08 Steps to Wash Waterproof Jacket? – (Wash and Reproof)

Waterproof jackets are made with specific properties of fabrics. When using outdoor, it can be muddy and dirt. So it is important to wash waterproof jacket and reproof it properly. Washing a waterproof jacket is unique to the product. But commonly you should follow these 08 steps.

To remove dust and dirt from the waterproof jacket, it should be washed. When you wash the waterproof fabric, you should care about the jacket material and its life span. Some powder you may use can highly damage the jacket. Hence use this guide for the best washing process as well as reproof methods. Let’s keep on reading!

Step 01 – Check the Care Label Before Wash the Waterproof Jacket

This is the first and the most important step for washing a waterproof jacket. Let’s see how this is important. In general, you can see 7 labels are attached to the finished garment. Among those, you can see a care label. It is the source where you can grab the information about washing guidance.

You can see some symbols as well as instructions. Mostly verbal instructions are not included in the label due to reading difficulty, but you can see a few signs on the labels. Have you ever known about these signs? Normally, I can see this in my 15000mm waterproof jacket

I have attached the in-detail image, and hereafter you will not inconvenience about this.

Waterproof Jacket Washing Guide Signs
Washing Guide Signs

This guide can be used for any garment, but here we use it especially for washing waterproof fabrics. When you check the care label of the fabric, you can see the detail below. So you can match the detail according to the above table, and continue the washing process.

If you use these 21 waterproof and water-resistant fabrics, you can apply these steps easily.

Actual Waterproof Fabric Label

So Suddenly, you see this, you may not grab the information. But compare the label with the above table. So you can have the idea.

Let’s check the #2 label and the meaning of the signs.

  1. Hand wash
  2. Non-chlorine
  3. Don’t tumble dry
  4. Low iron
  5. Don’t dry clean

What if the care label is missing?
When the care label is missing, you had to search it with the brand name on the internet. You can find the brand name and then search for the appropriate product relevant to the brand name. And also, you can call brand-customer support directly.

Step 02 – Check the Pocket Inside Before Wash the Waterproof Jacket

Waterproof jackets are used for outdoor activities. Sometimes its pockets include some nuts and bolts, liters, pocket knives, etc. These all are made with iron. When you wash it, it can be reacted with water, and the final result will be corrosion. Rust stains are dirt, and sometimes it can decay the fabric as well.

So before you wash waterproof jacket, better check its pocket inside. This is better to avoid both rust stains and prevent damages to the inner parts of the washing machine. Sometimes your zippers also scratch and damage the outer paint. When the zippers are made with iron, they can be rusting during the washing process. So before you wash the jacket, make sure pockets are free, and zippers are well closed.

Before putting the jacket into the washing machine, make sure all buckles are loosened, and all zippers and pockets are well closed. If your waterproof jacket is damaged, you have to buy it again. Normally, waterproof fabric costs more than normal clothes. So you have to invest a bit of money for that.

03. Brush and Remove the Loosen Mud, Dirt, and Oil Marks

Wash waterproof fabric
Wash Waterproof Fabric

You can use a wet cloth to remove the loose mud, dirt, and oil marks. I just need to wipe a bit hard. Due to the repellency, these will remove quickly.

And remember to avoid scratching or using any harmful appliance such as backing soda etc.

These will damage the breathability as well as the waterproofness of the fabric.

Loosen mud should be removed as much as possible outside. Else washing machine inside will be totally mud color.

04. Apply Detergent Powder If it is Necessary

Applying detergent is depend on the fabric material that you use. Normally waterproof fabrics should not wash with ordinary detergent or fabric softener. The chemicals in the detergent can break down the composition of the inner shells and waterproof coatings.

In the care label, you can see this in detail and need to follow the process.

05. Wash the Waterproof Jacket With an Approved Cleaner

Nikwax for Cleaning Waterproof Jacket
Nikwax as DWR

In this step, we should be careful when selecting the approved cleaner. Detergent powder and liquids are not allowed to use for the washing process, and instead of these specific and properties, improved liquid cleaners are used in this process.

