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How to wash a softshell jacket

How to wash a softshell jacket

A softshell jacket is usually waterproof to some extent for two reasons. Firstly because the fibres are so close together, and secondly because the surface is treated in DWR (Durable water repellent), which is a chemical coating. A lot of windproof fabrics are softshells, including Gore Windstopper, Schoeller and Polartec soft-shells.

Re-proofing is quick and easy for all soft shell jackets using a combination of washing and re-proofing products such as those made by Nikwax.

Step 1:

Wash the jacket using Nikwax Tech Wash.

This is a special soap-based cleaner which will remove dirt from the shell.

Do not use detergents, washing powder or fabric softener because these will clog the fibres in the softshell and stop the Tech Wash doing its job.

You can either hand-wash (which I do) or machine-wash your softshell, but if you choose to machine wash you must remove all trace of washing powder and fabric softener from the machine before hand.

You can rub neat Tech Wash into any areas with stubborn stains before washing. You can even use a soft nailbrush, but be careful not to damage the shell material.

You’ll need about 100-150ml of Tech Wash per item, depending on how hard your water is.

Step 2:

Rinse the garment thoroughly in clean water.

Step 3a – if the jacket is worn next to the skin or has a wicking layer:

You don’t need to wait for the jacket to dry out from washing…

Lay the jacket out flat and spray the entire outer shell with Nikwax Spray-on Softshell Proof.

Make sure you cover all external surfaces of the jacket and leave the TX Direct to soak in for a couple of minutes.

Mop up any excess using a piece of kitchen towel – you don’t want pools of it to form.

Continue to step 4…

Step 3b – if the jacket goes over non-wicking or multiple layers:

You don’t need to wait for the jacket to dry out from washing…

Repeat the washing process (hand or machine) but use 100ml of Nikwax Softshell Proof instead of Tech Wash.

Again, make sure that there is no trace of detergent, washing powder or fabric softener in your machine before hand.

Continue to step 4…

Step 4:

Either air-dry or tumble-dry the jacket, depending on what it says on its care label.

Step 5:

Wear your jacket with a smile.

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