Restoring Rain Gear to it's initial repellency.

Here is a quick primer on maintaining the weatherproof qualities of rain gear (goretex or equivalent) and restoring it, if it has stopped working.

To care for your water resistant gear, avoid using regular laundry detergent and/or fabric softener. The detergent strips the waterproofing from the garment and the fabric softener increases porosity. These regular products give your water-resistant gear, the properties of a sponge.

For restoration, I recommend two products from NIKWAX waterproofing. They are easy to use and go right in your washing machine and dryer. 


You can find these products at REI, Big Five, Cabelas, Walmart and many outdoor stores. While the two will cost just over $20 for one or two treatments, they work extremely well. A quick money saving tip is to team up with a friend and wash two or three jackets at once. 

Another alternative is a spray-on waterproofing agent. NIKWAX make several different kinds for all kinds of gear. Another favorite stand-by of mine is Coleman Pro-Techt aerosol spray. It coats rather than impregnates fabrics and can stain, but it you are looking for a 'quick-fix', it can work well on most fabrics. I've used it on tents, gaiters, gloves and backpacks with good success.

November is the wettest month of the year in Washington. Think about giving your rain-gear a boost.    

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