Q: What is the best way to maintain or restore the water repellency of my Gore-Tex jacket after a season or two of use?
A: All Gore-Tex shell fabrics are treated with an ultra-thin treatment called DWR, a durable water repellent polymer that is applied to the outermost fabric layer. DWR causes water to bead up and roll off this outer layer of fabric instead of being absorbed. DWR is not permanent, though. Regular wear and tear, plus exposure to dirt, detergents, insect repellent and other impurities can shorten the lifespan of the water repellent treatment applied to your jacket. The good news is that restoring it is extremely easy.
Before laundering, zip the front closure, pockets and pit zips completely—and fasten all flaps and straps. Also, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s care instructions typically found on the inside tag. Machine wash the garment on a warm permanent press cycle (105º F/40º C) using a small amount of liquid detergent and then hang dry. Once dry, place the garment in the dryer and set to medium heat for 20 minutes to reactivate the durable water-repellent (DWR) treatment on the outer fabric. When the factory applied water repellency treatment can no longer be reactivated by wash and dry you can apply new water-repellent treatment available as a pump spray to the outer fabric.
Lastly, you want to make sure to not use powder detergents or any products that contain fabric softeners, conditioners, stain removers or bleach, as they will affect garment performance. Routine care will ensure you get the most out of your garment and extend the garment’s useful life.
Product Specialist—Gore Bike Wear