Cleaning your rain jacket can seem like a daunting task. You want to keep it looking new and clean, but you don’t know how to do it the right way! It’s not hard; in this blog post, we’ll walk through exactly how to wash your rain jacket so that you never have to worry about dirt or grime getting on it ever again.
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How Often Should I Wash My Rain Jacket?
Rain jackets are not supposed to be washed as frequently as regular clothing. Instead of washing it after every use, wash your jacket once a month depending on how often you wear it. If you work in the field and need to keep wearing your rain gear for weeks at a time then by all means go ahead and clean it more frequently.
Can I wash a waterproof jacket?
Yes. Waterproof jackets can be washed as long as you follow the proper steps to ensure that they do not lose their waterproofing. If you have a breathable rain jacket, it’s still important to wash your jacket often to ensure that it doesn’t get clogged with sweat and dirt.
Cleaning Your Rain Jacket
Washing your rain jacket on the regular is one of the easiest ways you can keep it clean, but knowing how to wash a rain jacket properly isn’t always easy. Waterproof jackets are not like normal clothing items and they need to be washed in a specific way so that the DWR (durable water repellant) coating on them does not wear off. Here’s our ultimate guide on how to wash your rain jacket:
Hand Wash the Jacket
You’ll need to get your hands on some special supplies in order to ensure that you are doing the best job possible. You will need:
- Normal laundry detergent or another type of specialized outdoor gear wash
- An old toothbrush or brush
- A clothesline or hanger
- A bucket with warm water(not hot)
- Step two: start the wash cycle and add soap to water.
Fill up a bucket with warm water and place your rain jacket in it. Add some normal laundry detergent or specialized outdoor gear wash to the bucket and let it soak for about 15 minutes.
Step Two: Wash your outer shell first.
Grab your old toothbrush (or another type of scrubbing tool) and rub down all areas of your jacket. You want to scrub down the main body, hood, and cuffs of your rain gear. Also, make sure to pay attention to the areas of your rain gear that tend to get dirtiest. This is usually the armpits, behind the neck, and underarms.
Step Three: clean your lining next
Take out your jacket from the bucket of water and then scrub down all areas of your rain gear that have a liner in them (sleeves). Make sure to pay attention to where dirt tends to get trapped like behind zippers and pockets.
Step Four: Hang it to air dry
Once you are done scrubbing your gear, take the clothesline or hanger and hang up all of your rain jacket pieces. Now allow them to air dry completely before using them again. It’s best not to put a waterproof shell in the dryer as this can cause damage over time.
Some people do not have the time or ability to hand wash their rain jackets, but that is okay. You can still clean your jacket in a washing machine. Just make sure you follow these steps:
Step one: Remove any mud, dirt, or other debris from the jacket by brushing it off gently. Make sure your waterproof coat is completely dry before putting it in the wash.
Step two: Wash your rain gear in a washing machine.
Startup your washer and add water similar to how you would for your regular clothes. Make sure to use the correct detergent and give it a quick wash cycle before checking on its progress. Once you are finished, hang up your jacket to air dry.
Warning: Refer to the manufacturing label on your rain gear to see if it can be machine washed. Many waterproof jackets do not recommend this as the washing process could damage some of their fabrics – Also refer to the manufacturing label to see recommended temperature and settings.
Note: Never use fabric softener when washing a waterproof coat. This will damage its DWR coating and reduce its ability to repel water.
You can put your jacket in the dryer for a little bit to get rid of excess water, but you should never use heat when drying a waterproof coat. Excessive heat can cause long-term damage to the material of your rain jacket.
Step six: Make sure it’s dry before storing.
Storing your jacket when it’s still wet will damage the material and reduce its ability to repel water in the future. Make sure you dry your jacket completely and properly before storing it for an extended period of time.
Step seven: Do not store with heat or in a compressed state.
Never store your rain jacket in a compressed or balled-up pile as this will cause damage to its material and ruin the DWR coating. It’s best to store your jacket stretched out and hanging up on a hanger or clothesline.
