How to Waterproof your Jacket

Over time, even the best rain jackets can lose their water-repellency. Whether it’s from rubbing against a dirty car while packing groceries or a muddy dog wanting snuggles, a dirty jacket will eventually stop repelling water. This process is known as “wetting out,” and it’s when your jacket starts to soak up water instead of keeping it out. Fortunately, reproofing your jacket is easy and can bring it back to its former glory. Here’s how to do it.

Wetting Out
Beading Water
Take a look at why and how to take care of your Jacket

Step 1: Clean Your Waterproof Jacket

Before you reproof your jacket, it’s essential to clean it thoroughly. Dirt and grime can cover the water-repellent coating, making your jacket less effective. However, using household detergents can leave residues that attract water, so it’s important to use a technical cleaner designed for water-repellent items.

Cleaning Instructions:

  1. Gather Your Supplies: You will need Nikwax Tech Wash (or a similar technical cleaner) and your jacket.
  2. Prepare Your Washing Machine:
    • Top-Loading Machine: Add 150ml of Tech Wash for 1-3 jackets or 250ml for 4-6 jackets.
    • Front-Loading Machine: Add no more than two jackets with 100ml of Tech Wash.
    • Hard Water Areas: If you live in an area with hard water, add an extra capful of Tech Wash. For HE machines, use about half the recommended amount to avoid excessive suds.
  3. Wash Your Jacket: Place your jacket(s) in the washing machine and run a normal cycle. Sit back and relax while the machine does its job.

In most cases, a single wash cycle is enough to revitalize your jacket’s water-repellency. However, if your jacket still isn’t repelling water effectively, it’s time to re-apply the waterproof coating.

Nikwax Tech Wash to clean waterproof jackets
Green to Clean
Nikwax TX.Direct to re waterproof
Purple to Proof

Step 2: Reproof Your Jacket

Over time, the water-repellent finish on your jacket can wear off. When this happens, it’s necessary to reapply a waterproofing treatment.

Waterproofing Instructions:

  1. Clean First: Always start by cleaning your jacket using Tech Wash as described above.
  2. Prepare Your Waterproofing Treatment: Use Nikwax TX.Direct Wash-In (or a similar product).
  3. Apply the Treatment:
    • Top-Loading Machine: Fill the machine, then add a maximum of 3 jackets and 300ml of TX.Direct Wash-In. Run a heavy/warm cycle.
    • Front-Loading Machine: Add a maximum of 2 jackets and 200ml of TX.Direct.
  4. Dry Your Jacket: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying your garment. Nikwax does not require heat for activation, so you can line dry or tumble dry as needed.

Once your jacket is dry, put it on and admire your newly waterproofed gear in the mirror.

Dive a little deeper into the How with this video

Regular Maintenance

For those using newer Páramo jackets or other environmentally friendly waterproof materials, it’s important to clean your jackets more regularly. These materials don’t tolerate neglect as well as older jackets treated with PFCs (perfluorinated chemicals). However, PFCs are harmful to both the environment and health, so the trade-off is worth it. Regular cleaning ensures your jacket performs optimally without the negative environmental impact.

A Practical Analogy

Think of your jacket like your car. When your car is clean and polished, rainwater rolls right off. But when it gets dirty, the water doesn’t slide off as easily. Similarly, a clean jacket will repel water effectively, while a dirty one will not. Even if you haven’t worn your jacket in a while, it can still get dirty just from sitting around. Regular cleaning keeps your jacket in top condition, just like regular maintenance keeps your car running smoothly.

How to guide how to waterproof a jacket


Reproofing your jacket is a simple process that can significantly extend its lifespan and effectiveness. By regularly cleaning and reapplying waterproof treatments, you can ensure your jacket keeps you dry and comfortable, no matter the weather. So, don’t let a bit of rain ruin your adventures—take the time to care for your gear, and it will take care of you.

When buying a waterproof jacket from Crib Goch Outdoor be sure to check out our Star Buys, we know how important it is to look after kit so we’re always offering a deal to help you do the same.

If you’d like to learn more about Paramo check out the blog post titled Your Ultimate FAQs Guide to Paramo Clothing – Everything You Need to Know

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