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
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 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-waterproofing treatment such as Nikwax TX Direct. If you’re using another 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.
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.
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).