How To Care For Your Foul Weather & Rain Gear
Correct cleaning and maintenance will extend the life of your rain gear. We've created this handy guide with our clothing experts to help you care for your investments.
Taking these basic steps on a regular basis will extend the life of your gear. As always, check the care tag on your garment for full instructions.
- Rinse: Using fresh water, rinse your garments thoroughly to remove salt, dirt and other contaminants. If your gear has been in salt water spray, take time to open snaps and buttons to remove any residue to prevent rust.
- Store: Do not store your items wet or damp. Allowing your items to dry completely will prevent damp and musty odors from forming and stop corrosion on metal components like buttons and zippers. When possible, hang your rain gear to prevent folds and wrinkles that can create wear patterns and break down the waterproof/resistant membrane and coating.
- Inspect: Check your rain gear and footwear on a regular basis for any damage like tears, abrasions and wear spots. Addressing these issues early prevents larger problems down the road. If you have a tear or rip, we reccomend Aquaseal or Tenacious Tape to patch most rain gear or Grundens Patch Kit for PVC garments,
For technical gear, like Gore-Tex and other waterproof/breathable fabrics, the membrane can become clogged, allowing the garment to start seeping moisture from the outside while preventing ventilation from the inside, leaving the wearer feeling wet, damp and clammy. Additional care should be taken to unclog these membranes and revive water repellent coatings.
Gore-Tex & Waterproof/Breathable Garments:
- If washing fully, follow care instructions on the manufacturers tag.
- Zip the front, pockets and vent areas completely, and fasten loose flaps and straps. Make sure any Velcro/hook & loop closures are secure as well.
- Machine wash in warm water on gentle cycle with a minimal amount of mild liquid detergent. Avoid powder detergents, fabric softeners and bleach as these items may break down or clog the membrane. When possible, use a front-load washing machine or a machine without an agitator. We reccomend Revivex Cleaners.
- Rinse twice or use extra rinse option to fully remove all detergent and residue from the garment.
- Tumble dry on low/warm gentle cycle. Can also be line dried. For DWR coated items, tumble dry the item(s) for an additional 20 minutes to reactivate the DWR coating. Alternatively, you can use an iron on gentle setting with a towel or cloth between the iron and the garment.
Restoring Durable Water Repellent (DWR) Coating:
- Wash and dry your garment according to the manufacturer's care tag.
- After cleaning/drying the item, place it back in the dryer on low/medium for an additional 20 minutes (unless the label calls for line dry only). If you do not have a dryer, use an iron on a warm setting with a towel or cloth between the iron and garment. Do not use steam.
- Grundens reccomends hang drying thier garments to reactivate the DWR.
- Check the coating by spraying the exterior with a spray bottle, if the water beads, the coating has been successfully revived, if not, reapply a DWR product of your choice. Follow the product manufacturer's instructions for application.
- We carry a variety of spray and wash-in waterproofing products in-store and online. Our crew reccomends Revivex to restore DWR to an item.
- Rinse dirt, grime, contaminants and salt off boots after each use. Mild soap and water can be used if needed.
- Allow boots to dry completely on a boot rack or boot dryer. Avoid direct heat during the drying process. Crumpled newspaper can be stuffed in the boot to expediate drying.
- Treat your boots with rubber conditioner periodically to prevent cracking.
- When possible, store your boots out of direct sunlight.
- Can I wash my rain gear with other clothing/equipment?
- Gore-Tex and other waterproof/breathable items can be washed with similar garments, as long as they are not heavily soiled.
- How often should I wash my rain gear?
- You should wash your garment as often as is needed to remove dirt, salt and odors. Each wash breaks down the construction, so regular basic care will extend the time needed between full washes.
- Can I take my rain gear to the dry cleaner?
- Check your garment's tag. Many chemicals in dry cleaning products can damage or destroy coatings and laminates. If you chose to dry clean your waterproof/breathable or Gore-Tex items, request clear, distilled hydrocarbon solvent rinse and a water repellent treatment.
- Can I wash my rain gear by hand?
- Yes: Fill a sink or tub with enough water to cover the item(s) and add a small amount of cleaner. Knead and gently agitate the garment to remove dirt and grime. Rinse until the water runs clear. Follow drying instructions on the tag.
Sign up for our email list and get specials, announcements, class opportunities and more delivered directly to your inbox! Click here to be added to our email list or text EMIS1944 to 22828 to sign up.