Caring for your Kit: Part 3 - Jackets

Caring for your Kit: Part 3 - Jackets

Waterproof Jackets: Clean: Weekly – Reproof: Every 4-6 months

Considering how damp and dreary Britain can be, even during the summer, it’s not surprising how ubiquitous waterproof jackets are. Almost everybody has a waterproof – whether they use it after work to walk the dog, or at the weekend whilst mountaineering. What most people don’t realise, however, is that their jackets need looking after – especially if they’re to perform at their best.

A new waterproof jacket is able to keep you dry because it’s coated in a special water-repellent finish. This finish works by preventing water from soaking in to the fabric. Instead, the droplets of water are forced to bead up and roll away. Over time, however, your jacket will get worn and dirty from things such as dust, mud, and even sweat. The dirtier your jacket, the less effective your jacket’s water-repellent finish – leaving you damp and soggy!

Cleaning your jacket regularly is a great way to get better performance from it, but you can’t simply stick it in your washing machine. Regular detergents will actually do more harm than good, since they’ll coat the material of your jacket in artificial scents, bleaches, and residues.  Instead, you need to use a performance wash that’s been specifically developed to wash delicate technical clothing.

Fortunately, Granger’s Performance Wash is perfect for cleaning your specialist outerwear – including your waterproof jacket. At its simplest, Performance Wash is a wash-in cleaner that’s designed to replace your regular laundry detergent. Rather than covering the dirt on your fabric with it’s own residues, Performance Wash gets into the fibres of your kit to give it a thorough clean every time.  Ideally, you should treat your jacket to this kind of wash after every week-long trip, or after every 3rd or 4th weekend away. If you’re wearing your jacket more regularly, you may find that cleaning dirty patches (like collars and cuffs) works better for you than doing a full wash. Fortunately, Granger’s Gear Cleaner is designed just for that!

Even if your jacket is clean, you might still notice that water isn’t beading up and rolling away like it used to. This is your jacket’s way of telling you it needs reproofing.  Fortunately, reapplying a water-repellent finish to your jacket is as easy as washing it. Granger’s Clothing Repel has been developed to reproof your jacket in a single wash cycle – though it works best on garments that are already clean. After washing your jacket with Clothing Repel, you’ll need to pop it into the tumble drier rather than letting it dry naturally – the water-repellent technology needs heat activation to work properly.

Typically, a garment’s water-repellent finish should last around 4-6 months of semi-regular wear – that’s around 2 to 3 days a week on average. Your jacket’s finish will naturally last longer if the garment is kept clean, but it’ll need reapplying sooner if your jacket is constantly dirty. Finally, tumble drying your article between applications can help to give the water-repellent finish of your garments a little boost – meaning you can squeeze a little more performance out of every reproofing!

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