Cleaning and Proofing Outdoor Gear Using Nikwax


When you buy a waterproof jacket or coat, there's built in waterproofing and breathability right in the fabric. Over time, the item will become less water repellent, meaning that it becomes less breathable.

Limited breathability in a garment can cause you to heat up quicker and sweat more than you should so the inside becomes just as wet as the outside. As a result, you will get colder much quicker - the dampness will draw heat away from your body.

We recommend the use of Nikwax Tech Wash and TX Direct Reproof to clean and restore your waterproof back to it's original condition. Available as a twin pack, you can use it in a normal washing machine! Just follow the easy instructions on the bottle.

Why use Nikwax?

The actual fabric of your jacket should always be waterproof, but it's breathability is affected by how you look after it… With use, your waterproof will pick up particles of dirt on it's surface. These small particles block the natural ability of the fabric to breathe. This causes the fabric to 'wet out', soaking the surface and making it heavier. When it rains, water should bead off using Durable Water Repellent (DWR). 

Tech Wash is designed as a specialist cleaner for outdoor fabrics which won't harm the DWR. Once you've done a wash with Tech Wash, follow it up with another wash with TX Direct to restore the DWR Coating.

What is DWR? (Durable Water Repellent)

DWR is a fabric coating that allows water to 'bead' off its surface. It's especially useful in waterproof clothing because it enhances breathability.  All of our garments come with DWR on the surface as standard, but over time it can be degraded due to abrasion or get clogged up with dirt - it is an item of outdoor clothing after all!  It's important to remember that DWR can be badly damaged by ordinary laundry detergents, so its always best to use Nikwax or even a packet of neutral soap flakes.

Taped Seams

We fully tape all the seams on all of our waterproofs, so you can be sure that you won't get wet from stitching leaks. If you notice that you your jacket is letting you down, it's best to check over the seams to ensure that they are all intact, and heat-sealed to the fabric. Our clothing is guaranteed for two years, but after sustained use over a few years the seams may begin to degrade. At that stage its time to consider buying a new jacket or coat...

How often do I clean & reproof?

It's worth cleaning and reproofing your Target Dry waterproof every six months (or more frequently if you use it often). The best way to tell is to see how your garment deals with water - you could test it at home under the sink. If the water doesn't bead off the surface, it's time for a clean and reproof.

Who are Nikwax?

Nikwax is a British company that produce environmentally friendly cleaning and reproofing products. Started by Nick Brown in 1977, their first product was a non-softening waterproof wax for hiking boots. They are now the global industry standard for maintaining waterproof gear.