or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Washing/waterproofing ski jackets/pants.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Washing/waterproofing ski jackets/pants.

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

I got my kids some nicer/waterproof ski clothes over the summer and want to start taking better care of them and what I already have.

 

I Googled and found a few sites on this, this one http://skijacketcleaning.com/ has some useful info. I looked up a few of the detergents, "Nikwax Tech Wash" seems to be popular. But at about $3 per garment per wash, it get very expensive. That price seemed consistent with a few alternative brands I checked. 

 

In my family, we probably have 20 or so total jackets & pants. Are there alternatives to "Tech Wash" and the like? How often should I wash them? I have been using "ECOs" detergent I get from Costco which is supposed to be 100% natural, not sure if that is good or not.

 

Thanks,

Brad

post #2 of 36

Tech wash is a soap, not a detergent. Using a detergent will strip the waterproofing out of your garments.

 

It's worth the cost, I usually only wash once every 20 days or so of wearing them.

post #3 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by iWill View Post

Tech wash is a soap, not a detergent. Using a detergent will strip the waterproofing out of your garments.

 

It's worth the cost, I usually only wash once every 20 days or so of wearing them.

If the waterproofing is Gore-Tex then the recommended cleaning agent is regular liquid laundry detergent.  Go to the Gore web site and their recommended treatment is to wash in a washing machine at a warm temp. with liquid detergent and dry at a warm temperature in the drier.  No fancy stuff.

 

Now, if the waterproofing is not Gore-Tex, then it could be a completely different story.

post #4 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iWill View Post

Tech wash is a soap, not a detergent. Using a detergent will strip the waterproofing out of your garments.

 

It's worth the cost, I usually only wash once every 20 days or so of wearing them.

Thanks, from the page I linked above "Note that soap and detergent are just two names for the same thing."  But thanks for the vote for T.W.

post #5 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post

If the waterproofing is Gore-Tex then the recommended cleaning agent is regular liquid laundry detergent.  Go to the Gore web site and their recommended treatment is to wash in a washing machine at a warm temp. with liquid detergent and dry at a warm temperature in the drier.  No fancy stuff.

 

Now, if the waterproofing is not Gore-Tex, then it could be a completely different story.

Only 1 Goretex in the mix. The new kids gear is 686 "water proof" or "resistant". Also other random brands, Columbia, Kemper etc. 

post #6 of 36

You can also use powdered Tide (nothing fancy) on Gore-Tex outerwear. I still go for Tech Wash though, as I wash my outerwear only a couple times a season.  Dryer on medium heat afterwards restores the DWR finish, if it hasn't worn off.

 

But it's probably good to reapply the DWR at least once a season if you notice water no longer beads on your clothing. I like the spray-on products versus wash-in, because the insides of my outerwear don't need DWR. Nikwax has TX.Direct Spray-on, or Granger's has a product too.

post #7 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by spknmike View Post

 or Granger's has a product too.

I had just been looking this up http://www.grangers.co.uk/product.cfm?cat=14&productid=4 it claims to do both at about the same price. 

post #8 of 36

 I use miele, have had good results with it and it's cheaper than some. $3 a wash is a better price than specialist cleaning or re-proofing. How often do you really need to wash ski gear unless you don't bathe or also roll around in the mud with your dog in it? I've had my dtergent at least 3 seasons and it will probably be ok for this season too.

post #9 of 36

In my experience, the jackets are never the same after home treatment.  I've now come to the conclusion that washing should be delayed for as long as possible.  Perhaps I have a clean family.  Eventually, cleaning will be needed.  By then, the DWR (durable water repellent) will be ineffective and the waterproof/breathable membrane may be somewhat clogged.

 

I cleaned my whole family's jackets with Nikwax Tech Wash and then sprayed them all with the Nikwax DWR, which is supposed to work better than the wash-in DWR.  I wasn't impressed and we ended up replacing the jackets the next year anyway.

