Yes, washing waterproof gear is a must. Taking care to wash your gear effectively will make your jackets, tents or sleeping bags last longer and make sure they don’t start “wetting out” (when they start to soak up water like a rag). It will also stave off the eventual peeling and bubbling on the waterproof layers surface, which ultimately will mean its replacement time. Just don’t forget to use a waterproof-specific detergent and re-treat your gear with a DWR after washing (see our article on How to Wash and Reproof Your Hiking Jacket for more information).
# Washing Tips
- Always check manufacturer’s instructions.
- Use a waterproofing-specific detergent such as the Nikwax range.
- Machine dry on low-medium for no longer than 20 minutes – continue on a drying rack if necessary.
- Always re-proof with a wash-in or spray on DWR.
- If using a wash-in DWR, still wash your jacket first with waterproof-specific detergent, dry and then wash again with the product.
- Allow the DWR to dry for 24 hours on a drying rack or follow the same machine dry instructions as above.