Chapter 65: How to Clean and Revive Your Waterproof/Breathable Clothing

You’ve made a substantial investment in your waterproof/breathable clothing and gear. There are many products that are meant to clean and revive it as well as enhance the water repellency.

Be sure to avoid products like we covered in chapter 64 that are meant to give a total waterproof covering.

The internet offers you a convenient way to look at all the products, see exactly what they are made to do, and even ask others on forums. Then you can check prices and shipping costs.

Instructions for use are usually quite simple. For instance, Tectron Wet Guard lists the types of fabrics it can help. Goretex is among the products it can clean and revive. Instructions include shaking well before and during use, holding can upright while spraying, keeping the can 6 to 12 inches from the product, overlapping until evenly wet, allowing plenty of time to dry, and adding a second coating. Check for any color transfer on a small test area first.

Much of your gear can benefit from some added water repellency. Think how convenient it would be to have the foot of your sleeping bag be a little more water repellent. You could spray the top of your pack to repel water better. You can test it on gloves, hats, and maps.

Here are just a few products that revive the water repellency of your gear. Check manufacturer websites and backpacking forums to see which products are right for you and your specific gear. Notice that some products are meant primarily to clean and revive. Others add some water repellency.

Granger’s makes several products, XT Waterproofer for soft and hard shell fabrics, One Step Wash and Waterproofer, and others.

McNett makes Gear Aid ReviveX Wash-In Water Repellent, McNett Gear Aid ReviveX Air Dry Water Repellent, and others.

Nikwax offers Direct Wash-In, Nikwax Direct Spray-On, Nikwax Soft Shell Proof, and others.

Permanent Water-Guard is a water-based repellent.

Sport-Wash cleans and restores factory-applied waterproofing.

Tectron DWR for apparel adds repellency to your clothing.
Tectron DWR for gear helps your equipment repel water.

Win Green Sport Detergent cleans and revives gear.

Keep your water repellent gear clean and revived so it can take good care of you.