How to care for waterproof garments

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Childrens waterproof over trousers by Peter storm
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Childrens waterproof over trousers by Peter storm

Propper care of waterproof garments makes them last affectively for longer.

firstly some garments may say 'water resistant' and other 'water proof'. They perform very differently but for the purpose of care instructions, treat them the same. Water proofs may have a hydrophobic (repels water) membrane or a coating that has been heat sealed to the fabric, this is why it needs different care from ordinary garments. If your garment gets wet, be sure to hang it up, in an airy place to completely dry, this prevents creasing, which can lead to damage in the waterproofing. If your garment (often over trousers) gets muddy, remove the with a damp sponge, before machine washing and if they're really muddy, use a hose, or super soaker! Always check the care label on the garment before machine washing for the correct temperature and NEVER use washing detergent (particularly biological) or fabric softener. These work by breaking down dirt and relaxing the fibers in fabric and it's for that reason that they are so damaging to the waterproofing on garments. If machine washing it is best to use a cleaner that is made for that purpose, Techwash by Nikkwax and 30c cleaner by Grangers are the two I recommend. Before popping everything in your machine, give the detergent draw a good wipe to remove any residue left by your normal laundry cleaner. These cleaners are also good to use on other performance clothing such as hiking socks, running tights and base layers so you can wash a few items together but be sure not to over fill the machine, you want your garments to have room to move. And do not put down items in with these, that's a slightly different kettle of fish! Remember proper care will extend the life of your garment but it will not re proof it, if it has already worn down, I will be adding a guide to re proofing garments and kit soon, please write your comments and questions below and share this guide :)
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