Taking good care of your waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex jackets or pants is very important when you consider the cost of wearing Gore-Tex.
Care of Gore-Tex
You love your Gore-Tex®. Admit it. Whether it’s your shoes, your jacket, or your gloves, you rely on Gore-Tex to keep you dry and comfortable for hours, days, months and years on end. Fortunately, Gore-Tex is easy to take care of as long as you keep the following in mind:
How to Wash Gore-Tex
Before you throw your Gore-Tex gear in the wash, be sure to read the cleaning instructions carefully. The first thing to note is that Gore-Tex should not be dry-cleaned if it uses both Gore-Tex fabric and down insulation. However, some outerwear garments that use Gore-Tex fabric also use silk or wool and these garments should be dry cleaned only. Be sure to request clear, distilled solvent rinse and a spray-repellent when dropping your Gore-Text off at the cleaners. If you decide to wash your Gore-Tex at home skip the fabric softener (including dryer sheets) since they contain, among other things, fragrances, waxes and oils that will adhere to your Gore-Tex and lessen it’s ability to breathe and repel water. Never use chlorine bleach on your garment. Machine-wash your outerwear in warm water using liquid detergent, preferably in a front loading washing machine. If you have a stain, you can use a stain remover such as Spray n Wash™ or Shout™.
*Always check the individual care label and follow those instructions first. This advice is not intended to override any specific care instructions provided by the manufacturer.
When drying your garment in the dryer, tumble-dry warm is the recommended setting. The heat from the dryer helps to reactivate the durable water repellent (DWR) treatment on your garment’s outer fabric. DWR is a repellent for outdoor fabrics and is recommended for use with Gore-Tex products. However, it is not recommended to use the wash-in treatments as this may affect the garment’s breathability. DWR is available at your local outdoor retailer. If you need to restore the water repellency after being caught out in a rainstorm, simply machine wash the garment, rinse, and put it in the dryer. Washing will remove dirt and other contaminants and the heat from the dryer will redistribute the DWR treatment on the fabric surface. If the DWR treatment is no longer effective after washing, it can be restored by applying a topical DWR treatment.
If your jacket or pants are wrinkled after coming out of the dryer, it is acceptable to pass the iron over the garment. Only use a warm steam-iron. Be sure to place a towel or cloth between the garment and the iron. You do not have to iron the garment until it is completely dry. Be very careful not to melt the outer fabric.
In summary, Gore-Tex products such as Gore-Tex Jackets, Gore-Tex pants and Gore-Tex Shoes are built to last and are easy to take care of. Taking care of your Gore-Tex will ensure that you get your money’s worth from the product. Routine care and maintenance on your part will ensure the highest performance from them and extend their useful lifespan. So, follow the instructions carefully on the label to help your Gore-Tex product looking fresh and new for a very long time.
If you are taking on the responsibility of cleaning it yourself be mindful of a few thing before jumping in. It is safe to use a pre-wash treatment such as Shout or Spray ‘n Wash as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. And always be mindful to rinse well. Bleach is something that you should never allow to come in contact with your Gore-Tex jacket or pants, as this will likely damage your garment.
Gore-Tex is guaranteed for a lifetime against manufacturer’s defects. Gore isn’t afraid of anyone putting it to the most extreme tests! Accidents do happen, however. Gore makes a repair kit that comes with two patches that press on if you in the field and happen to tear your jacket or pant. It’s not a bad idea to stash one of these in your pocket. Once you get home, ironing the patch increases its performance. Patches should last just over five washings. A more permanent repair is recommended, so take your damaged Gore-Tex gear to an authorized repair center or contact Gore directly at 1-800-431-GORE.
You can clean the outside of your Gore-Tex footwear using a brush or a cloth and tepid water. When drying your shoes, remove the laces, loosen the tongue, avoid direct heat and allow them to dry naturally. Gore recommends applying a topical water repellency restorative (DWR treatment) for outdoor fabrics. They do not recommend wash-in treatments as they can affect breathability.
First off, Gore-Tex gloves rule! Say good bye to swampy, cold hands. Your Gore-Tex gloves should be hand or machine washed in warm water with powdered detergent. Follow the same rules (no bleach, no fabric softener) as you would with your outerwear. Gently squeeze the water out of your gloves, but do not wring or twist them. Allow them to drip-dry with the fingers pointing upward.
Gore-Tex is treated with DWR, or durable water repellent. It is an extremely thin polymer that causes water to beadupon the surface of your gear and roll off. DWR is not permanent, however. Dirt, exposure to insect repellents, detergents, and normal wear and tear will eventually cause the DWR to stop working. Normal washing and tumble-drying outerwear will redistribute DWR over the surface, thereby reactivating it. Over time, however, a topical DWR treatment for outdoor fabrics will be needed and can be applied to the garment. Never use wash-in treatments, as they will affect the garment’s ability to breathe. If your footwear needs its waterproofing refreshed, a DWR treatment for shoes will do the trick. Unless it has been specifically approved for use on Gore-Tex, never use any waterproofing waxes, greases, or polishes on your Gore-Tex shoes.