It’s the middle of winter and you’ve just realized that your favorite waterproof jacket is starting to smell a little bit funky. You might be tempted to throw it in the washing machine with some detergent and hope for the best, but this is actually not the right way to wash a waterproof jacket! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to wash your waterproof jacket the right way, so you can keep it in tip-top shape for as long as possible.
How Does Waterproof Clothing Actually Work?
The pores in this water-resistant membrane are small enough to where water molecules cannot pass through but large enough for vapor molecules to escape. However, over time and with use, these pores can become clogged with dirt, oils, and other contaminants. When this happens, the garment no longer effectively repels water and can even start to feel “wet” on the inside. 
Why You Can’t Use a Washing Machine?
Most people believe that the washing machine is the best way to clean clothes. But did you know that there are some things that you shouldn’t put in the washing machine? Waterproof jackets are one of those things.
Here’s why you can’t use a washing machine to clean your waterproof jacket:
- Washing machines can damage the waterproof coating on your jacket;
- Washing machines can also damage the fabric of your jacket;
- If you have a down-filled jacket, the down will get wet and clump together if you wash it in a washing machine. This will make your jacket-less effective at keeping you warm;
How to Wash Waterproof Jackets?
It is important to wash your waterproof jacket on a regular basis, in order to keep it looking its best and to maintain its waterproofing properties. Here are some tips on how to wash a waterproof jacket the right way:
- In order to protect your jacket, ensure that you always check the care label before washing it. This way, you can avoid any damage by using the incorrect settings on your washing machine;
- Use a mild detergent when washing your jacket and avoid using any fabric softeners, as these can affect the waterproofing of the fabric;
- Pilling and fabric damage can occur if you wash your jacket with other clothing items. To avoid this, be sure to wash it separately;
- Allow your jacket to air dry naturally, rather than putting it in the tumble dryer, as this can damage the fabric;
- If your jacket is particularly dirty, you may need to pre-treat any stains before washing it. Apply a small amount of mild detergent directly to the stain and allow it to soak in for a few minutes before laundering as normal;
By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your waterproof jacket stays looking its best for years to come. 
What Detergent to Use?
If you’re wondering what kind of detergent to use on your waterproof jacket, the best bet is a mild, environmentally-friendly soap. Stay away from harsh chemicals and bleach, as these can damage the fabric of your jacket. Many outdoor stores sell specialty soaps that are specifically designed for washing waterproof gear.
How to Dry Waterproof Jackets?
Drying a waterproof jacket properly is just as important as washing it correctly. If you don’t dry your jacket properly, it can lead to mildew and other problems. Here are the best ways to dry your waterproof jacket:
- Hang your jacket up to air dry;
- Use a fan to help speed up the drying process;
- If possible, put your jacket in front of a dehumidifier or air conditioner;
- Never put your wet jacket in a clothes dryer, as this can damage the fabric;
- After your jacket dries, put it in a location that’s not too warm or sunny ;
How to Re-Waterproof Jackets?
When it starts to rain, you reach for your jacket. But after a few days or weeks of use, your jacket may not be repelling water as well as it used to. Whether your jacket is made with Gore-Tex or another type of waterproof/breathable fabric, it will eventually lose its ability to keep you dry unless you take care of it.
Here are some tips on how to re-waterproof jackets:
- First, wash your jacket in a front-loading washing machine using a technical garment soap meant for outdoor gear. Regular laundry detergent can damage the waterproof/breathable coating on your jacket;
- Next, tumble dry your jacket on low heat or hang it up to air dry. Excessive heat can damage the waterproof/breathable coating as well;
- Once your jacket is dry, it’s time to re-waterproof it. There are a number of different products on the market that can do this, such as spray-on waterproofing agents or wash-in waterproofing treatments. Follow the instructions on the product you choose to apply it properly;
- Finally, store your jacket in a cool, dry place when you’re not using it. Don’t leave it out in the sun or in a hot car, as this can damage the fabric and cause the waterproofing treatment to degrade over time;
By following these simple steps, you can keep your waterproof jacket in good condition so it will continue to keep you dry when you need it most. 
Types of Waterproof Jackets
There are three main types of waterproof jackets:
- Softshell: These are made with stretchy, breathable fabric and are meant for high-intensity activities like hiking or running;
- Hardshell: These have a tough outer layer and a waterproof membrane, making them ideal for mountaineering or skiing;
- Rain jacket: Also known as shell jackets, rain jackets are made with a waterproof and windproof outer layer and typically have a mesh lining;
Things to Consider When Buying Waterproof Jackets
When you are looking to buy a waterproof jacket, there are several things that you need to take into consideration.
The most important factor is the climate that you live in. If you live in an area with a lot of rain, then you need to make sure that your jacket is made for that type of weather.
Another thing to consider is the type of activity that you will be doing while wearing the jacket. If you are going to be hiking or camping, then you need to make sure that your jacket can withstand the elements.
Finally, you need to think about the price of the jacket. Waterproof jackets can range in price from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars.
Why Should You Waterproof Your Clothes?
When it comes to waterproofing your clothes, there are a few different options. You can buy a waterproofing spray or treatment, or you can wash your clothes in a special waterproofing solution. You can also choose to have your clothes professionally waterproofed.