 

So, keep the factory finish for as long as you can.

post #10 of 36

I'll take a somewhat dingy warm and dry jacket over a squeaky clean but, ice cold and soggy jacket any day.  I won't wash them until they really start to reek.  Gentle cycle cold with a very small amount (couple drops) of dish soap.  That's really not much more harsh than a hard skiing day in the rain for the jacket.  I may or may not spray it with something like scotchguard or tent waterproof spray afterwards.  Regardless, for me in the end it is 90% about comfort and warmth and 10% about appearance with decisions to clean a jacket or pants.

post #11 of 36
Thread Starter 

OK, sold on the spendy stuff, can anyone give me a recommendation of Granger 2 in 1 vs Techwash (both linked to above).

 

Thanks,

Brad

post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xela View Post

In my experience, the jackets are never the same after home treatment.  I've now come to the conclusion that washing should be delayed for as long as possible.  Perhaps I have a clean family.  Eventually, cleaning will be needed.  By then, the DWR (durable water repellent) will be ineffective and the waterproof/breathable membrane may be somewhat clogged.

 

I cleaned my whole family's jackets with Nikwax Tech Wash and then sprayed them all with the Nikwax DWR, which is supposed to work better than the wash-in DWR.  I wasn't impressed and we ended up replacing the jackets the next year anyway.

 

So, keep the factory finish for as long as you can.


there's that shop in town, tech something. is their process any better?  I have Goretex performance in a Marmot jacket that has about 200 days on it, normal wash once I think. water doesn't bead on it any more, and it lets moisture through in about 3 solid hours of rain. but I consider that as good as it gets for Goretex.

post #13 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Hall View Post

OK, sold on the spendy stuff, can anyone give me a recommendation of Granger 2 in 1 vs Techwash (both linked to above).

 

I have a nice Marmot jacket my girlfriend got me a couple years ago. Well designed and made, and fits me well, but was never very waterproof, and got worse over time to where it would completely soak through. Marmot recommends Granger on their web site. I picked up some 2 in 1 at REI, and followed the directions carefully (including running the washer with no clothes or detergent to get rid of any residue). Wore the jacket in a light rain recently - results were so-so. Part of it the water beaded on, but part of it still soaked through. YMMV.

post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc-ski View Post
Wore the jacket in a light rain recently - results were so-so. Part of it the water beaded on, but part of it still soaked through. YMMV.

 

That's been my experience with recent (within the last 5 years) Marmots straight off the rack.

 

My mid-level Salomon from ~2002 has had 4 Nikwax and 1 Graingers renewal and is doing /great/.   (The Graingers wash couldn't get rid of some lift grease stain, my only quibble.  I find Grainger's down cleaner  much better at getting any sort of stains off than their regular wash).

post #15 of 36

+1 on Tech wash and Nik wax. But like others have said, don't wash it too often. I spot treat any really soiled areas just using a damp rag and hand soap, taking care to remove all traces of soap with a fresh rag afterwards, and then air dry. Once every couple of seasons, machine wash with Tech wash and Nik wax. I also try to spray the jacket when new with "scotch guard" before it has a chance to get dirty. 

post #16 of 36

davluri, I've never tried that shop.  Actually I've never heard of it.  I guess the question would be, after a couple-three years, how much do I want to spend on rejuvenating an old jacket, versus buying a brand-new one at post-season closeout prices.  After all, it's not just the waterproofing that degrades.

post #17 of 36

A cheaper alternative to Tech Wash is Woolite (the kind for delicates, not the stuff for everything which is the same as any other detergent).  I use powdered detergent myself.  As far as DWR I guess the wash in kind clogs the pores of Goretex and other membranes, which is why it's not recommended. I had some lying around so I put it in a spray bottle and sprayed it on, but it didn't work very well.  Haven't used the jacket since then--hope it still breathes.

post #18 of 36

I use Granger's on my gear and it works better than anything else I have tried.  I tried NikWax before and it didn't work as well for me, neither the spray on or wash in versions.  I also don't wash my gear frequently, which has probably been the best thing I have done.

