Here an Arc'teryx staffer shares cleaning tips on how to properly clean and take care of your Gore-Tex waterproof jacket/shell. When you invest in quality gear you want it to last so that you can increase your ROI. Cleaning and maintaining the 3 layer Gore-Tex membrane fabric are essential to keep the Gore's breath-ability, water repellent and function. Environmental contaminants, oil from skin, petroleum, bug spray and gun oil can adversely affect the breathing properties of the fabric. Steps:

  1. Wash your jacket! And often! Make sure to use the correct washing soap. We suggest Nik Wax Tech Wash meant for waterproof materials. If you use regular detergent make sure it is mild (Woolite) and that you double rinse the Gore-Tex jacket to get all the residue off.
  2. Indicators that your garment needs cleaning.
    1. Wet out, this is when rain no longer beads up and starts to absorb into the fabric.
    2. When it shows dirt, blood, sweat stains on the back of the neck or on the cuffs.
    3. When you have been wearing it with bug spray, sunscreen or other oil based sprays over time.
  3. Before Washing, Zip up the main zipper, pit zippers, open pocket zipper, cuffs and elastic on the hood.
  4. Set washer to normal speed and warm/cold water settings.
  5. Once the jacket has been through the wash cycles you will need to make a decision. Is your jacket still repelling water? Are the water droplets still rolling off of the face-fabric. If so, all you need to do is place it in the dryer. Use the regular temperature setting and dry for around 30-40 munites.
  6. If you need to re-waterproof to get back the water repellency of the jacket you will need to follow these steps: 1. Get a good DWR (Durable Water Repellency) spray (Nik Wax TX Direct Spray)
  7. DWR Spray: Hang dry jacket, Spray high abrasion areas where the DWR treatment can get worn off by friction and or skin contact. Use a heavy amount in these areas. The rest of the jacket just needs a light even covering. Then put it back in the dryer.

If you wash your jacket often and re-waterproof your jacket with a DWR spray or wash you will get many years out of your garment. We find that when we invest in quality gear that it will last a long time if we continue to give it a little love.  Please let us know if you have any questions on how to take care of your gear .

Disclaimer:  The views and content of this post are strictly the voice and opinion of the author, and not necessarily that of Tactical Distributors. 

Todd Askins