To ensure the optimal performance of your GORE-TEX® or waterproof breathable garment, it is essential that you clean the fabric regularly. Dirt, smoke, body oils and other residues can clog waterproof breathable pores and inhibit breathability. In addition, many GORE-TEX garments are treated with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) to aid in waterproofing. A build-up of residue on the fabric surface will prevent this coating from performing causing the garment to “wet-out.” Removing those residues by washing improves the garment’s performance.
But you can’t just use any type of cleaner. Typical “household” cleaners contain heavy suds, optical brighteners and fabric softeners which tend to leave behind additional residues on the fabric, further preventing the DWR from performing. In addition, those added suds, fabric softeners, etc. can clog your waterproof breathable pores. You must use a clean-rinsing detergent on your GORE-TEX fabrics. We recommend ReviveX® Pro Cleaner.
For wash machines, we recommend the following:
Always follow the instructions on the garment care label. If unavailable, we recommend the following:
- Close all tabs, velcro and zippers. We recommend washing items separately.
- Apply cleaner directly to embedded stains. Gently scrub with a bristle brush. Repeat as needed.
- Select delicate/gentle cycle, warm water and load size (most likely low since technical garments are typically washed individually).
- Add ½ oz. ReviveX Pro Cleaner to wash; for High Efficiency (HE) machines use ¼ oz. ReviveX Pro Cleaner
- Run wash cycle and rinse twice.
- Dry as per the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Before drying, you can apply an after-market water repellent like ReviveX Durable Waterproofing to help restore the DWR, although many times it is simply not necessary. Sometimes, all the garment really needs is a good cleaning with a clean-rinsing detergent. Once you have rinsed those residues clean, you can usually place the garment in the dryer and the heat will help re-activate the DWR coating.
Originally Published: Nov 9, 2015