GORE-TEX® garments withstand plenty – even when they have been pushed to the limit or get down and dirty while playing outside. The big question is often what to do with the sweat-filled, grimy favorite jacket and dirt-smeared trousers? Rinse carefully with a hand wash? Toss them in the washing machine? Take to the dry cleaners? Can regular detergents be used or is a special sport liquid required?
Gore-Tex care: A question of washing liquid?
To enable you to take the right steps through the wash and care jungle we have put together the most important procedures for washing Gore-Tex products. The truth is: Those who care for Gore-Tex clothing on a regular basis, can expect the best performance and a longer lifespan from their products.
Dirt and superficial grime by way of body oils, sunscreen, sweat etc can reduce the effectiveness of water-repellent material and impair the functionality and breathability. Via dirt, water can penetrate resulting into dampness of the upper fiber layer and increased formation of condensation.
Washing Gore-Tex: seal everything and only a little spin
Gore-Tex garments can be washed as normal with a maximum of 40 degrees in the washing machine. Before laundering your garment, zip the front closure, pockets and pit zips completely, and fasten all flaps and straps. Be sure to follow the garment manufacturer’s instructions to ensure high performance. Outdoor retailers offer a whole range of functional care wash specifically designed for technical outdoor clothing and breathable membrane. Alternatively, you can also use normal liquid laundry products. Overall, Gore recommends to use little detergent and rinse through twice.
Powder detergents or any products that contain fabric softeners, conditioners, stain removers or bleach are unsuitable as they will affect garment performance by clogging the micro-pores and are far too aggressive for the fabric. Minimise spinning to reduce creasing.
Reactivate water-proofing treatment with dryer or iron
Machine wash your garment as described in the wash instructions. Line dry your garment, or tumble it dry on a warm, gentle cycle. Once it is dry, tumble dry your garment for 20 minutes to reactivate the durable water-repellent (DWR) treatment on the outer fabric.
If unable to tumble dry, iron the dry garment on gentle setting (warm, no steam) by placing a towel or cloth between the garment and the iron. This will help reactivate the DWR treatment on your garment’s outer fabric.
Restoring Water Repellant
If wetness saturates your garment’s outer fabric layer above, then it’s probably time to reapply a new water-repellent treatment with an appropriate spray or wash-in product to the garment’s outer fabric. Here, too, are numerous care products from various manufacturers such as Grangers, Nikwax and Toko. 2-in-1 care products are also available.
If professional dry cleaning is necessary, request that the cleaner use clear distilled hydrocarbon solvent for rinsing and then spray DWR on the garment’s outer fabric before drying. Follow garment manufacturer’s instructions.
Like a new pair of gloves
It goes without saying, that gloves and shoes made with Gore-Tex be properly cleaned and maintained. Gloves are best washed by hand in warm water. Gently squeeze gloves from fingertips to wrist to remove excess water. Do not twist. Care must be taken with upper leather.
Drip-dry with the fingers facing upwards. Applying a topical water repellent restorative (DWR treatment) for outdoor fabrics and wash-in treatments are not recommended as they can affect breathability
Gore-Tex shoe care
Clean the exterior with a cloth or brush and lukewarm water. The use of waterproofing waxes or greases are not recommended as they can affect the footwear’s breathability. Dry naturally at moderate temperatures. Avoid direct heat. Gore-Tex shoes are indeed completely waterproof, however to extend their useful life an extra treatment is recommended.
The manufacturers recommendation
How often you should wash your clothes, depends mainly on how often and how intensively you use your equipment. For intensive use the Canadian manufacturer Arc’teryx advices to wash Gore-Tex clothing after ten to twelve days in use; for lighter use, it is sufficient to wash them every 20 to 30 days. Common sense prevails: If your clothes look dirty, feel damp or clammy, or are feeling wet, it’s time to wash them. The brand Mammut says: Wash outdoor clothing as often as necessary, but as little as possible. That way the clothing functionality lasts longer and the membrane is grime-free and ready for its next wear. Be sure to follow the garment manufacturer’s instructions to ensure high performance. More information is available on the respective company websites.
Checklist for Gore-Tex textile care
- Zip the front closure, pockets and pit zips completely, and fasten all flaps and straps
- Use liquid detergent or specialty detergents
- Delicate cycle at max. 40 ° C / minimal spin
- No bleach, stain remover or fabric softener
- Air drying or in warm temperature in the dryer
- DWR reactivation in the dryer (20 min. At low temperature) or with iron and towel
- Renew DWR treatment from time to time with special product
Checklist for Gore-Tex shoe care
- Clean the exterior with a cloth or brush and lukewarm water
- Avoid the use of waterproofing waxes or greases
- Shake out sand, gravel, and dirt
- Dry naturally at moderate temperatures. Avoid direct heat
- Use treatment occasionally for better soil and water repelling of the outer material
Checklist for Gore-Tex glove care
- Follow the manufacturer’s care instructions
- Gently squeeze glove from fingertips to wrist to remove excess water
- Drip-dry with the fingers facing upwards or at low temperature in the dryer (care instructions!)
- Warm steam iron with a cloth between glove and iron. Dry ironing possible
- DWR treatment from time to time.