How to Waterproof an Old Rain Jacket
Feel the surroundings inside the fabric behind the black patches. Does it feel wet? If this is the case (and you’re sure it’s not just sweat), the water may have run out and your jacket or pants need a new DWR application.
A note about getting wet after heavy rain: Even new, hardshell jackets can get wet after long, very heavy rain. So if you see dark, wet patches after a long period of storm, don’t must means you need a new DWR coating. Do a little detective work to find out for sure. Once you take the garment home and it has a chance to dry, squirt it with a spray bottle filled with water to see if the moisture rises. If it dries up again, it’s time for more DWR.
Clean Clothes First
Wash your clothes before waterproofing them again to remove body oils and old dirt. This will help the new DWR coating stick to the fabric more. Buy a cleaning product made for technical outerwear, such as Nikwax Tech Wash, although you can use a small amount of regular laundry soap.
You want to wash it separately from your usual non -outer clothing. Afterwards, you are ready to apply the DWR treatment. You have two options here: spraying or washing.
How to Apply Spray-On DWR
Wherever you choose, take it outside to apply it — it’s not good to breathe this thing. Just hang your clothes on the outside hanger, zip up the front and close the pockets, and spray the outside of the jacket or pants.
One spray can is enough to keep a garment from re-watering — meaning a jacket and pants. In my experience, there is just enough though, so don’t waste it by spraying any particular area on your clothes for long periods of time. If there is anything left after you finish, apply it to areas with a lot of abrasion, such as the shoulders, armpits, and the buttocks/upper leg.
How to Apply Wash-In DWR
Typically, you’ll want to use the DWR wash-in treatment on a top or front-loading washing machine that is placed in a hot water, gentle cycle, but consult the bottle of the product you are using. Your best options are Help with Gear ReviveX Wash-In, Grangers Repel Wash-In, ug Nikwax TX.Direct Washing.
If no washing machine is available, you can use the product by hand using a sink or bucket full of hot water and some gloves. Other DWR treatments teach you to follow up by tossing the clothes into a dryer placed in a low heat cycle to seal the coating. Just check the instructions on the bottle of the items you are using first.
How Long Will It Last
DWR reapplications will not last as long as the treatment is factory-applied. There’s no way around this: You just get used to checking your rain gear before traveling and reapplying DWR if necessary. High-impact areas, such as the shoulders and armpits, are exposed to more abrasion, and these areas are likely to lose their waterproof coating more quickly than others.
DWR treatments, for a long time, have used long-chain perfluorocarbons (PFCs) that create a toxic byproduct during manufacture and spread into the environment as the product deteriorates. The DWR treatments we recommend — ReviveX, Grangers, and Nikwax — use flourocarbon -free formulas. Even if you don’t like the idea of introducing too many synthetic chemicals into your appliance, these treatments increase the life span of your clothes many times over, creating less waste over time.
The more you use the garment, the faster the DWR coating will disappear. But there is no limit to how many times you can use DWR again. As long as the garment is in good shape, you can continue to waterproof it for many years to come and save yourself from having to replace a hundred dollars of raincoat.
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