It seems that all Goretex re-proofing products follow this cycle:
1. Wash in detergent (EDIT - wrong thing, should be a specific cleaning product for the purpose, I just used detergent as a generic soapy term).
2. Wash in proofing agent
3. Tumble dry to activate proofing agent.
I don't have a tumble drier, are there any products out there that don't require this step?
In reply to Chris Harris: Yup, sorry! I use the TX.Direct wash-in - same product, but for use in a washing machine - which works great on Paramo. I don't know if using the wash-in version affects the breathability of other fabrics (but no worse than any other wash-in product, I imagine).
[ As an aside, I do wonder if their Softshell Proof/DownProof/RugProof/TentProof/etc. are actually any different, or just different labels... ]
I have a 25 year-old Sprayway Goretex cycling jacket and reckoning it owed me nothing, I washed it then dried it and soaked it thoroughly in Thompson's Water Seal. For a few days it was a bit stiff then it loosened up and it now has a nice soft feel, and it's still as water repellent as the day I bought it. I just can't kill that jacket.
In reply to various: I don't know what some people are talking about, all three of the Nikwax waterproofing products in my cupboard (TX Direct wash-in, Softshell proof spray-on and Glove proof sponge-on) all clearly recommend tumble drying wherever possible.
Just to quote verbatim from the TX Direct and Softshell Proof so there is no confusion: "Air dry or tumble dry on a low setting if care label allows."
Also, to answer the other question, I heard from a Nikwax rep that all their waterproofing products are very similar but do vary slightly in concentration and exact formulation depending whether they are designed to be used as wash-in, spray-on or sponge-on.
From the amounts recommended in the instructions the implication would be that the spray-on is a bit more diluted than the TX Direct wash-in but I couldn't be certain. Although, next time a softshell needs proofed I'd be tempted to do a side by side comparison for future reference.
An interesting point as Nikwax's own website states "Nikwax TX.Direct® treated clothing needs no heat to develop Durable Water Repellency (DWR)", which lead me, when I read this way back when, to infer that you can tumble dry, but that is not required for the treatment to work at all or better than air drying.
From the Nikwax website:
'Nikwax TX.Direct® Wash-In is the market leader. It is easy and quick to apply in a washing machine, and its highly Durable Water Repellency (DWR) develops on air drying. The washing machine application ensures that the treatment goes right through the garment, treating seams, tapes and cords, as well as the fabric. Also, as the need for tumble drying is removed, this saves energy and protects more vulnerable, older, garments from heat. Nikwax TX.Direct® Wash-In has been specifically designed and optimised for breathable waterproof garments; it leaves a flexible water repellent treatment on individual fibres allowing moisture vapour to pass through, maintaining breathability.'
Note that it mentions the need for tumble drying is removed!
Fluorocarbon-based proofing agents, such as Grangers Xtreme Repel, on the other hand do definitely need heating to activate the proofing agent.
So, since you don't have a tumble drier, stick with Nikwax TX wash in. I use it annually on my Paramo gear as recommended by the manufacturer, Just be sure that your washing machine and detergent tray are scrupulously cleaned of detergent before using TX, since any trace of detergent (other than pure soap) will reduce the efficiency of TX.
In reply to Chris Harris: I remember reading somewhere that tumble drying reactivates the dwr on the jacket. However I think that ironing on a low heat which the care label usually allows does exactly the same thing. If you don't have a tumble dryer then the best thing to do would be to wash with the wash in nickwax stuff, then rewash with the nickwax waterproof stuff, air dry the coat and finally iron it if the care label allows.
I have ironed various goretexie jackets, at high temp, no damage whatsoever. Think the idea is to flatten the nape of nylon fabric smooth, hence water runs off without clinging to, soaking in? After ironing, run jacket under tap, water beads, runs off.
In reply to ianstevens: If you ask Nikwax in person they will tell you that a DWR will work better if it's heat treated. They say that it doesn't NEED heat treatment to try and get people without tumble driers to buy their product over the competition. Grangers on the other hand say there's no point treating it without heating it as it will wear off quicker. That explains why you find it works better after heating.
As for the different bottles and different contents, they sometimes have to get batches certified. For example down wash and Tech Wash are the same composition, but with a bit of paper saying that the down wash is usable on down products. Two of the footwear proofers are simply different stickers on the bottles. However they are all the same price so it's not like you pay a premium for the same product.
P.S. I personally prefer the Grangers 2 in 1 wash and proof, followed by a tumble dry.
In reply to cousin nick: Following this thread at the same time as needing to reproof Sprayway and Berghaus, Goretex jackets. I headed off to Go Outdoors for Nikwax wash and TX.Direct Wash In. I bought the Tech Wash but the sales guy recommended the spray on version of the TX.Direct. His logic was that he wanted his jackets to be proofed on the outside while remaining breathable on the inside. As I had some TX.Direct Spray On at home, I thought to follow his recommendation. I am just waiting for the garments to dry off a bit before spraying. Anyone have thoughts on this. Having sprayed the jackets (unless told otherwise), do I wait for them to dry off before "activating "them in the dryer or do I dry them in the dryer ? Sorry if I sound like a muppet but I struggle with multiple options.
In reply to Mike Conlon: As others have said, for waterproofs it won't really matter but it DOES matter more for some softshell materials with an insulating or wicking layer on the inside of the fabric. You probably want to use the spray-on for them.
Sounds like the member of staff was a bit confused between waterproofs and softshell.
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