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How to Re-Waterproof Your Jacket

re-waterproofing jacket

The British weather is renowned for its unpredictability, making a waterproof jacket an indispensable ally for outdoor enthusiasts. However, even the best waterproof jackets can gradually lose their effectiveness. By re-waterproofing your jacket using a simple process, you can restore its water-resistant properties and stay dry and comfortable in any weather conditions.

Assess the Current State

Before you begin the re-waterproofing process, it’s important to determine whether your jacket needs a simple wash to remove dirt and residue, or if it requires a complete re-waterproofing treatment. If water no longer beads on the surface, it’s time to re-waterproof.

Washing Your Jacket

Start with a clean slate by washing your jacket. Instead of using regular detergents, it’s better to use a specialised cleaner specifically made for waterproof materials. Regular detergents may leave behind residues that could affect the fabric’s breathability. It’s important to follow the maintenance instructions on the jacket’s label, which usually suggest a gentle wash cycle for the best outcome.

Choosing the Right Waterproofing Product

Select a re-waterproofing product suitable for your jacket. You can either opt for wash-in products, which are effective when used during a machine wash, or choose spray-on products that are applied to the outer surface of the jacket after it has been washed.

Applying Wash-In Waterproofing

  • Clean the detergent compartment of your washing machine to prevent any mix with regular detergents.
  • Place your jacket in the machine, add the wash-in waterproofing solution, and set it to a standard wash cycle at 30°C.
  • Run an additional rinse cycle to ensure all the waterproofing product is thoroughly removed.

Applying Spray-On Waterproofing

  • Wash and rinse your jacket following the same steps above, but do not add fabric softener.
  • While the jacket is still damp, hang it up on a clothes hanger.
  • Spray the product evenly onto the jacket from about 15-20 cm away, paying extra attention to high-wear areas like shoulders and cuffs.
  • Wipe off any excess product with a clean cloth and allow the jacket to dry naturally or tumble dry if the care label permits.

Drying and Activation

Many waterproofing treatments require heat activation. This can be done by tumble drying your jacket on a low setting, using an iron on a cool setting (with a protective cloth between the jacket and the iron), or even by using a hairdryer on a low heat.

Testing the Effectiveness

After your jacket has dried, you can test its waterproofing capabilities by sprinkling a small amount of water on it. If the water forms beads and rolls off the surface, then you have effectively restored the waterproofing of your jacket. However, if the water does not bead up or rolls off, you may need to repeat the process or applying an additional coat of the waterproofing product.

Maintaining Your Jacket

Regularly maintaining your jacket is important for preserving its waterproof quality. It’s highly recommended to clean and reapply waterproofing regularly, particularly after extensive use. Additionally, storing the jacket in a dry location, away from direct heat, is essential to prevent any potential damage and avoid compressing the jacket for long periods, as this may harm the waterproof membrane.

Ensuring the waterproofing of your jacket is vital for the preservation of your outdoor equipment. This not only prolongs the lifespan of your jacket but also saves you money and guarantees your comfort and dryness during outdoor pursuits. By following these guidelines, you can guarantee that your waterproof jacket will continue to shield you from the elements, whether you’re exploring the stunning Lake District or manoeuvring through bustling city streets.

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