 

I have spent a lot of money on shells and don't mind spending a little more to keep them working. 

post #19 of 36
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies, I am leaning towards the Granger 2 in 1 http://www.grangers.co.uk/product.cfm?cat=14&productid=4 It can be found at a couple local stores and is supposed to be avail in 1 liter size. 

 

Brad

post #20 of 36
Thread Starter 

Well neither local place that was supposed to carry Granger did, they both carried Kikwax products. I got a liter and a 10 oz Tech Wash and 10 oz of TX.Direct Wash-in all for about $50. I think this will do me well for a little while. 

 

Thanks again for the input,

 

Brad

post #21 of 36

Someone above mentioned Gore-tex.  Gore-tex is a membrane fabric (actually the membrane is teflon in this case), and now there are many different membrane type fabrics.  I have a Helly Hanson shell that has a very similar hydrophobic membrane.  With these types of jackets, since I have a front loading washer, I use a clear (no dyes or perfumes) HE type 2x concentrated liquid detergent, wash it on either cold or warm and hang dry (here in Colorado things like this dry in a matter of a few hours). 

 

If the jacket/pants don't have this type of water proofing, but have some outer layer, I would probably opt for a tech wash.  Be sure to use the HE type tech wash for HE type machines.  WIN seems to be the cheapest, but I don't think they make an HE type.  Woolite HE would be the best for HE machines.  They say WIN takes out a lot of the built up odors from running clothes, which never seem to go away.  Clothes made of synthetics like Coolmax, etc. do well with Woolite or WIN.

post #22 of 36

Regarding cleaning your washer first.  Good idea before you start your techwash.  

Many new washers will have a clean cycle where you either use affresh or tide washer cleaner, Smellywasher  or bleach to remove washing machine detergent residue out.  You can use these products in any washer

 

Washing machine Detergent itself can interfere with the DWR of the outer fabric and absorb water instead of beading up.

 

I think it is incorrect to think that washing "strips off" the DWR unless you have a machine that is actually abrading your clothes.  

If you get that, more likely, you've  actually clogged the fabric with detergent.  

What does detergent do?  It makes water slippier, so it has less surface tension, water will more easily absorb into fabric.  Cleaning OUT the detergent is what you want to do to get water to bead up.

 

Don't confuse the outer fabric with the goretex/goretex equivilant membrane.  The goretex or membrane will still remain waterproof-it always will.  The clogging of these pores just means the membrane won't breathe well.

post #23 of 36
Thread Starter 

I have been looking over all my families ski clothes. My wife has Gore-tex top and bottom, probably just wash those in the tech wash. My kids clothes are mostly 686, and are labeled as water proof, when needed they will get tech wash and less often, TX.Direct. My ski pants are Kemper and Columbia Omni-Tech which claim to be "water resistant and water proof coated" I would think they would benefit from both tech-wash and TX.Direct. 

 

The above is just kind of thinking out loud, but I am curious, my main jackets are the Double Diamond jackets that have been available at Costco for $20-$25 the last few years, I have 2 of them. They are somewhat water resistant, but make no claims of that on the label. Would they benefit from either Tech-Wash or TX.Direct? They are 92% polyester and 8% spandex. 

 

Thanks again,

Brad

 

P.S. I meant Nikwax in previous post not Kikwax

post #24 of 36

Washing:

 

I've heard from numerous reps say that Tide is great for Gore-Tex.  I've been using it for years.  Gore-tex is a membrane,  the pores need to be clean.  It's far more durable than you think.   Early Gore-Tex is the best of them all.  Hot chocolate

 

DWR durable water proof repellents aren't that great.  Some of them are nice, but it really depends on the fabric it's being sprayed on.  They can wear off quickly leaving the material adsorbing water like a sponge.  Stay away from them if you can.  Still, they can be a good value.  Wash them, them hit them again with ↓

 

Waterproofing:

 

heresy: I hammer pants, jackets, packs, gloves- nearly everything- with Scotch Guard Fabric and Upholstery.  It works great and helps keep things clean- very important with the kids- and me. I've heard it clogs pores and inhibits transpiration- so what.  For the overwhelming # of front/side county skiers waterproofness always trumps breathability.

