The Capabilities of Cleaning

The purpose of our waterproof clothing is to keep us warm, dry and comfortable when we’re outdoors. We expect our waterproofs to protect us but it’s also important that we care for them in return. Whilst reproofing is vital to maintain the performance of our gear, people often forget the most important step and that is cleaning – the technical way!

It’s only natural that our outdoor clothing gets dirty with wear. As you spend time outside, grime builds up. You don’t have to have slipped over in the mud for your jacket to need a good clean – even if you think your clothing isn’t dirty, dust and particles can quickly collect in the fibres. This is definitely the case with insulated items as you can’t see what’s happening to well-packed feathers. This is why the idea that you shouldn’t regularly clean your waterproofs can be harmful to your gear.

Often, the first sign of hidden dirt is when your outdoor clothing is no longer beading off water or keeping you warm. People sometimes presume that their gear needs reproofing before it’s actually ready. Often a good clean can revive any existing repellency by removing the performance-hindering barriers – but only if it’s washed in a technical cleaner.

One of the most frequent questions we get asked is, ‘why can’t I wash with normal washing powder?’, which is closely followed by, ‘help! I’ve washed my waterproof jacket with the rest of my clothes and it’s no longer waterproof’. Our answers are: ‘because it will remove the technical properties that keep you dry’ and ‘don’t worry, we can easily help you to restore its performance’. 

Let’s explore these answers in more detail.

Washing your technical gear with regular washing detergent will clean your gear but strip it of its ability to keep you dry. Normal washing powder is designed to make your clothes smell fresh. This is perfect for your normal clothes but the optical brighteners and perfumes that guarantee that fresh smell massively hinder waterproofing properties, stripping the DWR so your waterproofs no longer keep you dry.

However, don’t fret too much if a waterproof jacket gets mixed in with your normal laundry. If you do happen to use normal washing detergent on your technical gear, your item’s durable water-repellent finish (DWR) will be stripped but Grangers has you sorted. Simply clean with Grangers’ Performance Wash followed by one of our proofers, either Clothing Repel or Performance Repel Plus, to restore the waterproofing properties.

So, now we’ve discussed why we need to clean, let’s look at just how easy it is with Grangers.

Performance Wash is a simple-to-use, wash-in cleaner that works to remove dirt without stripping the DWR. This bluesign® approved, concentrated cleaner, housed in a 100% recycled bottle, only needs half a cap (25ml) to clean a wash load of waterproofs. Simply pop it into your washing machine drawer in place of normal detergent and wash according to care label instructions. Worried about hard water? With this easy-to-use cleaner, you don’t need to alter the amount you require so, whatever your water type, 25ml will deliver the clean you need.

When it comes to cleaning insulated items, whether they’re down or synthetic down, Grangers’ Down Wash Kit has all you need. Much like Performance Wash, just use 25ml. However, this down-specific version works to remove all the dirt and oils from the feathers whilst reviving the loft. With down, we’d always recommend tumble drying with dryer balls once clean, so you can easily restore the loft, helping to keep you warm and snug once more. Some people use tennis balls in place of dryer balls when tumble drying their down, however, this is not something we would recommend. The tennis balls pummel the down which doesn’t help to revive it but actually works oppositely, making the down clump. Additionally, when wet, tennis ball dye can leak onto your clothes, staining and potentially ruining them.

As well as restoring performance, cleaning your waterproofs is ideal preparation for reproofing. Firstly, we recommend checking areas prone to abrasion, such as your knees or shoulders, if your gear is still wetting out, then reproofing is your next step. Once you’ve cleaned with a technical wash, your damp and clean waterproofs are in the perfect condition to be reproofed for optimum performance, using Clothing Repel or Performance Repel Plus. Another option is to use our Wash + Repel Clothing 2 in 1, which quickly cleans and reproofs in one wash.

Not only does cleaning help to keep your gear performing and looking the part but regular cleaning and care also prevent your technical gear from ending up in landfill, so you can focus on enjoying your investment and your time outdoors rather than worrying about the weather. Here at Grangers, we care about your outdoor adventures, so why not clean your waterproofs or insulated items with one of our easy-to-use products and leave wet-weather worries in the past?