If you decide to wash your clothes in a waterproofing solution, be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle carefully. Otherwise, you could end up damaging your clothing.
Things to Avoid When Washing a Waterproof Jacket:
- Don’t use a washing machine;
- Avoid using hot water;
- Don’t use bleach or any other harsh chemicals;
- Never put your jacket in the dryer;
- Do not iron your waterproof jacket;
- Do not dry clean your waterproof jacket unless it specifically says that dry cleaning is okay;
- Do not use any kind of fabric softener on your waterproof jacket ;
Precautionary Measures to take Before Washing Your Waterproof Jacket
Wash your jacket in cool or lukewarm water. Do not use hot water as it can cause the fabric to shrink.
Use a mild detergent that is designed for washing synthetic fabrics. Avoid using regular laundry detergent as it may strip the waterproofing treatment from your jacket.
If your jacket has a hood, remove it before washing. Wash the hood separately.
Put your jacket in the washing machine on a gentle cycle. If you have a front-loading washer, select the delicate or hand-wash cycle. Top-loading washers typically have a gentle cycle option as well.
Allow your jacket to air dry. Do not put it in the dryer as the heat can damage the fabric. If your jacket is hung up to dry, make sure that it is not in direct sunlight.
Post-Washing Steps to Extend the Waterproofing of Your Jacket
Once your jacket is dry, thoroughly inspect it for any rips or tears. If you find any, repair them before continuing.
Apply a waterproofing treatment to your jacket if it didn’t come with one already. This will help to extend the life of your jacket and keep it looking new.
Store your jacket in a cool, dry place. Do not put it away wet as this can cause mildew to form on the fabric.
Can I put a waterproof coat in the washing machine?
What happens if you wash a waterproof jacket?
If you wash a waterproof jacket, you could damage the fabric and reduce its ability to repel water. Waterproof jackets are usually made of synthetic materials that can be easily damaged by harsh detergents or high temperatures. To avoid damaging your jacket, follow these instructions on how to wash a waterproof jacket the right way. What you’ll need:
- Gentle detergent;
- Cold water;
- Washing machine set to gentle cycle;
- Line drying or drip drying;
- Check the care label on your waterproof jacket to see what type of detergent and water temperature is recommended. If there is no care label, use a gentle detergent and cold water;
- Add your detergent to the washing machine;
- Set the washing machine to a gentle cycle;
- Add your waterproof jacket to the washing machine;
- Let the washing machine run its cycle;
- Remove your jacket from the washing machine and check it for any signs of damage;
- If there are no signs of damage, line dry or drip dry your jacket;
- If there are signs of damage, do not line dry or drip dry your jacket. Instead, take it to a professional cleaner to have it cleaned safely;
Do waterproof jackets lose their waterproofing?
Waterproof jackets can lose their waterproofing over time. If you notice that your jacket is no longer repelling water as well as it used to, you can try re-waterproofing it with a waterproof spray. Be sure to follow the instructions on the spray to ensure that you are using it correctly.
How often should I wash my waterproof jacket?
This is a difficult question to answer as it really depends on how often you wear the jacket and in what conditions. If you live in an area with lots of mud and rain, or if you are an avid hiker or runner, then you will need to wash your jacket more frequently. A good rule of thumb is to wash your jacket at least once a season, and more often if it starts to look dirty or smell bad.
What kind of detergent should I use?
You should avoid using regular laundry detergent as it can strip the waterproof coating from your jacket. Instead, opt for a specialized sporting apparel washing detergent that is designed for use on technical fabrics. These detergents will be gentle on your jacket and will help to preserve the waterproofing.
Can you put a waterproof coat in the dryer?
No, you should never put a waterproof coat in the dryer. The heat from the dryer can damage the waterproof coating and cause the fabric to break down. Instead, hang your jacket up to air dry.If your jacket is starting to look worn or lose its waterproofing, you can try re-waterproofing it with a product like Nikwax Tech Wash or Granger’s Performance Wash. These products are designed to clean and refresh the waterproofing on your jacket.
How do I clean my GORE-TEX jacket?
It’s important to clean your GORE-TEX jacket regularly to keep it looking good and performing at its best. Here are some simple tips on how to wash a waterproof jacket:
- Always check the care label before washing;
- Close all zippers and Velcro fasteners before washing;
- Use a mild soap or detergent designed for technical fabrics. Avoid using fabric softeners, bleaches, or other harsh chemicals;
- Wash your jacket in cool or warm water on a gentle cycle, using a front-loading washing machine if possible;
- Hang your jacket up to air dry, or tumble dry on a low heat setting. Do not iron or dry clean your jacket;
- Once your jacket is dry, it’s a good idea to apply a water-repellent treatment to help keep it waterproof. Follow the instructions on the product label. With proper care, your GORE-TEX jacket will last for many seasons of wet weather adventures;
What’s the difference between GORE-TEX and waterproof?
Waterproof and water-resistant are not the same thing. Gore-Tex is a waterproof, breathable fabric, but that doesn’t mean you can just throw your Gore-Tex jacket in the washing machine willy-nilly.
Useful Video: How To Wash Your Waterproof Jacket
Now that you know how to wash a waterproof jacket, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and avoid any mistakes that could damage your jacket. With a little care, you can keep your jacket looking like new for years to come. Thanks for reading!