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Crib Goch Outdoor Reproofing

ReProofing your Clothing and Footwear

ReProofing your clothing and footwear is a lot easier than you might think and far cheaper than buying a new waterproof. We're all looking towards a more sustainable future, brands are making timeless durable designs that can stand the test of time with a little intervention from you, by re-proofing your clothing and footwear you can extend the servicable lifestime, reducing the number of product you buy by reusing them as many times as possible. With that in mind we get a lot of questions surrounding why, when and how to re-proof your kit, I've listed all the questions we get asked and the answers we give.

ReProofing your Clothing

Why should I Re-Proof my Waterproof Jacket?

To ensure it performs at its best, keeping you dry and optimising breathability. Regular care will also increase its usable lifespan, maintaining its performance for longer and mitigating the need to replace your waterproof jacket in the future. The same rings true for any waterproof garment, but we’ll stick to jackets whilst we talk about how.

The Durable Water Repellent coating on your jacket becomes less effective over time, so a cycle of washing and re-proofing is required:

  • Nikwax Tech Wash® cleans your jacket, helping to revive its water repellency and breathability.
  • Nikwax TX.Direct® adds a Durable Water Repellent coating to your jacket and revives its breathability when a wash is not enough.

How do I know when to wash my waterproof jacket?

Knowing when your waterproof clothing needs washing is easier than you might think. You’re looking for signs that your jacket is ‘wetting out’, which is when the outer material is soaking up the water rather than letting is bead off.

If the Jacket is visibly dirty, whether it be; soiled cuffs, hems and pockets; make-up and sunscreen; sweat, plants, soil, mud, salt, dust, oils… Even if it’s been exposed to abrasion that can remove the water repellent coating.

It’s also recommended to wash the jacket even if you’ve not worn it for a while as dust particles and everyday home pollutants can accumulate and affect its performance.

How do I know when to re-proof my waterproof jacket?

Once washed, hold your jacket under running water, even if it is still wet. If the water beads off the outer fabric, no further action is required. However, if water is still absorbed into the material we recommend a reproof. You should only re-proof your jacket after a wash as otherwise the coating may trap dirt and contaminants within the fabric, which could shorten the jacket's lifespan.

What products should I use to wash and re-proof my waterproof jacket?

Well this depends on the Brand. For most brands we recommend Nikwax Tech Wash to wash and clean, and Nikwax TX.Direct to reproof. But for Fjallraven we recommend their own Greenland Wax for their G-1000 garments or their PFC-Free Eco DWR Impregnation Spray-On for their shell garments

How often should I wash my waterproof jacket?

There is no set interval to washing or re-proofing your jacket, just look out for signs of wetting out on the outer fabric, such as rucksack contact points or around the pockets.

If your jacket is used for high-energy activities where you sweat a lot, or you are an outdoor professional, it is likely to need washing more frequently.

A good tip is to wash your jacket ahead of any multi-day period of use to ensure it performs at its very best.

After what use should I wash/re-proof my waterproof jacket?

After extensive outdoor use where the jacket has encountered abrasion or come in to contact with animals, sweat, plants, soil, mud, dust or oils.

After use around salt water, salt is a contaminant that can cause your jacket to work less effectively.

If you use your jacket regularly, which means wear and tear and exposure to more dirt and contaminants.

What is the ratio of washing vs. re-proofing?

We recommend re-proofing with Nikwax TX.Direct every 3-5 washes, but it is good practise to check your jacket occasionally for areas of wetting out.

How should I wash my Páramo jacket?

Refer to the jacket’s care label for any specific instructions.

Do up the zips to protect them during the wash cycle and to prevent the zip teeth snagging on the material.

Secure Velcro tabs and loosen any elastics for a more even wash and re-proof.

Should I dry the jacket before I reproof it?

No, after washing your jacket you can put it straight back in the machine for reproofing with Nikwax TX. Direct.

How should I dry my jacket?

Air-drying is preferable though you can tumble dry it on a cool setting if you wish (there are no performance benefits to using heat in the drying process).

I haven’t worn my jacket in the rain; do I still need to wash it?

Yes! Even in dry conditions your jacket will encounter dirt, contaminants and abrasions.

I haven’t worn my jacket for a while; do I still need to wash it, as it does not look dirty?

Yes! Your jacket can pick up dust, dirt and household pollutants even while hung up at home. It might look clean but invisible and hidden dirt can affect its performance.

Extended exposure to UV rays (e.g. if your jacket hangs in a sun-drenched porch) can degrade your jacket's Durable Water Repellent coating. A regular maintenance cycle will ensure it performs whenever you use it.

Where does wetting out occur on my jacket?

It can occur anywhere but common areas are around the collar, cuffs, arms and pockets and wherever your jacket comes into contact with other outdoor gear, such as the shoulders and waist if using a backpack.

What are the typical contaminants that can build up on my jacket and affect its performance?

Dirt, dust, sweat, salt, sun cream, hand gels, anti-bacterial spray, make-up, and oils from animals.

