There is nothing like watching water bead up and roll off your fresh gore-tex outerwear. But as we all know, given time even the best outerwear will start to absorb water. If you don’t have the funds to buy a new ski kit for the upcoming season you might want to freshen up the waterproofing on your jacket and pants. Here is how to do it.
The easy waterproof test
A good test on any type of waterproof gear is to see if water beads on the surface to form fine droplets. If droplets bead, this is a sign the gear is waterproofed and is repelling water. If gear doesn’t bead but ‘wets out’, you will see darker patches where water is being absorbed through the surface. This is a sign the gear is not performing and requires a waterproofing treatment.
How To Waterproof You Outerwear
1) Clean to remove dirt & oils:
You’re gonna want to give your outerwear a thorough cleaning. This means more than just tossing it into the washing machine. Start by laying your items out and inspecting them for pizza grease, pond skim slime, PBR residue or anything else they might have picked up last season. Then your gonna want to take a toothbrush and some detergent and go to town scrubbing that stuff out. You can get just about anything out of outerwear if you just scrub for long enough.
Once this step has been completed you can then toss your items in the washing machine. Machine wash your garment as described in the wash instructions on the tags.
Then tumble dry your garments on a warm, gentle cycle for 20 minutes. Tumble drying will reactivate what remains of your durable water-repellent (DWR) treatment on the outer fabric.
2) Waterproof with DWR coating:
Once your garments are nice and clean you can apply a DWR coating.
There are two types of DWR coating products to choose from. There are spray on products wash-in products. We recommend the spray on since the wash-in products also apply DWR to the inside of the clothing. This may compromise the ability of the interior fabric to wick perspiration away from your skin, and may adversely impact garment breathability.
Lay your jacket or pants down flat over some cardboard or newspaper. Spray the garments down with a generous amount of DWR coating (don’t worry if it starts to pool). Once one side of the garment has been fully sprayed down let it sit for at least 5 minutes, then you can wipe off the excess product. Flip the garment over and repeat.
3) Dry to set the formula:
Once you have completed steps one and two let your garment dry overnight.
After product is fully dry you can run an iron over the garments on a very low setting, but BE VERY CAREFUL. It is easy to burn a whole in your jacket or pants if the iron is to hot, which will not help the waterproofing. If your iron does not have a very low setting or you want to be extra safe, you can place a light weight towel between your garment and the iron.
Now your all set for those rainy days of skiing slop.