Regular cleaning of your GORE-TEX(r) Outerwear is extremely important to maintain durable waterproofness and supreme breathability. The best rule of thumb as to when you should wash your gear is this: Wash your KLIM GORE-TEX(r) garment whenever the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) is no longer effective at beading water on the surface fabric or as soon as your gear looks and smells dirty.
While dirt, dust and other contaminants, as well as exhausted DWR, will have little affect on actual waterproofness and breathability, they can have a tremendous affect on comfort and all-weather performance. Here's how to wash your gear properly:
Machine Wash in Warm Water Without Detergent
If heavily soiled and in need of a soap wash, use mild detergent and run an additional wash/rinse cycle without soap to ensure a complete rinse. Modern detergents contain surfactants that love water and make it wetter (the opposite of DWR's ambitions). You want to make sure all detergent residue is out of your garment for maximum performance and solid DWR performance.
Dry Completely on Medium Heat
Drying with heat recharges the DWR on the fabric surface. DWR is important! Without it, the surface fabric of your gear will "wet-out"faster. You'll still be dry on the inside (thanks to the GORE-TEX(r) membrane) but conductive heat loss and comfort can quickly make your day less enjoyable. Water conducts heat 23-times as fast as air. You want DWR to work as long as possible to keep the conductive heat loss to a minimum. DWR is not permanent and will wear off. Drying recharges it many times but re-applying a DWR treatment is a big step in prolonging comfort.
When to Reapply DWR
After your gear is dry, spray it with water from a bottle or sprinkle some on with your hands. If it beads up and rolls off the gear, you're good-to-go. Go riding! If it soaks in quickly, it's time to re-apply. KLIM and GORE-TEX(r) recommend spray-on DWR treatments like Revivex. This type of DWR is heat-activated. You spray it on your garment's exterior after the wash cycle and toss it in the dryer like normal. Follow the instructions on the bottle. Wash-in DWR treatments are not recommended as they coat all surfaces with the DWR and can negatively affect comfort and performance.
If professionally dry-cleaned, request clear distilled solvent rinse and spray repellent. Follow manufacturer's instructions.
Use a pre-wash treatment such as Shout® or Spray 'n Wash®, following its manufacturer's instructions. Rinse well.
Steam-iron warm, placing a towel or cloth between the garment and the iron. No need to iron the garment until it is completely dry.
No chlorine bleach. It may damage your garment.