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Before we get started, we would like to suggest everyone read your manufacturer’s directions on how to properly care for your outerwear, whether it may be specified on the tags when bought, or even on the tags located in the jacket itself.
Some people find this a weird topic and it is sometimes skipped over because we are all interested in skiing and boarding, not the clean up afterwards. Also, like most people, they are unsure how to care for it so it lasts well into its lifetime, as we all know, the gear isn’t cheap.
Within this post we will discuss:
- Do you wash it?
- How do you wash it?
- When and how often should you wash it?
- Can you use a dryer?
- What about tears and rips?
Do you wash it?
Just in case it isn’t obvious enough as we write this post, yes, you do have to wash your snow gear! Just like your normal clothes, snow gear gets dirty and smelly over time and needs some TLC on occasion.
There aren’t any fancy contraptions needed either. If you have your own washing machine, you’re ready to start washing your gear.
Before you just chuck it in the wash, let’s break it down into the nitty-gritty of the outerwear. Your jacket and pants should be made up of two main parts, the waterproof/breathable membrane, and the outer fabric of the garment. These components make up the effectiveness of the outerwear in snowy conditions, so if these are not cared for properly, it could make you too hot, too cold, and even wet, which is not fun at all.
How do you wash it?
Plain and simple, warm wash (30-40’C) on a normal wash cycle, nothing heavy, but as we said up the top, always check the product’s directions if available. Normal detergent cannot be used as it is too thick for the membrane, this could get trapped and destroy the membrane and tarnish the durable water-resistant (DWR) coating.
We use Nikwax, which will wash the garments well, restore the waterproofness and DWR coating, and retain its breathable membrane. The directions on the wash are quite simple, but basically, you can only have a max of four jackets or five pants in one load, so most people do two jackets and two pants. For a full load, you use the whole bottle as the detergent is a lot thinner compared to normal detergents, and a half bottle for a half load.
Credit: Amazon UK
If you wish to add waterproofness to other jackets that may be lacking because of age, you can use their Direct T.X to revitalise the membrane and restore that much-needed feature. We do this with our rental jackets between seasons to keep them in the best shape for the wear and tear of the seasons.
Down jackets are washed with their own wash as they also have breathable membranes, insulation and slight water repellency. Nikwax also has a Down Wash in their line of tech washes to help keep your gear working well.
When and how often should you wash it?
We know you won’t wash it every day, and we don’t want you to either, but most of our clients will ski or board for a week or two, and won’t see the snow again for half a year to a year. So in between your trips, it is advised to wash your gear and store it until required again.
Can you use a dryer?
This is a tricky one, as a lot of people are cautious of tumble drying such expensive gear, and you have every right to be. Like I have said over and over, consult the manufacturer’s directions on the garment, or alternatively, you can air dry the garments out in the sun. Air drying will result in the garments not getting too hot in comparison to some dryers that are not correctly set, and this will still allow the DWR to freshen up.
If you do wish to tumble dry, you can on a low setting and always check on the garments as you go, I find correctly set up, this will be the most effective way for the DWR to freshen up and become effective when next used.
What about tears and rips?
Sometimes you come across this jacket or pant that is amazing, your favourite thing about your snow setup, and you fall over near a rock and you get a tear in the fabric. Don’t stress! On most occasions, this is salvageable with the right tools. In our stores, we sell a repair tape which seals the fabric and doesn’t ruin its waterproofness. You are more than welcome to bring in the item of clothing and we will assess to see what would be your next course of action.
If you wanted to check out any of the products mentioned above you can find them here. If you have any concerns or queries you can always check out our Facebook and send us a message, or even pop in-store and say hey!
Nathan – Snowboarder
Snowcentral (Keperra Store)
After living in Canada for a while and sussing out sick resorts, he is here to help out with all your snow-related queries!