Don’t Get Caught In The Rain – Here’s How to Care for Your Waterproof Jacket!


Washing and re-proofing waterproof jackets or clothing can be a daunting challenge to take on, but as 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. Here’s how to do it.  

What you’ll need:

  • Nikwax Tech Wash
  • TX Direct (for re-proofing)
  • A washing machine

Before you start...

  • Brush off any loose mud or dirt.
  • Check you have not left any items inside the item or the pockets.
  • Do up any zips or Velcro and close any flaps.
  • Remove all detergent build up from the detergent dispenser in your machine
  • Place item in washing machine (ideally one item per wash)

1. How to set up the cycle

  • Use Nikwax Tech Wash - 150ml in medium/hard water areas and 100ml in soft water areas
  • Wash according to care label – this is usually a gentle cycle with a slow spin.

2. After washing

  • Run multiple spin cycles, each time incrementally increasing the spin speed, to remove excess water.
  • If you need to retreat your jacket at this point, jump straight ahead to RE-PROOFING.  If not, simply proceed to dry your product.
  • Air dry on a washing line.


For most people especially with a relatively new garment, washing will probably be sufficient to revive its performance. However for those of you with older products that are struggling with the outer fabric absorbing water it may be time for you to improve the DWR (Durable Waterproof Repellency). Just about every outdoor jacket comes with a coating of DWR and over time the coating will lose its effectiveness. The job of the DWR is to allow water to bead up on a fabric and roll off, as opposed to soaking in. Don’t expect miracles, but a good DWR should allow you to keep the water from soaking through for short periods or rainfall.  If you find that water doesn’t bead off your product at all, then it’s time to retreat it in order for it to perform at its best. Here’s how to do it... Product range for garment care
  1. Wash as instructed in step 1 above.

  2. After washing:

  • Remove all detergent build up from the detergent dispenser
  • Place clean item in washing machine (maximum one item)
  • Use Nikwax TX Direct™ - 150ml for one item
  • Run 30°C synthetic cycle and slow spin (be sure to read the garment care label)
  • After the washing cycle has finished run multiple spin cycles, each time incrementally increasing the spin speed, to remove excess water.

Further tips and advice

  • You can wash an item more than once, although unfortunately nothing lasts forever. The more you wash a garment the more it will affect the performance, so wash it only when you need to.
  • 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 as mentioned above.
  • If you wash your item with the wrong detergent it can damage the performance, effecting 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 retreat the item a few times to regain its performance. Damage can be more severe if washed several times in the wrong detergent.
  • Do NOT iron - the heat from an iron could damage the outer fabric and would also have an effect in compressing the down, therefore destroying its performance.
  • You don’t need to re-proof an item after every wash. Only do this when necessary, which is when the DWR begins to fail.

Check out some of our waterproof jackets

John Norris Typhoon Lightweight Waterproof Jacket Musto Fenland Packaway Jacket John Norris Lerwick Jacket Barbour Ladies Dunsop Jacket