Outdoor Clothing‎ > ‎

Maintenance and Care


The more you use your gear the more you have to take care of it

The frequency of care and maintenance of technical clothes during their whole life determines their efficiency, their performances, and their durability. Extending the life of your garments means postponing the need for a replacement, which is a great advantage for both your wallet and the environment.
Having a good care of your outdoor clothes doesn't mean that you have to wash them every single time you use them, but you do have to make sure that they are always "in good conditions", which means they must preserve their full functionality.

How often should you wash your waterproof garments?

There is no general rule to follow for the frequency of washings of waterproof garments, but this obviously depends on how often and, most importantly, how you use them. It is advisable to wash your waterproof jacket, pants, gloves, etc., not only when they begin to "look dirty", but also and most importantly when you start noticing that breathability begins to fail, or when the outer coating layer begins to absorb water. Although the exterior may not appear particularly dirty, remember that it is very important to inspect garments also on the inside. Sunscreens, cutaneous fat or salt residues due to the evaporation of sweat may remain impregnated on the inner walls of garments and therefore inhibit the breathability of waterproof membranes, at the same time making the whole fabric drier and stiffer and consequently shortening its durability.

Hard and Soft Shells


How to clean

Before washing

  • Remove any deposit of dust and dirt with a soft brush
  • Try to remove resistant stain as explained below
  • Close the main zipper 
  • Secure all velcro closures so that that they won't stick onto other surfaces
  • Loosen all the elastic cords: on the waist, on the hood, etc.
  • Open all the pockets and ventilation zips

How to remove stains

  • For grease stains, such as oil or grease, use dish detergent and rub with a cloth or a soft brush. In more difficult cases use mineral spirits.
  • To remove resin or chewing-gum, rub with ice for a few minutes. Scrape with a hard object, such as a blunt spatula, being careful not to damage the fabric. Treat with a solution of white vinegar and water.

How to wash

          

  • Hand or machine wash on delicate cycle in warm water (30°)
  • Use mild detergent, preferably in powder and preferably without softeners, brighteners, surfactants and artificial fragrances (if biodegradable we like it even better)
  • Avoid high-speed spinning
  • Rinse well. If you used liquid soap, hand wash at least once after machine washing

How to dry

  • Reopen the main zipper and velcro closures
  • Let dry in the shade and in the open air. Hard Shells can be hung on a line or even a crutch, while this should be avoided for Soft Shells. Soft Shells can be hung, for example, by passing a wire through sleeves.
  • Never dry on heaters or air conditioners

Care Tips: How to wash a Soft Shell

How to restore the
 DWR coating

A durable water-repellent (DWR) finish is applied to the outermost surface of waterproof/breathable clothing and equipment during manufacture. By making water bead up and roll off, this kind of coating helps preventing the outer fabric from soaking water. However, after a few washes and several days of use, the DWR coating tend to degrade and the outer fabric consequently starts to absorb water and get wet. This increases condensation within the waterproof membrane and prevents breathability. The DWR finish can be adequately restored using specific products.

If the garment is still relatively new and the DWR coating is only partially vanished, simply dry the garment in a dryer at 40° for 30-40 minutes. This will be enough to reactivate it.

If you need to restore the coating completely, there can be two cases depending on the construction of the garment:
  • 2-layer laminates: after washing, while the garment is still wet, hang it on a crutch and apply a specific coating product (e.g. Nikwax, Granger, etc.) abundantly and evenly to the outside fabric. Check carefully that no areas have been missed. Wait for a couple of minutes. Finally, rub in any surplus with a sponge or towel and let air dry.
  • 3-layer laminates: after washing, while the garment is still wet, machine wash or hand wash at 30° using a specific waterproofing product (such as Nikwax, Granger, etc.) instead of detergent. Then simply let air dry.

How to store

  • For short-term storage: Hard Shells can be simply hung on a crutch in a non-humid closet. Do not hang Soft Shells on crutches, but instead fold them like sweaters and put them in a drawer or on a shelf.
  • For long-term storage: the garment has to be first cleaned, washed, and the water-repellent coating restored. Fold it gently without compressing it. Do not store in plastic bags or vacuum packing. Loosen all the elastic chords. Close all zippers and Velcro flaps.

Down garments



How to wash down-filled garments

Before washing

  • Remove any deposit of dust and dirt with a soft brush
  • Try to remove resistant stain as explained below
  • Close the main zipper 
  • Secure all velcro closures so that that they won't stick onto other surfaces
  • Loosen all the elastic cords: on the waist, on the hood, etc.
  • Open all the pockets and ventilation zips

How to wash

      


  • Hand or machine wash on delicate cycle in warm water (30°)
  • Use powder detergent. Do not use liquid soap. Do not use fabric softeners

How to dry

Down absorbs a lot of of water during the washing which is then hard to get rid of, even with an intense spinning cycle after washing. When feathers are wet, they tend to clump and they do not dry even after several hours.To work around this problem you must use a dryer.
  • Place the garment in a dryer at low temperature 30°-40° for at least 30 minutes. After washing, hang the garment on a crutch waiting ten minutes for the excess water to drain. Put 2-3 tennis balls in the drier with the garment. This helps to break up the clumps of down.
  • Re-open zippers and velcro flaps, hang on a crutch and let dry for a few hours outdoors
  • Every now and then shake the garment to separate the feathers still huddled
  • Never dry on radiators, air conditioners, or other sources of heat



Gore-Tex shoes and boots


Removal of dirt:
  • Scrub using a moderately stiff brush (use a brush for leather)
  • Use a sponge on fabric parts, sole and laces
  • In more difficult cases, first soften the dirt with warm water
  • Wash with a solution of water and mild soap
  • Wash laces and insoles separately with the same solution
Drying:
  • Let air dry
  • Remove laces and insoles
Care:
  • After each washing treat the outer surface with specific products for the recovery of waterproofness (for example, Nikwax, Granger, etc.)
  • Do not apply wax or grease (these inhibit breathability)
  • Use only water-based products
  • Do not spray disinfectant spray or inhibitors of odor inside the shoes