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hopefully this is not a duplicate as I've searched for an answer on here before posting. I found this but there seems to be conflicting views on certain aspects of the question.

What I would like to know is how should I go about washing my waterproof coat? It's not GoreTex, but IsoTex (5000 on the waterproof scale). This will be the first time I have washed it, and I've had it about a year now. From reading other answers I assume I will need some sort of waterproofing agent to wash it with - are there different types for different materials and could anyone recommend a brand in the UK?

I'm also unsure about whether to tumble dry the coat or let it hang. I've seen comments claiming the tumble dryer will ruin the coat, and others saying it helps to reinforce the chemical outer layer. Can anyone confirm what the best method of drying the coat would be?

Lastly, I've seen plenty of waterproofing sprays in hiking shops before - are these any good/appropriate for use on a coat? Or are they just for re-applying lost waterproofing?

Thanks,

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    You can get tech wash products to wash your waterproof clothing in, this is what I use, always air dry for as long as it takes, no external heat. The spray part is semi a different question and maybe better off spilt. – Aravona Sep 19 '17 at 10:33
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    Regatta, whose brand this is, sell their own non-detergent cleaner and wash-in re-proofer, which should come with use instructions. regatta.com/garment-care – Spagirl Sep 19 '17 at 10:38
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As stated, your first port of call should be the manufacturer's washing instructions

I'm not familiar with this fabric. A quick google of IsoTex basically shows it's Regatta waterproof fabric. Not much details on how it's made, etc. but it does state it has a Durable Water Repellent (DWR):

The DwR outer fabric reinforces the waterproof quality and helps the water to run off whilst adding to the garment's windproof performance.

If it's got a Hydrostatic Head of 5000 then it's not as waterproof as Gore-Tex. This, and looking at the types of coat its made into, and the price point for, etc. makes me think it's not got got a physical barrier like Gore-Tex (or if it does, it's not as sophisticated).

Bearing all the above in mind, you want a non-detergent cleaner. I always use NikWax Tech Wash. Regatta recommend their own brand, but well they would... I've always had good results with the NikWax one though. Don't use normal washing powder; that will reduce the effectiveness of the DWR.

I would definitely then apply a new DWR. From looking at similar fabrics and reading reviews, a good application of DWR is pretty essential to this coat; without it, it isn't going to stay waterproof for long.

I prefer a spray-on one as opposed to a wash-in one. It allows you to be more targeted in its application, i.e. only spray it on the outside where it's supposed to go.

Tumble drying will improve the DWR. DWR works by tiny microscopic spikes keeping the water from soaking in. Over time these spikes wear down. Tumble drying (heating) allows the chemicals to re-form these spikes. Will it ruin your coat? What does the label say? If it says do not tumble dry, then don't. If it says you can, it will help and is worth doing.

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    Where DWR stands for Durable Water Repellent... – Wyrmwood Sep 19 '17 at 23:09
  • Yes, good point – user2766 Sep 20 '17 at 7:46
  • Thanks for this answer Liam - it has answered a lot of my questions! Also thanks Wyrmwood for clarifying :) – Korthalion Sep 20 '17 at 8:55
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    Rather than saying "non-soap" cleaner, it would be better to say "non-detergent" (detergent would be very bad). Soap flakes such as "Dreft" can also be used instead of Tech Wash. For example, from SprayWay: "Wash the garment using a soap-based wash such as Nikwax Tech Wash, or you can also use pure soap flakes if you can find them in the shops. A soap-based cleaner will remove dirt from the shell and Gore-Tex membrane." (sprayway.com/storage-and-cleaning) – Paul Lydon Sep 20 '17 at 11:08
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    @PaulLydon: the "pure soap" you mention is a detergent (but, e.g. not an alkylsulfonate). soap = salt of a fatty acid, detergent = surfactant = agent lowering surface tension between phases - you need this property for the cleaning (of dirt that cannot be cleaned by rinsing in plain water). When warning against "detergent" it would be better to refer more precisely what to warn against. E.g. nikwax says that hydrophilic residues on the tissue (as left by many common detergents) are a problem. – cbeleites Sep 20 '17 at 12:16
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The following information is from Regatta Professional.

Question: How should I wash my Waterproof Garment?
Answer: Always follow the care symbols on the inner label when washing your jacket. It is advised that you use pure soap such as Regatta non-detergent Cleaner when washing your Regatta waterproof garment. Avoid use of biological washing powders or fabric conditioners as these may leave a residue that could affect the breathability of your garment and de-activate the water repellant finish.

Question: How do I remove stains such as oil and grease?
Answer: Avoid using a commercial stain remover to erase stains, as the waterproof coating on your Regatta jacket is NOT resistant to chemicals. Treat your garment as directed on the care label. This method may not remove oil and grease, but using a stain-removing product or biological washing powder may cause your garment to degrade.

Question: Do I really need to reproof my garment?
Answer: Reproofing your garment on a regular basis enhances its technical performance. Every time the jacket is washed as directed on the care label, it should also be re-proofed. Use either Regatta Wash-in Reproofer or Regatta spray-on Reproofer.

Question: What is the life expectancy of a waterproof jacket?
Answer: Remember that all Regatta Isotex garments are guaranteed to be windproof, waterproof and breathable for 3 years. Given that you choose the correct garment for your activity and it is properly maintained, you should expect to enjoy your jacket long after its guarantee has expired.

  • Thanks for this answer! It seems to me from both yours and Liam's answers I hadn't been looking in the right place for information. At least now this question is answered here in case anyone else is as clueless as me! – Korthalion Sep 20 '17 at 8:58

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