GORE-TEX® changed the face of technical outdoor clothing, creating waterproof; windproof, highly breathable products designed to keep you dry and comfortable in all conditions. You may not be aware however, that caring for your GORE-TEX® kit is essential to keep it performing as intended. Our in-store experts are constantly being asked how to clean and care for GORE-TEX clothing properly to ensure that it continues to perform to the highest standard; so here’s how!
Caring for your Gore-Tex® Products
It is inevitable that at some point your GORE-TEX® garments will get dirty and may start to ‘wet out’. When you come to wash them, it is essential that you follow the manufacturer’s recommended care instructions. Many standard household cleaning products can have a damaging effect on both the membrane and DWR coating, so be sure that you have thoroughly read the label before you start.
Click here for a video guide on how to wash your GORE-TEX® garments, from top outdoor brand Arc’teryx.
What is Wetting Out?
GORE-TEX fabrics are made up of a thin synthetic membrane, sandwiched between an internal liner and tough outer fabric. It works a little like our skin, containing thousands of tiny perforations that are too small to allow water particles to pass through from outside, yet are large enough to allow heat and moisture to escape (breathe) from within; giving you reliable waterproof protection without making you feel hot and clammy.
To prevent water from soaking into the surface of the outer fabric, it is treated with DWR (Durable water repellence), a tough hydrophobic coating that clings to the fabric’s individual fibres, causing water that comes into contact with it to bead up and roll off, without compromising the garment’s breathability.
This treatment isn’t permanent however, and will wear away over time causing the outer fabric to become damp or ‘wet out’. Your garment will still be waterproof, but it will seriously compromise its comfort and breathability.
There are a number of handy products available that will allow you to replenish the DWR of your clothing and footwear, including sprays, wash-in treatments and waxes. We recommend Granger’s®, alongside top outdoor brands like Arc’teryx and Mountain Equipment, and stock a wide range of their high performance cleaning products and reproofing treatments, which are designed specifically to maintain your technical clothing to the highest standard. Please make sure that you follow the product instructions carefully.