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How to wash outerwear correctly

Did you know that the technical properties of your outerwear and thermal wear can be compromised if not washed correctly? Here's what to pay attention to when putting your outerwear in the washing machine.

Use the right detergents

To extend the lifespan of your outerwear, it's important to use the right detergents and waterproofing products. This applies to both workwear and leisurewear. Outerwear with membranes is particularly sensitive since the wrong detergent can degrade the membrane, compromising the garment's breathability and waterproofing. Never use fabric softener when washing garments with membranes.

Here's what you can do to prolong the lifespan of your outerwear:

  • Empty pockets and zip up all zippers
  • Wash the garments in the washing machine with the correct amount of detergent
  • Follow the washing instructions, especially if the garments need to be waterproofed afterward (if using Nikwax wash-in waterproofing, the garments should not be dried before waterproofing)
  • Dry the garments according to the washing instructions. Learn more about washing workwear and washing symbols

Garments with membranes

Breathable and waterproof outerwear often features a membrane, such as Gore-Tex®, Helly Tech®, or similar. The membrane consists of microscopic pores that are too small for water to penetrate but large enough for excess heat and moisture to escape. This helps keep the body dry and regulated in temperature.

A membrane should never be washed with fabric softener as it will damage its technical properties. Additionally, it's important to use a detergent designed for membranes to preserve the membrane as much as possible.

After repeated washing and daily use, a membrane will gradually lose its technical properties such as waterproofing and windproofing. To reactivate these properties and maintain breathability, you should regularly use a membrane waterproofing product.

Tips for fleece

Fleece garments can feel damp if not treated with suitable products because water can accumulate between the fibers. This also means it insulates less effectively. To avoid this, choose a mild detergent for synthetic fabrics. Be cautious not to overdose and never use fabric softener, as it can impede insulation.

Washing softshell jackets

When washing softshell outerwear, it's advisable to use a detergent designed for membranes to preserve them. Do not use fabric softener.

To maintain breathability and water repellency, regularly apply a softshell waterproofing product.

Washing your down jacket

Down jackets, vests, and other down products require a suitable detergent to preserve their natural properties.

Many mistakenly believe it's best not to wash down items. However, this isn't the case as the insulation capacity significantly decreases when the garment isn't clean. With prolonged use, the down clusters can clump together due to absorbing grease and moisture from the surroundings.

Products with down should be initially centrifuged at low speeds. Then, the speed can be increased until the water is spun out of the down. If indicated in the washing instructions, the down product can be dried in the dryer with tennis balls. This separates the down clusters, making them fluffy and insulating again. Ensure your down jacket is completely dry after washing, as moisture can damage the down, causing it to smell.

Thermal underwear and base layer

Moisture-wicking base layers or thermal underwear transport moisture away from the body, helping to keep it warm and dry. To maintain their properties and prolong their lifespan, these garments should be washed correctly.

This can be done, for example, with sports detergent in the washing machine to clean the fibers and improve air dispersion, contributing to faster drying and better insulation.

Take care of wool garments

Wool products are delicate, so it's important to use wool detergent without enzymes. Regular detergent will damage wool's natural properties. Additionally, follow the garment's washing instructions carefully, as wool may shrink otherwise.

Avoid stretching wool garments too much when drying, as it can affect their shape. For example, a heavy wool sweater should be laid flat on a drying rack rather than hung up to maintain its shape.

Wash with care

Choose a detergent or waterproofing product that considers the environment and human health when washing outerwear. At Pro-dress, you'll find detergents and waterproofing agents free from harmful fluorocarbons (PFAS).

Do you need help?

If you have any questions or are unsure about anything, feel free to contact our customer service. ​​​​​​

We will be happy to assist you!