Water repellency is the most important thing, and by washing, it can be reduced or damaged. To prevent this, cleaners are used. These cleaners are named with Durable Water Repellency (DWR), which can restore the water repellency of the fabric.

Do you know there is a difference in Water Repellent Fabrics Vs Waterproof Fabrics?. You should use DWR for both.

There are 2 types of DWR products that we can use. Nikwax is a well-known product for the cleaning process and the reproof process after washing waterproof jackets.

When using Nikwax Tech wash, you should use 150 ml for hard water and 100 ml for soft water. And it should be directly put into the detergent holder of the washing machine.

Apply 50ml per garment

How much will it cost to use Nikwax 100ml?

  • When using Nikwax Tech Wash and Nikwax TX direct equally 120ml, you will cost 7$ for both washing and re-waterproofing. Only washing it will cost 3.125$ and waterproofing it will cost 3.875$.

How often should you wash a waterproof jacket?

  • Washing a waterproof jacket is depend on the sweating condition. When sweating, the inside oil comes out, and it can clog the breathability middle layer. Then there is a stinky, so it is time to clean this. Do not wait until month-end.

06. Maintain Required Temperature

According to the care, the label maintains the required temperature as it needs. Normally keep 30 degrees for this. When you wash the garment, don’t wash more than two garments at a time.

You can maintain warm or cold temperatures but remember not to use high temperatures.

The high temperature will loosen the inter combination and increase the breathability with waterproofness.

So use low-temperature useless temperature when you wash the waterproof jackets.

07. Apply the DWR Treatment

After washing is done, you should apply DWR on the jacket to reactivate the waterproofing effect. Considering a waterproof garment, you can see 3 main layers. Outer layers as well as inner layers. Waterproofness and breathability are the main expectation of waterproofing fabrics.

DWR treatment can be applied before and after the garment dry. You can apply DWR in the washing machine as well as your hands. If you use a washing machine, it will be 100ml per two garments, and by hand, it will be 6 L of water and 200ml of DWR per garment.

Nikwax TX Direct is the most used DWR product. It is not used Fluorocarbons or pfcs which are really harmful chemicals to the environment.

Do Waterproof Jackets Lose Their Waterproofness?

When we use a waterproof jacket, its waterproofness and breathability will be reduced due to clogging the pores from oil and dirt. When waterproofness is reduced, you can reactivate it by applying DWR after the washing process.

08. Drying Process After Washing Waterproof Jacket

Dry Waterproof Jacket After Washing It

After washing waterproof jacket, you should dry it byline or hang the drying process.

Do not dry with too much wind or too much sunlight. Dry it average environment and some products not need to the drying process for the DWR. Hence use the user manual and follow it.

How Do You Reproof the Waterproof Jacket?

You can reproof the waterproof jacket by using the Nikwax TX-Direct after the cleaning process. You can apply it using a washing machine, it will need 100 ml for the jacket, and if you use the hand, it will be 6L water and 200ml of the Nikwax.

Why Does My Rain Jacket Get Wet Inside?

If you are getting wet inside, you may use low breathability waterproof jacket. If the breathability of your jacket is less than 10000 g m−2 d−1, it is less breathable, and inside vapor will not leak to the outside due to less breathability.

Although you are using high breathability, you may live in a high-temperature area. Which sweating is higher than breathability.

09. Conclusion

Waterproof fabrics are a bit expensive considering other fabrics, so you can increase the durability when you wash the waterproof fabric on time. Remember to apply DWR for every washing period to save the waterproofness and breathability of the jacket.

Related Topic

Owner Randy Organ

Randy Organ

I am Randy Organ, a researcher as well as 10 years experienced technician for home construction. My hobby is studying new problems and seek well technical and modern solutions. Water is an invaluable resource. But it hurt much more to many more industries. Structures and electrical are a few of them. Here I try to find ways and solutions for the water leaking