Berghaus Customer Service
Washing waterproof jackets or clothing and treating them to re-waterproof the fabric can be a daunting challenge to take on. At Berghaus we often get asked ‘Can you wash waterproof clothing?’ or ‘How do you wash a waterproof jacket?’. The answer to those questions are ‘of course you can!’ and ‘It’s very easy!’
So long as you stick to a few basic rules washing and re-treating waterproof garments including Gore-tex is a relatively simple and safe thing to do. So to help you out we’ve put together a nice simple step by step at the bottom of this page showing you how to clean and re-waterproof your jacket. But first up, let’s get a few of those scary questions out of the way…..
CAN I WASH BERGHAUS WATERPROOF PRODUCTS?
Yes of course so long as it’s dirty, in fact we recommend it, see the bottom of the page for step by step instructions.
IS IT SAFE TO WASH AND TUMBLE-DRY GORE-TEX?
Yes that’s absolutely fine, just make sure to read the product labels and wash within the guidelines.
IS IT DANGEROUS?
No not at all, so long as you don’t over wash/treat the product. If you stick to the procedures and wash and dry the item correctly within reason this will actually improve a dirty jackets performance not hamper it.
CAN I WASH A PRODUCT MORE THAN ONCE?
Yes you can, although unfortunately nothing lasts for ever. The more you wash a garment the more it will affect the performance so wash it when you need to, don’t wash it every time you wear it.
WHICH PRODUCTS SHOULD I USE TO CLEAN AND RE-PROOF MY GARMENTS?
Do not under any circumstances use Biological soap. You can however safely use Non-Bio soap, or for extra benefits we would recommend using specially designed washing liquid for waterproof jackets such as Nikwax Tech Wash. To treat the product we would recommend a specialist re-waterproofer such as Nikwax TX Direct. If using other brand make sure it is safe to use with Gore-tex products.
WHAT IF I HAVE WASHED MY PRODUCT INCORRECTLY, I.E USING BIOLOGICAL SOAP?
Washing a garment in a biological detergent can damage the performance, affecting the fabric’s breathability and water resistance. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have ruined the item but it does mean you’ll have to work quite hard to revive it. You may need to wash and re-treat the item a few times to regain its performance. Damage can be more severe if washed several times in the wrong detergent.
SHOULD I IRON MY PRODUCTS?
This is not something that we would ever recommend, the heat from an iron could damage the outer fabric, therefore destroying it’s performance.
CAN I OR SHOULD I TUMBLE DRY A PRODUCT?
You don’t have to tumble dry a product after every wash, but we do recommend it every so often. Nikwax TX Direct treated clothing needs no heat to develop Durable Water Repellency (DWR).
WHEN DO I NEED TO RE-TREAT MY PRODUCT?
This is something that many people get wrong! which can make caring for jacket very expensive. You shouldn’t re-treat a garment after every wash. Only do this when necessary, when the DWR (Durable Waterproof Repellency) begins to fail. In rain a good DWR will allow water to bead up and fall off the jacket. If the DWR is failing the jacket will wet out after a short period of time and water will absorb into the outer fabric which affects Breathability. (see image)
Before washing your product brush off any loose mud or dirt, do up any zips or Velcro and close any flaps.
It is best to wash your down jacket with a cleaner specifically designed for down or technical outerwear, we would recommend something like Nixwax’s Tech Wash for the cleaning process and or TX Direct for re-proofing.
For best results wash your Berghaus products in a washing machine to allow for a confident hassle free process. However this is not the only way to do so, hand-washing is often a preferred option. If you would like more information on hand washing your products then see here. But for now here’s a step by step for washing and re-treating our down product with a machine cycle:
For most people especially with a new-ish garment step 1 will probably be sufficient to revive the performance of your product. However for those of you with older products that are struggling with the outer fabric absorbing water it maybe time for you to improve the DWR (Durable Waterproof Repellency)
Just about every outdoor jacket comes with a coating of DWR, and over time mainly due to contamination the coating will lose its effectiveness. The job of the DWR is to allow water to bead up on a fabric and roll off as opposed to soaking in.
If you find that water doesn’t bead up on your product at all then its time to re-treat it in order for it to perform at its best. To do this we would recommend using Nikwax TX Direct and here’s a quick lesson on how to do it:
Hopefully this article on washing waterproof jackets will have cleared up a few thing for you and gave you the confidence and knowledge to look after your products. For most people this is a complicated process so if you have any further questions or would like any further advice then please contact us.