Can you wash a waterproof jacket?
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.
Why should you wash a waterproof jacket?
Excellent question. For some people, the idea of washing a waterproof jacket is simply unheard of; washing something which is waterproof – surely not?
FAQ: Washing Waterproof Jackets
See our Nikwax aftercare guide for more information.
An effective 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 you jacket with a cleaner specifically designed for down or technical outerwear; we would
recommend something like Nikwax tech wash for the cleaning process and or Nikwax TX direct for re-proofing.
For best results wash your Berghaus products in a washing machine to allow for a confident hassle free process.
Below a step by step for washing and re-treating a waterproof jacket with a washing machine.
all detergent build up from the detergent dispenser.
Place item in washing machine (ideally 1 item per wash).
You can use a standard non biological soap as pictured but for extra benefits we recommend
using Nikwax Tech Wash 150ml in medium/hard water areas and 100ml in soft water areas (depending on location).
Wash according to care label, preferably on a gentle cycle and slow spin. Our products tend to state 30 degrees Celsius.
After the washing cycle has finished, run multiple spin cycles, each time incrementally increasing
the spin speed to remove excess water.
At this point if you need to re-treat your jacket then jump to STEP 2. If not then it’s time to dry your product.
You can either allow the waterproof jacket to dry naturally on a washing line or you can also use
a tumble dryer on a low heat.
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 it’s time to re-treat and re-proof the jacket. To do this we would recommend using Nikwax TX Direct and here’s a quick lesson on how to do it:
- Wash item first following step 1.
- Remove all detergent build up from the detergent dispenser.
- Place clean item in washing machine (maximum 1 item).
- Use 150ml of Nikwax TX Direct for 1 item.
- Run 30°C synthetic cycle and slow spin (be sure to read the garment care label).
- The treatment will develop upon drying. Hang up to air dry or tumble dry on a low heat (if the care label allows)