Dirt and contaminants can also be transferred from outdoor gear such as rucksacks.

Can I hand wash my jacket?

Yes, just follow the instructions on the Nikwax Tech Wash bottle.

Can I hand proof my jacket?

Yes, just follow the instructions on the Nikwax TX.Direct bottle.

Can I over-wash my jacket?

No – although washing is good for your jacket, you are unlikely to need to wash it after every use. Only if it is regularly exposed to dirt or contaminants should you follow a frequent washing cycle.

Can I over-proof my jacket?

Yes – we recommend you wash your jacket more regularly than re-proofing it as frequent re-proofing will not necessarily produce improved performance.

You should also wash your jacket before proofing it. Otherwise, dirt can remain trapped within its fibres, which can hinder its performance when proofing alone.

Why should my washing machine tray be clear of detergent and fabric softener residues before using Nikwax products?

Because these can cause contamination during the cleaning & re-proofing process.

Do I have to use TX.Direct Wash-In or can I use the Spray-On instead?

You must use TX.Direct Wash-In for Páramo garments as it treats both the inner and outer fabrics. But Other garments can benefit from a Spray-On, it’s always worth checking any particular care instructions that come with your clothing. For example Fjallraven uses Greenland wax which we will discuss shortly…

Useful tips:

  • Do not be afraid to wash and re-proof your jacket. It will not come to harm; on the contrary, its usable life will be prolonged.
  • Do not worry about using Nikwax products in your washing machine. They are PFC free and designed to work just like normal detergents, cleaners and proofing agents.
  • You can wash any of your Páramo garments at 30°C with Nikwax aftercare products and still achieve excellent results. However, you may choose to wash them at a higher temperature to remove very stubborn stains.
  • Check the Best Before End date on your bottles of Nikwax, as with any household consumable item, to ensure the products will work effectively.

Fjallraven’s Greenland Wax

Now there’s a number of ways to apply this, all of which is using heat. Personally i find using a hairdryer the best, simply rub the wax across the material in nice even lines, then apply the heat and watch it soak into the fabric. This won’t make the garment waterproof, but it will make it water repellant, thanks to the combination of the wax and the tightly woven G-1000 material. For heavy downpours you really should turn to a Waterproof jacket, but for the occasional showers the G-1000 range is a superb durable windproof material.

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ReProofing your Footwear

How to look after my boots is another question we get asked a lot in the Crib Goch Outdoor Shops, and we’re glad people do. With a little care your walking boots and shoes can last a really long time. So we’re more than happy to walk you through it right now or in store the next time you’re passing Llanberis or Beddgelert.

Waterproof boots and shoes will not stay waterproof without a little bit of intervention now and again from you. What happens over time with use is that they inevitably get dirty and lose their waterproof nature, even if they have a membrane like Gore-Tex, the outer material will eventually soak up water rather than shed it. You can see this when your shoes look wet on the outside, that means water vapour (foot sweat) can’t escape, and soon everyone could know about it! Luckily, it’s easy and relatively inexpensive to clean and re-waterproof your shoes and boots to keep your feet dry and happy.

Follow these steps and everyone is happy. Buy less, Buy better, for a more sustainable way of living.

Step 1.

Clean your shoes? Yes please. But please not in the washing machine and tumble drier… that’s the fastest way to shorten the lifespan of your boot or shoe. That said if you want to re-apply waterproofing, you do need to do it on a clean surface. Brush off clumps of dirt [prod link] and mud, and then scrub your shoes with Footwear Cleaning Gel. It is designed to remove embedded dirt particles, and prepare shoes for waterproofing.

Step 2.

Once your shoes are squeaky clean, apply the appropriate waterproofing product for your type of footwear. Nikwax as you may have guessed is our first choice and they make it easy to get the right product for your footwear.

Apply the waterproofing while your shoes are still wet. Let sit for a few minutes, then remove excess with a damp cloth. If you’re using Waterproofing Wax for Leather, buff out all excess by rubbing it into the leather much like lotion.

Step 3.

Let your shoes dry naturally, please do not place them next to direct heat like on a radiator, as it can cause soles to de-bond and leather to dry and crack. If you want to speed things up a bit, put newspaper or paper/cloth towels in your shoes to soak up excess moisture. Or even better grab a set pair of The Boot Bananas, they’re moisture absorbing shoe deodorisers made from naturally absorbent salts, minerals and plant extracts with lavender, lemon, patchouli and tea-tree essential oils all wrapped in a 100% cotton banana skin.

Step 4.

Get back out there splashing in puddles once more. Before you do you probably want to know how often do you need to waterproof your walking boots or shoes. Which you can answer yourself, now you know what you’re looking for you can see when your boots are getting waterlogged as opposed to shedding it like they did when you bought them. So next time they look wet you know it’s time to care for your boots again so you can enjoy a pair of warm and dry boots once more.

Any other questions?

As always, should you have any questions about anything outdoors then please do get in touch online via our live chat or in store face to face, our shops are open 7 days a week.