How to Reproof a Waterproof Jacket

Ensuring that you’re protected from the elements is a fundamental part of enjoying your time outdoors. That’s why it’s important to make sure you have the right clothing and equipment.

Moving into Autumn, varied and changeable weather is almost a given with rain showers a regular forecast for this time of year. You want your clothing to be as watertight as possible, trousers and coats.

All waterproof clothing is treated with durable water repellant, or DWR, which, like many things, wears off over time. A DWR is what is responsible for rain and water beading and running-off your clothing. What makes your waterproof clothing perform better is how it repels water and allows internal moisture to escape.

If you want to ensure the longevity of your outdoor clothing or bring a much-loved waterproof jacket back to its best, here’s a quick guide to the reproofing process…

Why Reproof a Jacket?

Waterproof clothing and jackets can lose their water repellency as dirt and oil break down the durable water-repellant coating. If you notice that the fabric of your jacket is absorbing rather than repelling water, it means you’ll have to reproof it.

It also means that once your DWR wears off sweat will not be able to escape, leaving the inside of your clothing to become damp. This will be due to your clothing absorbing rather than repelling water. The absorbed water will affect the inner lining that allows moisture to escape.

How Often Should you Reproof a Jacket?

How often you re-proof a jacket will depend on how frequently you wear it and the extent it is tested against the elements.

If you wear your jacket frequently, then you should re-proof it every 3-4 months, depending on the intensity of your outdoor adventures. If you wear it less frequently or in less intense weather, then re-proof your jacket every six months or each year.

Pick the right product

The first thing to do is to make sure you have chosen the right product. There are a lot of great reproofing products available, with Grangers and Nikwax offering some of the best results.

Using this proofing liquid, you’ll need access to a washing machine and, ideally, a tumble drier (although you can use a hair drier for this bit).

Read more: Is it Time To Replace Your Waterproof Jacket?

It’s a great option because it not only weatherproofs the garment but also helps to get rid of ingrained dirt, so it can really refresh a well-used item of clothing as well as protect it for future use.

Prepare your clothing

Now that you’ve got the right product, you can start to follow the directions on the bottle. First of all, you need to gently wash off any thick dirt. Now, you need to ensure that all of the straps and zips on your jacket are closed. This is to prevent loose parts of your garment from catching in the washing machine.

However, it is vital that you don’t turn the jacket inside-out, as this might impede the proofing process.

Make sure there is no detergent or fabric conditioner left in your washing machine, as this can impact the reproofing process. Clean out the washer trays and let your machine run empty on a rinse setting. This will thoroughly clean out your washing machine.

Now you’re ready to move on to the next step for this particular, double-action product.

Prepare the washing machine

You’ll want to check the bottle instructions to get the right amount of liquid into your wash. Once that’s established, shake the liquid and pour into your usual washing machine drawer. Then select a wash option with a warm wash and rinse cycle for best results.

The product is formulated to work from just 30ºC, which means you don’t waste energy on your wash – so that’s better for your energy bill and for the environment too.

Dry to the right temperature

To get ideal activation for this product, you need to dry it on a medium heat cycle for at least 15 minutes. Although it’s not recommended, you can also perform the drying stage of the process with a hair drier if necessary.

Alternatively, you can air-dry your garment outside as you would with laundry. Once this is done, you should find that water beads on your jacket’s surface again.

Spray-on Waterproofing

An alternative to reproofing in a washing machine is to spray your jacket with waterproofing liquid. This can be especially handy for a temporary proofing or for a jacket’s coating. Nikwax, Regatta, and Kampa are some of the products available with Winfields.

To use a waterproofing spray, hang your coat or jacket on a washing line. This will ensure an even distribution of the spray. Spray your jacket evenly, but remember not to hold the spray any closer than 5-7 inches from your garment – though there will be instructions on the product for a specific distance.

Remember to check that your jacket has been evenly covered and that you haven’t missed any sections. If you get too close to your jacket or spray too much waterproofer on, wipe it away with a damp cloth.

You can then let your jacket air-dry, as you would with a wash-in waterproofer.

With that done, you’ll find that the reproofing process is complete. The jacket is protected against water, and also against UV damage, so all that’s left is to go and test it against the elements.

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