We put our gear through extreme conditions and cleaning it when you finally get home is usually the last thing you want to do. A bit of extra love after the hunt can add years to your high performance gear and save you hundreds or thousands of dollars.
When waterproof/breathable gear is dirty it saturates much faster. This not only reduces the waterproofing but also the breathability as moisture cannot escape past the item. Washing gear incorrectly can damage the fabric and ruin the waterproofing, so it’s vitally important to take the extra care and get the most bang for your buck.
Washing waterproof/breathable clothing
Breathable garments should be washed by hand, in a bathtub, in cold water using Sportswash. Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry. Do not dry clean. Avoid using powder detergents, or any detergent which is scented or has UV brighteners.
Durable water repellent coatings, even when not used often, wear off over time. This can be noticed when water stops beading off the outer fabric.
To reapply the DWR and get the waterproofing back to new, washing it in a sports wash or DWR replenish wash. Alternatively, a DWR spray will replenish the water repellency.
Resealing loose seam seals
When waterproof layers age or if washed incorrectly, the seam seals can begin to peel away. When you begin to notice this occurring there is a simple home fix to stick it back on, using only an iron and some pressing cloth. Avoid using oily materials such as baking paper. Step 1: Cover the affected area with the pressing cloth. Step 2: Iron over the seam for several seconds until the seam seal is no longer loose.
Alternatively, you can purchase seam tape from most outdoors retailers. Simply cut off loose tape and repeat steps 1 and 2 with new tape.
For increased waterproofing and leather durability applying a layer of beeswax rub or water repellent spray will increase the water repellency. This stops the leather from soaking up water which keeps your feet dry and maintains breathability as well as staying lightweight.
Regular reapplication is recommended (some trusted brands are NikWax, Sno-Seal and Grangers). Avoid leather conditioner unless waterproofing properties are stated.
It might be obvious to avoid leaving your clothing and boots in the back of the ute for weeks on end, but it’s surprisingly common. When exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods of time, colours fade, internal membranes can be damaged, and boot glue can spoil. It’s best to store all gear in shaded, dry places.