Waterproof, one of the first things your think about when you are looking
at a new ski/snowboard jacket. Anyone who owns a Gore-Tex branded
jacket or pant knows what a difference a good waterproof breathable fabric can be, especially if you are li
ke us and live and play in the Pacific Northwest. But over time, run after run and wash after wash your Gore-Tex items can appear like they just are not the same. Here is a little understanding on why they appear to be less waterproof and how to replenish and restore them so they are just like new! This also applies to the many other waterproof fabrics out there like eVent or Entrant.
But it was so waterproof when I got it? There are two main factors that contribute to your Gore-Tex not feeling like its old waterproof self over time. The first is the waterproof coating. Like many other waterproof fabrics Gore-Tex contains a DWR coating (durable water repellent) which is the first layer of defense and causes the water to bead up on your sleeve. Exposure to the elements and multiple trips through the wash can cause the DWR to breakdown allowing your jacket to soak up some of the water where it previously just wicked it away. The second factor is dirt. As dirt gets into the “pours” of the Gore-Tex fabric it allows water to seep in making your jacket or pants less waterproof and less breathable.
So how do I make it like new again? In order to replenish or restore your Gore-Tex or similar waterproof fabric just follow these steps
1. Wash – Wash your jacket or pants by its self using a Gore-Tex safe detergent. We like Grangers or Nix-Wax Tech washes. Avoid fabric softeners.
2. Restore Waterproofing – After it has been washed and is dirt and contaminate free, spray it down using a Gore-Tex waterproofing spray. It works best if you spray it down right after you pull your jacket out of the washer while it is still wet. We like the Nikwax TX.Direct Spray-On. We don’t recommend using a wash-in waterproofing on your Gore-Tex or similar fabrics as it may decrease the breathability of the jacket or pant.
3. Dry – After you have sprayed it down toss it in the dryer (no dryer sheet!) on warm and tumble dry. The heat helps activate the DWR.
Stains?- Gore recommends using a pre-wash like Shout or Spray N’ Wash to help get stains out. Make sure to rinse well.