What to Avoid When Cleaning Your Rain Jacket
- Avoid using heat to dry your rain gear. Excessive heat will damage the material and reduce its ability to repel water.
- Never use fabric softener when washing a waterproof coat as this will reduce its ability to repel water and damage the material over time.
- Never put a waterproof coat or jacket in the dryer as this can damage and ruin its DWR coating.
- Avoid storing your rain gear with excess heat or in a compressed state. Always store your jacket on a hanger and hanging up when not in use.
What’s Better: Hand Wash or Machine Wash?
It really depends on the type of rain jacket you own. If your rain gear is made from a different material to regular clothing then it’s better to hand-wash in order not to damage the fabric. On the other hand, if your coat was designed for machine washing then go ahead and throw it in with all the other clothes.
How to Reproof a Waterproof Jacket
Rain jackets are usually marked with a DWR coating. This is what causes water to bead off the jacket instead of soaking into it when you get caught in the rain. However, even though this coating is excellent at preventing water from soaking into your jacket it does wear off over time and requires reproofing.
- Step one: Start by washing your jacket – This will remove any dirt or debris collected over time.
- Step Two: Once your rain gear is clean, you’ll need to apply some reproofing treatment. This is a waterproof coating that will restore the DWR and make it far more effective at repelling water. Apply the treatment to your jacket and allow it dry for a full 24 hours before taking it out into the rain again.
How to Clean a Gore-Tex Jacket
There are some differences when it comes to cleaning Gore-Tex jackets. These coats have been engineered with a sophisticated Gore-Tex membrane inside. This material is impermeable to water but allows moisture or sweat to pass through it easily when needed.
As such, these jackets can’t be washed like other waterproof coats. If you try to machine wash them they’ll get ruined very quickly and will never repel water again.
Step One: Start by hand washing your Gore-Tex coat in warm, soapy water and scrubbing the fabric in order to remove any dirt or debris that might be stuck in the material.
Step Two: When you’re finished washing your Gore-Tex jacket, you’ll need to rinse it thoroughly in order to remove all the soap.
Step Three: After washing, your Gore-Tex jacket will still be wet and may feel cold to the touch. Hang it up somewhere warm but not hot, such as indoors near a heater or fire.
Step Four: Once it’s dry, your Gore-Tex jacket will be clean and ready to wear.
If you wish to reproof your Gore-Tex jacket, follow the steps above how to reproof a jacket
How to Store a Rain Jacket
- Wash your rain gear before you store it – This will remove any dirt or debris that may have collected over time.
- Do not store with heat or in a compressed state.
- Never fold your jacket when putting it away for storage. Instead, hang it up and allow the fabric to hang down naturally.
- Never store your rain jacket in a compressed or balled-up pile as this will damage the material.
- Always store your jacket on a hanger and hanging up when it’s not in use.
Q.Can I machine wash a waterproof coat?
A.The best way to clean your rain gear is by hand-washing. However, if you have a jacket that’s been designed for machine washing then go ahead and throw it in with all the other clothes.
Q.What’s the best way to clean my Gore-Tex jacket?
A.Start by hand washing your coat in warm, soapy water and scrubbing the fabric. When you’re finished, rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue before hanging it up somewhere warm but not hot.
Q. Can I put my rain gear in the dryer?
A.Never put a waterproof coat or jacket in the dryer. Doing so can damage the material and ruin its DWR coating – which is what repels water in the first place.
Q. How do I reproof my raincoat?
A.Start by washing your jacket – This will remove any dirt or debris collected over time. Next, apply some reproofing treatment. This is a waterproof coating that will restore the DWR and make it far more effective at repelling water. Apply the treatment to your jacket and allow it dry for a full 24 hours before taking it out into the rain again.
Q.What’s better: hand wash or machine wash?
A.It really depends on the type of Rain jacket you own. If your rain gear is made from a different material to regular clothing then it’s better to hand-wash in order not to damage the fabric. On the other hand, if your coat was designed for machine washing then go ahead and throw it in with all the other clothes.