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water repellency

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
6 year old Columbia jacket; resisting buying a new one; the thing now sops up water in warm snow/rain.
Any good tips to restore its Gore-tex-ness? Something that will actually work? Aside from Scotch-Guard every day?
post #2 of 19
is it really gore-tex or columbia's version of Gore?

nik-wax wash in treatments work great on non goretex stuff. It not true water proof but it sheds rain pretty well.
post #3 of 19
If it is a gore-tex product I'd stay away from the scotch-guard. I use Nik-Wax on my shells and it works pretty well (gore-tex and non gore-tex).

couple 'o links:
Gore-Tex care
More Info
post #4 of 19
Nik-guard pruducts are the best I've tried. And I use my goretex bikecloths for 6 hours a day 5 days a week all winter.
But don't use softener when you wash gore (or similar stuff).
Another tip I got from a retailer was to iron the cloths carefully(if the washing instructions permit it), he said that it "re-activates" the goretex.
But double check that...
post #5 of 19
I don't think Columbia is a Gore associate, so go with a spray repellent.
post #6 of 19
the nik-guard products work great on non gore products as well and last much longer than the spray on stuff. I usually only wash the stuff in every other season. (30-45 days)
be sure you use a gentle wash in between. Nik Guard makes a Techwash that does pretty good and doesn't seem to destroy the nikwax.
post #7 of 19
I was in a Kayak shop the other day and saw some pretty serious water repellency restorer. I can't remember what it was called but you might call around.

I also recommend Nik-Wax (available at REI). However I might add that six years is pretty good service for a jacket - it might be time to retire it. Sometimes it ends up being an exercise in frustration.......
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'll check out the suggestions and see what might work best--I think I've heard the Nik-Wax is good.
Like I ever wash it, and like I ever use softener when I wash regular clothing.
I'm reluctant to get rid of it because it's lasted me so long (300 days on the hill?) even though I've really abused it, and I'd rather put $150 toward something I feel like I need. Hopefully one of these treatments will work.
post #9 of 19
Always wash your Gore or other waterproof breathable garments with POWDERED detergent. It rinses out better than Liquid. Liquid soaps since they do not rinse as well clog the microporus membranes/coatings, so the garment will not breathe as well, thus getting you wet from the inside.
Pending on the garments use and how many times you have washed it, your DWR might have worn out. Most DWR's can take up to 20 wash cycles while retaining 100% of thier water repellency. The DWR is basically the factory "scotch" guard. If you garment is dirty your outer shell will absorb water. The garment from there may not actually leak, but since the outer fabric is soaked it does not allow the garment to breathe, thus holding in all your moisture and you think you are getting wet from the outside when in reality you are getting wet from the inside.
Back to the Columbia garment. If it is a Berguntal cloth peice such as the Bugaboo, Whirlibird, Double Whammy or what not the garment is only Water Resitant to begin with. If it is an Omni-Tec piece then you have a fully taped waterproof breathable garment.
With either of them Washing is the first step, the addition of a nik-wax will help.

so why does my outer material start absorbing water? The DWR (durable water repellent finish) is like little hairs that stick up on the face of the material. When the garmment gets dirty or in a high abrasion area, these hairs lay down. A perfect example is the thighs of your ski pants, you are always resting your arms on your lap on the lift, thus getting it dirt, more abrasion, and the hairs lay down. When the hairs laydown they no longer keep the water away from the material and then the material absorbs the water. But still the water will not penatrate the waterproof coating, it just makes it so the garment can no longer breathe. Washing the garment restores these little "hairs" to their erect position protecting the face of the material from water penatration.

So keep you garments clean, do not use nik-wax until you have washed the garment numerous times, it is not needed.

Oh yea, sticking the garment it the dryer help the little hairs come back to life too, same concept as the iron.
post #10 of 19

Ivory Snow...... the stuff you do baby diapers and stuff is OK but only use a very mild solution and double rinse. Just make sure the flakes dissolve in the water first or you get some lumps. NIX WAX says that you should use their cleaner but it's another $10.

I wouldn't expect that someone with a name like Philth.... ..... would know diddily squat about washing anything.

ps...... Put the water level setting just where it covers the jacket and if (when the machine is half full), it' s covered (you have to force it down), you can get away with a half of a bottle..... and save the rest for mid-season.

This thread is starting to sound like "Hints from HELLoise"....... scary thought.... :

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 20, 2001 01:45 PM: Message edited 2 times, by yuki ]</font>
post #11 of 19
Philth: I've had good luck with a product called ReviveX from Gore. Its a spray on product.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 20, 2001 03:43 PM: Message edited 5 times, by dchan ]</font>
post #12 of 19
Philth, you seem to be confusing two issues -- one is the function of the GoreTex laminate, the other is the water repellency of the outer layer of your shell.

The GoreTex laminate can continue working even if your shell's outer layer is soaked. That's its purpose!

The shell's outer layer water repellency depends upon a chemical treatment that stops working when it gets dirty, when it gets worn off, or when it gets washed with the wrong kind of detergents.

Now, with that said, I agree with the others and their suggestions of using Nikwax or ReviveX. Either one will work well. Read and follow the instructions.
post #13 of 19
After six seasons your Gore-tex laminate could well be--well, delaminating. If that is happening it is probably time for a new Jacket or a full on committment to Scotch Guard which has been found to contain carcinogens if I'm not mistaken.
post #14 of 19
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Philth:
I'd rather put $150 toward something I feel like I need. Hopefully one of these treatments will work.

$150???? You haven't bought a jacket in a while (although I have seen the Helly Tec for this price)

But a jacket IS something you really need. No jacket - you get cold and wet;
If you get cold and wet you might get sick; If you get sick you can't ski;
Ergo you need a jacket.
post #15 of 19
Does the jacket get a lot of general wear, or is it just for skiing? If you only wear it 20 days or so a year, there might be hope. Otherwise, it's worn out; huck it away, or use it for a wind breaker. I have had a couple like that, and no amount of waterproofing goop of any kind will keep it from wetting out in a few minutes of heavy rain. A wetted-out goretex garment will keep your skin dry (for a short while), but you will still feel damp and cold, and eventually you'll get wet from sweat because the coat won't breathe.
post #16 of 19
I have a similar vintage Columbia Titanium Parka. The thing is bomb proof, however i have had trouble with restoring repellency, Nikwax works for a very short period of time maybe 2 ski days. I bought a 3 ply gore Sierra Designs a couple years back, and only use the Columbia on very cold dry days. Wish I had more positive info for you.
post #17 of 19

You just dated yourself there. You must be at LEAST as old as me to remember that at one time we actually had to keep and wash cloth diapers.

Anyway, not to get off topic but does anyone know what the heck is going on with Phenix Sports?? I've been trying to contact them regarding repair and reweatherproofing of my one piece but can never get a reply. Kinda' depressing since it's been such a good suit!
post #18 of 19

Hmmmmmmm...... But isn't dating yourself a form of incest? :

.... 53 but who's counting.....
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well, following all this contradictory information I have no idea what to do...
I guess I'll give a treatment a try and maybe get a new jacket toward springtime if it doesn't work.
I did know that Gore-Tex was different from the waterproof coating, but was just using 'Gore-Texness' (or whatever I said) as a shorthand.
Also, I've been told there's a place near me selling Columbia jackets for about $150, so maybe I'll go check that out.
Thanks, all.
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