A guide to maintain your outerwear's technical properties and extend its lifespan
Take good care of outerwear
If you want to maintain your outerwear’s technical properties and extend its lifespan, it is important to use the right detergent and waterproofing agents when washing and treating your clothing. This applies to both your work and leisure wear, and below we have produced an overview of different products, their properties and some good tips on how to maintain them.
You should pay particular attention when it comes to washing outerwear with membranes, such as ski jackets and ski trousers, children’s snowsuits, work jackets (including those with reflective details) and softshell jackets, as you can otherwise ruin their breathability and reduce their water resistance by using the wrong type of detergent.
Clothing with membranes
In order for jackets to be able to be breathable and wind and water resistant, they are equipped with a membrane such as Gore-Tex, Helly Tech or another membrane that keeps out wind and water. At the same time, the membrane releases excess heat, ensuring it does not get damp and cold under the jacket. This membrane can not withstand washing with fabric softener - this will clog the membrane, thereby destroying it and its technical properties. It is therefore important to choose a detergent intended for this purpose - this Tech Wash from Nikwax for example, which is made for machine washing clothes with membranes.
Once the outerwear has been worn and washed several times, it will eventually lose properties such as water and wind resistance, it is therefore important to treat it with a waterproofing agent once in a while, which can restore these properties while still maintaining breathability. This waterproofing agent, Nikwax TX.Direct waterproofing for membranes, can be used directly in the machine right after washing the jacket, restoring technical properties easily and quickly.
Jackets and mid-layers in fleece
You might not give it any consideration, but if you do not treat your fleece products with the right products, you may notice that they no longer insulate as well and feel damp. This can be owed to water accumulating in the fibres, and it is important to avoid this in order to achieve optimal insulation. Dirty fleece will contain more water, so it is important to wash your fleece products to avoid this. Nickwax Tech Wash is ideal for this, as it cleans the products and restores their insulating properties.
If your fleece item is waterproof and you want to restore this property - you can waterproof it in the machine with Nikwax Polar Proof, after washing with Nickwax Tech Wash.
When it comes to washing your softshell jacket, it is also a good idea to choose a laundry detergent that is designed specifically for softshell, as the jackets often have technical properties and will lose their breathability if the membrane is clogged. Once again, using fabric softener to wash softshell products will destroy the membrane. We have chosen to stock Softshell Proof from Nikwax on our webshop - designed specifically for softshell products.
Down jackets also require a special detergent in order not to destroy the down’s natural properties. Many people believe that taking good care of outerwear means protecting it and washing it infrequently - but this is not the case. It is important to wash outerwear as the insulating properties are otherwise reduced, in particular when it comes to down. The down sticks together during use as it absorbs grease and moisture, and seeing as it is the air between the down feathers that provides insulation, the jacket will not be as warm if it is dirty.
When washing items containing down, it is important that they be centrifuged at a low speed first, which is then slowly increased, so you can be sure that all of the water has been ejected from the down before it is dried. Drying, if directed in the washing instructions, must take place in the tumble dryer and alongside some tennis balls, so that the down is separated and dried through. If the jacket is not dried sufficiently, the down will be ruined, begin to smell, and the jacket will be unfit for use.
Thermal and sweat-wicking underwear and mid-layers
Many use a sweat-wicking basis layer or thermal underwear for everyday wear and not just on a skiing holiday, which ensures that moisture is transported away from the body as much as possible and keeps the body warm and dry. These materials must be well maintained in order to preserve their properties and extend the products’ life span. It is therefore important to wash them with a detergent that cleans the fibres and imrpoves the air diffusion, which ensure quick drying and improves their insulating ability. By using Nikwax Base Wash in the machine, you ensure the best possible clean and restoration of the materials, so that you get the best out of your ski underwear and extend its life span.
Clothing with wool
Your wool products are delicate and it is therefore important to choose to right detergent when washing them. It should be free from enzymes as the wool’s properties can otherwise be weakened, the fibres destroyed and the wool will no longer insulate as well as as it should. Nikwax Wool Wash is especially developed for washing wool products, so that they retain their natural properties and insulate as well as possible.
It is also important to follow the washing directions closely, as the wool can otherwise felt, shrink or be ruined. If you wash your wool products carefully with a good detergent designed for wool, they will be able to last for many years and provide optimal insulation and comfort.
Nikwax and the environment
Nikwax is a company with a very strong environmental focus, so their products do not contain substances that can be harmful to humans or nature. They also have a strong commitment to developing products that can help improve people’s lives, as well as reducing the usage of chemicals, protecting animals and the environment as much as possible. On Nikwax’s own website, you can find out more about their projects, as well as see which substances they have excluded from their products.
Questions about washing outerwear?
If you are in doubt about what best suits your needs, you are always welcome to contact our customer service by e-mail or phone. They will be ready with suggestions to help you find just what you are looking for.