Regular Washing + No Heat Exposure = Rain Gear Long Life

Our products are of the highest quality available on the market, but failure to properly care for even the best outerwear can cause it to die an untimely death. Here are some tips to prolonging the life of your waterproof clothing.

1) Don’t be afraid to wash it! Pollutants like dirt, sweat, road grime, and sunscreen can gunk up zippers (causing them to stick or break), and cause waterproof membranes to deteriorate. We generally recommend that daily commuters wash their jackets once a month or so. Machine wash on the gentle cycle, with COLD water and hang dry. We recommend using liquid detergent, because powders can leave a residue if they do not dissolve completely. Avoid products with fabric softeners or bleach.  Nikwax Tech Wash works great for our gear.

2) Do not expose to heat! Seam tape will melt in the dryer, and it is not a pretty sight. Excessive heat (even a car dashboard in the summer) can also cause multi-layered waterproof fabrics to delaminate.
3) Store with care. Just because a garment can stuff into its own pocket or stuff sack does not mean it wants to live that way all the time. Hang it up or lay it flat between uses; and make sure it dries completely.

4) Be kind to your zippers. We sometimes use 2-way zippers for venting, and water-resistant zippers to keep you extra dry. Both of these features can make the zippers harder to operate. The trick to 2-way zippers is to make sure both sliders are all the way at the bottom and perfectly aligned with each other, with the zipper pulled tight, before attempting to zip up. Water resistant zippers can feel stiffer, “tighter” or slower to zip than regular zippers. Please be gentle with them. In our experience, yanking on them repeatedly will only make them angry. For the occasional extra-sticky spot, we’ve found that graphite is a good zipper lubricant.

5) Perk up your DWR. The DWR (Durable Water Repellant finish) on the outside of a fabric is what makes the water bead and roll off. Over time it will begin to wear or wash off. Don’t despair. Look for spray-on treatments made for waterproof-breathable fabrics like NikWax TX Direct Spray on Treatment to perk up the DWR. This maximizes the ability of the waterproof-breathable membrane inside the fabric to do its job.

6) If you have a really tough stain, spot cleaning with liquid dish detergent can help.  Never use bleach or harsh chemicals to clean your jacket.  It is a good idea to wash all new garments before wearing with your Showers Pass outerwear as colors on new jerseys can bleed and stain your jacket.