If you’re not sure how to reproof your waterproof jacket and trousers, then here's our guide to get your waterproof clothing working like new. It’s dead easy.
You can use an in-wash waterproofer to make your jacket and trousers waterproof again. Here’s how:
You should reproof your waterproofs when you notice they’re not beading anymore. This is our simple test to check whether it’s time to reproof:
You should reproof your waterproof clothing around every 6-12 months, depending on how much you use it. You may find you need to reproof your clothing more frequently for heavier usage, or if you use your waterproofs for intense exercise like hiking, running, biking and climbing.
In short, nope. It’s not just the waterproof coating that makes a jacket waterproof – waterproof jackets work with their waterproof membrane and the taped seams, too. You can, however, apply a water-repellent coating using a waterproofing spray like Nikwax.
Your waterproof jacket and trousers are treated with a durable water repellent (DWR) that causes water to 'bead' on the surface rather than soaking in (like the picture above!). But this DWR treatment slowly wears out over time. When it does, your waterproof clothing starts absorbing water and loses its breathability. This traps perspiration inside, quickly making you cold. Reproofing tops up the DWR treatment your clothing comes with so that water continues to bead on the surface.
Washing your waterproof clothing doesn't damage it; washing is actually essential to keep it working properly! When your jacket stops beading, it may not need reproofing right away – it might just need a good clean.
Things like mud, sweat, body oils, insect repellents and detergents/conditioners can contaminate your clothing's DWR treatment, stopping it from working effectively.