How to reproof your waterproofs

26 June 2008 16:14

To keep water beading off your jacket, rather than suffocating it and making you sweaty, follow these simple tips…

1 Check your machine
Regular washing powder will wreck the jacket’s ability to keep rain out, so clean any detergent from the washing machine’s drawer. Take the drawer out and make sure that you’ve got rid of clumps of old washing powder lurking in the corners. Then run a wash cycle with no detergent and just a couple of towels to get rid of detergent in other parts of the machine. (Running the washer empty can damage it.)

2 Use dedicated cleaner
You can use soap flakes or a dedicated cleaner from Granger’s or Nikwax to clean your jacket. Add the correct amount to the washing machine as per the instructions and wash on a low heat (30 deg).

3 Tumble-dry
If possible tumble-dry the item for 90 minutes on a low heat. This will rejuvenate the membrane and fibres that make the material waterproof and breathable.

4 Test it
Now splash some water onto the material. If it soaks into the surface, rather than beading and rolling off, you need to replenish the durable water repellent (DWR) coating (see stage 5).

5 Proof it
Depending on the type of reproofing agent you are using, you either need to wash the proofing agent into the coat in the washing machine or spray it directly onto the jacket’s material.