEAN.... iron after washing to refresh the DWR...

If DWR starts to go the OUTER fabric layer will get wet instead of water rolling off - in this case it will be hard for the garment to BREATH... as the water vapour struggles to evaporate through the layer of water on the outside... so you will be like the poor suckers in regular ski gear... swimming in perspiration... which can then cool & condense & make a chill layer(bad)....

Reapply DWR as needed & activate in tumble dryer... I try not to tumble dry after regular washes as heat is not friendly to the membrane (I think)....
post #12 of 19
Where do you find Nikwax products?
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by PinHed:
None of this has any affect on the inner Gore laminate at all. Don't know about powdered verse liquid detergent and the consequenses on the Gore laminate either.
Normal liquid detergent is not supposed to rinse out well....hence the old goretex care sheets said powder detergent... from memory any enzymes etc are BAD...

The special liquid for goretex is designed to rinse out - leaving clear pores.... I avoid nikwax as expensive & use the "sportswash" brand that comes in BIG orange bottle - much better price & my xc- tour guide buddies swear it is the go...
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by Brokedown Palace:
Where do you find Nikwax products?
XC ski stores or bushwalking stores seem to be the go for goretex care stuff....

Find the guy with the longest dreadies or else the old bald guy with the muscley "chicken type" legs.... (no stereo typing there huh!)....

Nah seriously - find someone who lives outdoors in their Goretex for weeks on end... if they need to rely on it they tend to learn how to care for it
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by Brokedown Palace:
Where do you find Nikwax products?
GOOGLE, GOOGLE, GOOGLE, Brother... :
That's where you find Everything :
Including Where to Buy it. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

[ November 22, 2003, 05:52 PM: Message edited by: Carvemeister ]
post #16 of 19
from the Arc'teryx website on care of goretex garments (the caution about liquid detergets does not apply to Nik-wax goretx cleaner, which is what I have used for years with excellent results):

>>Be sure to zip all zippers before you wash your jacket. You can wash your Gore-Tex in a regular washing machine, in warm (not hot) water, on a gentle cycle. Please use pure soap (which is best) or a mild powder detergent. Do not use Liquid detergents or ones that contain oil, or have fabric softeners in them (such as Woolite). Detergent interacts with the DWR finish and will interfere with the performance of the jacket if it is not totally rinsed out of the material. Run the garment through at least one rinse cycle and tumble dry on medium heat. For optimum performance you may also need to re-apply the DWR (durable water repellant) finish on your water-repellant garment from time to time. Do not dry clean or store when wet.
All of our shells are treated with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish that keeps the outer fabric from becoming saturated with moisture so that the breathable barrier can do its job. Over time, the DWR gets worn away, most common in areas of abrasion such as the sleeves and shoulders of a jacket, or the seat and knees of pants. This coating needs to be replenished approximately once per season, or more often if the piece gets a lot of use or washing. If water is no longer beading up on your shell, it is time to reproof.

To retreat your garment, use one of the widely available spray-on or wash-in DWR treatments for waterproof/breathable garments such as Nikwax, Grangers, or Revive-X (Recommended by W.L. GoreĀ® & Associates). Wash-in treatments tend to be less effective than the spray treatments. Often, simply washing the garment, rinsing thoroughly and tumble-drying at a moderate heat for 30-40 minutes can revive the DWR. The heat application is an important element in activating the DWR properties of the treatment, and most of the treatments listed above recommend that some form of heat be applied to the garment after it is treated. Once you have successfully cleaned and refinished your shell, it should work as new again.
post #17 of 19
Working in outdoor retail, we get asked about this a lot. Washing helps keep the goretex membrane clean of any grit or dort that may block up it's pores, stopping it fro both breathing a repelling water. They can be machine washed and tumble dried, just watch the settings. Tumble dry on a LOW (LOW!) heat, wash in special detergents and iron too. Get them dry cleaned if you need to.
post #18 of 19
Good advice from you all, Oz. Just to as to the discussion, I believe it is the phosphates in the detergent that re the culprit.
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by Atomicman:
There is a detergent specifically made to wash waterproof breathables like Gore-Tex. I use it on my Gore-Tex XCR Arcteryx jacket in the washing machine. It is Made by Nikwax. Then it goes in the dryer per the directions. Works great
FYI, Arc'Teryx doesn't use Nikwax anymore. They now swear by Grangers product. In fact, some of this years jackets even come with samples of Grangers for when you want to 'redo' your jackets DWR.

For PTFE's to function properly, they must be clean, and free of grease. SO NOT washing them in order to prolong the outer DWR finish is not a good answer.

One thing to remember when washing: make sure all the velcro is closed up tight, otherwise it will work hard at pilling any soft fabrics on the jacket.
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