How to wash your running jacket and waterproof it again

It's a chore, but you should regularly wash your running jacket and restore its water repellency

It’s that time of year again when months of dark evenings, biting winds and cold rain lie ahead. It’s also time for your running jacket to come out of hibernation as well.

If your jacket smells a bit funky and isn’t repelling water like it used to, then you probably need to give it a decent wash and enhance its DWR (durable water repellent) coating.

Washing a running jacket and making it waterproof again isn’t a difficult task, but if you look online, most how-to guides are unnecessarily confusing. So here’s my easy-to-follow guide on how to wash and re-waterproof your running jacket.

What you’ll need

The Grangers Clothing After Care kit includes everything you will need to wash and make your jacket water-repellent again. Another option is Nikwax.

Check labels for cleaning instructions

Before you begin, read the washing instructions on the care label inside your jacket. It should tell you what temperature to wash it at and any other important details (like not tumble drying).

If you can’t find the label, or if it doesn’t provide good info, then go to the manufacturer’s website and see if you can find the washing details there. If you can’t, contact them for further advice.

Put it in the washing machine

For the purpose of this guide, I am washing my Gore Wear R7 jacket, which says to wash it cold (at 30°c) and on a delicate setting.

Check the care label for the recommended temperature and washing settings
Thoroughly check the recommended wash settings

Once you have put your jacket in the washing machine and have selected the correct settings, you need to add 50ml of Grangers Performance Wash (the green bottle).

If you don’t have a dosing ball to measure the amount, just fill the cap to the brim and then pour it into the detergent compartment. Press start and then go and prepare where you’ll be spraying on the waterproofing treatment.

The Grangers Repel Plus comes in a spray bottle and the easiest way to apply it is by laying your jacket on the ground. I recommend you place some newspaper on your bathroom floor as you will also need to hang your jacket to dry once finished.

When the washing is done

If your jacket is soaking wet and dripping after washing, consider putting it on a quick spin to get rid of the excess water. The jacket only needs to be damp or a little wet.

Also bare in mind you are going to have to run to the bathroom and you don’t want a trail of water through your home.

Time to waterproof

Place your jacket on the newspaper you laid down. Unfurl the arms and hood, and make sure you’ve got access to most of the front.

Now begin spraying the Grangers Repel Plus from a distance of about 15cm. Spray all areas of the jacket and cover as much of the front as possible. It’ll leave puddles of white liquid, which is fine at this stage.

Leave it to soak in for a couple of minutes, then take a damp cloth and give the jacket a gentle wipe down. You just need to reach the stage where there’s none of it visible.

Wipe away any excess liquid after applying the waterproofing liquid to your jacket
Mop up the excess liquid

Once that’s done, turn your jacket over and repeat the process on the back. Again, ensuring you cover all areas.

Hang up and leave to dry

With both sides of your jacket sufficiently sprayed and wiped down, you can now hang your jacket to air dry. As it will continue to drip for a while, it’s best to leave it in the shower or somewhere similar.

It might take a day or two to dry, but once it does, you’ll have a like-new running jacket again and one that will give you extra protection from the elements this winter.

Told you it was easy.

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