 

heresyᶾ: I really think that Camp Dry is a great product.  Burly.  Heavy duty smell.  Takes a week to air out- I had to hang this year's jacket outside for a week.  Between skiing and lunching with the gang and some great VW trips, I've seen it exceed expectations many times. Definitely on the industrial side of things.

 

Props to Bob Peters!  He da' Man!  He took Blaze and the little girls to see the Jackson-centric Darryl Miller ski film, Most Wanted.  Thank you.

post #25 of 36
Thread Starter 

Ok I figured out all previous post questions, But I have noticed that the 686 jackets say to replenish waterproof coating with "spray on only". Do I need to worry about that?

 

From the 686 web site:

 

 Replenish Waterproofing (DWR) as needed .  The DWR coating (the gypsy magic that makes water droplets bead up on your outerwear) on all technical fabrics wear out after time and use.  Especially if you are around campfires, smokers, oily lift pulleys, or other contaminants in general.  Revive the performance of your 686 technical outerwear by washing as instructed, then using a spray-on waterproofing product such as NikWax TX-Direct.

 

TX-Direct is what I have, but wash in, not spray on. What does spray on do that wash in doesn't or vise versa?

post #26 of 36

 From my (limited) understanding-

  The techwash cleans the garment without leaving a residue that blocks the pores of the material which allow sweat to be wicked away to the outside.

   The spray on stuff provides the coating that allows the water to bead and run off the fabric rather than be absorbed into it.

   Someone else might have a better understanding of it though.

post #27 of 36

Granger's stuff is blue-sign approved, if that matters to anyone...


Nikwax's Tech Wash is a detergent/soap that shouldn't strip the DWR finish from the garment.  Theoretically a typical detergent will strip that finish and/or leave a residue that will inhibit the re-applied DWR to not adhere.

 

Oil and dirt hold water longer and compromise the integrity of the DWR finish.  Keeping clothes clean is important for keeping them waterproof.

 

DWR isn't what keeps your waterproof stuff waterproof though.  A hard-shell has a waterproof membrane.  The DWR will cause the water to bead up and not wet-out the outer fabric.  If the outer fabric has wetted-out then your garment's breathability has been compromised and you'll feel clammy and think your jacket isn't waterproof anymore.

 

But, rather than not washing your technical clothing because you don't have a fancy way, the better choice is to go ahead and wash it with whatever you have available.

 

Running it through the dryer for a short time on low heat will also reinvigorate the DWR finish.

post #28 of 36

The TX-Direct wash-in is rumored to clog membranes and leave an "odd" feeling inside the jacket. The spray-on, of course, affects only the outside, where the DWR is actually needed.

post #29 of 36

and just for clarification,

 

TX Direct Wash-in and Tech wash are different.  Not assuming anybody doesn't know that difference, just want to be clear.

post #30 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by splitter View Post

and just for clarification,

 

TX Direct Wash-in and Tech wash are different.  Not assuming anybody doesn't know that difference, just want to be clear.

From what I have learned over the last week, Tech wash is used for cleaning waterproof/resistant clothing that is otherwise in good shape. TX-Direct adds/replenishes the waterproof/resistant coating if/when it has worn away.

 

Hope that's right or I have wasted some money :)

 

I washed most everything I have in Tech-Wash, I also washed 2 pair of my pants and 1 of my DD jackets in Tech-Wash then TX-Direct. If I am going to get wet it is usually my pants when sitting on the chair. The pants had been washed in reg detergent a few times and I figured they could use the extra protection. The rest of my families clothes are Gore-tex or new and didn't need TX-Direct or even Tech-Wash. 

 

The 686 stuff won't need TX-Direct for a while, I will pick up some spray on when necessary.

 

Thanks for all the input,

Brad


Edited by Brad Hall - 11/18/12 at 4:30pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Washing/waterproofing ski jackets/pants.