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How to Care for & Wash your Snow Clothing

Caring for Your Snow Clothing

Your clothing is super important when you’re at the snow, it’s the first line of defence against the tough conditions that you can encounter when in the mountains. Whether you just bought a new killer outfit, or you have your Mum’s retro hand-me-downs from the ’80s if you don’t look after your gear it won't look after you.

Top tips

  • You can and should wash all your ski gear
  • Wash using the right detergent; we recommend Nikwax and following the garments care label carefully
  • Let your gear dry at room temperature, after washing or wearing.
  • Look after your gear and it will look after you.

After a day on the slopes

Your snow gear likes being wet and smelly as much as you do, spending five minutes after coming back to the lodge can seriously increase the life of your ski gear but also your enjoyment for the next day on the slopes. Make sure all your gear is hung up on hangers, at room temperature with plenty of airflow around it. Your gear is designed to dry fast, but it won’t unless air can flow through and around it. Drying out your outerwear can help increase its longevity.

Reasons to wash outerwear

Let’s start with the elephant in the room; do I need to wash my gear? The simple answer is yes! You should wash your gear. However, it’s not a cotton t-shirt from Kmart, so you need to be careful. There are only three reasons to wash your outerwear.

It is dirty; food, grease, dirt, makeup, you name it, it can find its way onto your jacket or pants. Sometimes a spot clean can fix this, wet ones can do a good job on a small mark and clean it up enough that you don’t need to wash the whole garment. However, if it is a large or stubborn mark, I would get it in the washing machine before it causes lasting damage to your amazing outfit.

It is smelly;its never nice skiing or snowboarding in a musty smelly jacket, let alone having to be the person next to you on the chairlift, they didn’t sign up for that. Skiing and snowboarding are active sports, you’re going to get sweaty and although most jackets do a great job at letting your perspiration pass back through the layers to evaporate off, some will always be left behind. If your jacket is starting to pong from sweat or being left damp in a pile on the floor (no judgment), it’s time to wash your outerwear.  

It is not waterproof as it was when new;this can save you a lot of money if your jacket is not as good as it once was and you’re thinking about buying a new one. If you have never washed your jacket and it's not as waterproof and breathable as it once was, washing it with the right detergents, on the right settings in the washing machine can transform your outerwear. As you’re using your outerwear, it’s working hard to keep you dry from the elements on the outside and dry from perspiration on the inside. Over time the coating on the outside of the jacket that makes water run off like a non-stick pan is worn down and the pores of the jacket that let out perspiration will get blocked like a filter.

How to Wash Outerwear

Rule number one: Never dry clean your snow gear! The heat involved in dry cleaning will make your gear look amazing, but it will no longer be waterproof or breathable. Wash in a machine, on a cold and gentle cycle. It is possible to use normal detergent, but we wouldn’t recommend it as every detergent is different and some use some pretty harsh chemicals.

Nikwax (see below) makes some great detergents and care products designed for the materials you find in snow gear. Treat yourself to a bottle of Nikwax tech wash (make sure you get the downwash for down insulated jackets) and a bottle of Nikwax TX Direct spray-on waterproofing. Follow the instructions on the bottle and you will notice the difference in your gear!  

How to dry your outerwear

Drying your outerwear is just as important as washing it, the best way to dry your outerwear is also the easiest! Room temperature, on a hanger, with plenty of airflow around it, Simple! No heat, no tumble drying.

Caring for your thermal layers

Thermals can be made from a range of materials, depending on what they are made from changes the care instructions. A great tip is that you don’t need to wash them as much as you think. A good thermal layer will keep you warm, wick perspiration away and dry fast. The best care guide for thermals is to let them dry after every use in room temperature. After wearing them for 2-7 days (depending on materials and perspiration) wash them, following the care instructions on the label. Most thermals you can machine wash cold with normal detergent.

Using cleaning products specific to wet weather clothing will significantly prolong the life of your kit!

Washing your snow clothing is a crucial step in preparing for the upcoming season. Using cleaning products specific to wet weather clothing will prolong the life and enhance the performance of your kit through maintenance of the Durable Water Repellency (DWR) coating - while using traditional household detergent is likely to strip your garment of this coating. Therefore, washing your clothing correctly throughout the season is vital to ensuring your overall comfort on the slopes.

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Toko Eco Textile Proof 500ml

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Hestra Leather Balm 2016

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Nikwax! Nikwax! Nikwax!

At Auski, we recommend the use of a technical detergent such as Nikwax’s Tech Wash, followed by a direct spray protection product; for instance, Nikwax’s TX.Direct Spray-On.

Tech Wash:

Garments should be turned inside out before washing, and washed according to their care label. If stubborn stains are present, use the Tech Wash and a sponge or soft nylon brush to spot treat the area before washing. Please read the care label of your garment to determine what washing method is suitable.

To wash garments in a washing machine:
1. Shake well before use
2. Remove detergent build up from the detergent dispenser of your machine
3. Place maximum of two items into the washing machine
4. Place 150mL of Nikwax’s Tech Wash into the detergent dispenser, or 100mL straight into the washer. This quantity is accurate for washing two garments.

To wash garments by hand:
1. Submerge garments in 6 litres of cold water
2. Use 150mL of Nikwax’s Tech Wash for 1-2 items.
3. Rinse garment 3 times in clean water.

If the garment does not require re-waterproofing air dry, however if re-waterproofing is required do not dry the garment.

Direct Spray-On:

Best results are achieved if the garment is clean upon waterproofing.
1. Lay clean wet garment flat on a working surface
2. Hold Nikwax Tx. Direct Spray-On 15cm from garment.
3. Apply evenly to outside of fabric
4. Let sit for 2 minutes, then remove surplus product with a damp cloth
5. Ensure product has been applied evenly; spray again if areas have been missed.
6. Let sit for 2-5 minutes, then remove surplus product with a damp cloth
7. Air dry

Your garment is now ready to rip! Hopefully you are too! You can find both Nikwax products in our clothing care section.

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