Restore your rain jacket's durable water repellency (DWR) and general sense of enthusiasm for bad weather with TX Direct by Nikwax. Simply wash, spray liberally and line dry or take for a lap on a warm (not hot) cycle in the dryer. Each bottle should be good for a couple of garments.
- Click on the 'washing' tab and follow the guidelines for cleaning your jacket or overpants.
- Spray with TX Direct while the garment is still wet.
- Protect the working surface and lay the clean garment out flat. Zip up all closures.
- Hold the bottle 15 cm away and apply evenly to the outside of the fabric.
- Check carefully to ensure no areas have been missed.
- After a couple of minutes remove any surplus product with a damp cloth.
Line dry or on a warm (not hot) cycle in the dryer.
- All Ground Effect clothing enjoys a warm 40ºC machine wash. Try to avoid cold-water detergents and those with bleach, 'oxygen whitener' or fabric softener.
- The cold-water varieties have little enzymes that are super-charged to brave the cold but can damage technical fabrics and cause skin irritation.
- Bleach rots natural fibres like merino, strips the dye, attacks laminates of waterproof fabrics and can also cause skin irritation.
- Sodium Percarbonate (the main ingredient in oxygen whitener) can make colours run.
- Fabric softener and stuff containing it like wool wash destroys the water repellent finish on waterproof and water resistant fabrics, and can cause colours to run.
As a rule of thumb, a product that is easy on the planet is also easy on your body. Select a mild plant-based soap like Ecover, Ecostore, Earthwise or Aware.
- Hand washing is sometimes the only option on tour, but a washing machine rinses more thoroughly and is preferable if you have the choice.
Most Ground Effect gear dries super-fast so hanging on the line or drooping over the bedpost is generally the best option. High heat can damage some fabrics so if you do take your threads for a spin, set the device on 'medium' or 'warm' rather than hot. A lap in the dryer is recommended for your rain jacket, after it has dried on the line, as it helps recharge its water repellent finish.
- Wash with any of the plant-based products listed above. You can also use a specific sport wash like Grangers Extreme Cleaner, Nikwax Tech Wash or our Atsko 'Sport Wash'. Around NZ$30 from most outdoor shops. Any stubborn stains should be dabbed not rubbed clean. For grease spots you can use a degreaser like Swarfega. It's aggressive stuff though so take care - it might be best left alone as added character.
- Keep it clean, but don’t wash too often. General wear along with washing progressively removes the water repellent treatment from the outside the fabric. This treatment helps rain to bead and run off - and enhances the overall performance of the fabric. Dirt, body oil, sunscreen and sweat also attack the water repellent treatment and can cause the waterproof-breathable membrane to delaminate. Wash frequency depends on how often and how hard you use your garment. We suggest washing after a particularly grubby ride or after say a dozen sessions in the rain. Use your judgement - if the garment looks dirty, the fabric is 'wetting out’ too quickly, or feels clammy then it's probably time for a clean.
- You can help restore the water repellent treatment after washing by line-drying your jacket, then chucking it in the dryer using a warm (not hot) cycle. This 'recharges' the treatment so it lasts a bit longer. When this trick no longer does its magic you can beef up the original treatment to some extent with a product like Nikwax TX Direct - $39 from Ground Effect. A bottle is good for two or three rounds with your jacket. The effectiveness of this process depends on the age and condition of your jacket. Expect ok results if the fabric is only 'wetting out' in patches (the 'mid-life' crisis). If the entire jacket is 'wetting-out' rapidly in light rain then it already has one-foot-in-the-grave and beading is unlikely to improve much from the treatment, the money may be better put towards a new jacket. Note that while the fabric's wetting-out impairs performance, particularly breathability, the HydroFoil laminate should still be waterproof.
- Always ensure your HydroFoil garment is completely dry before storing. Putting it away damp can destroy both the DWR and the waterproof coating. Take care of your gear and it will take care of you.