/ How much *after* care do you take of your clothing?

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BStar - on 16 Feb 2014
I'm getting to the point now where I've invested a fair sum of money in clothing and I want it to last as long as possible, I don't mind too much about the odd tear or scuff on the rock etc but when I get back and it all needs washing I just wonder what other people do.

I currently have clothing that 'require' Nikwax PolarTech, TechWash, BaseWash, Down Wash, Direct TX products... the list goes on and it certainly makes Mrs BStars job a lot harder ;)

Do other people just wash most things in with the normal wash loads or do you split things up as above? As for waterproof coats, how often do people wash / reproof them?

Cheers

BStar
AlanLittle - on 16 Feb 2014
In reply to BStar:

Light down sweater: in the machine, cold, with proper down washing soap.

Heavy down jackets/sleeping bags: wouldn't risk it.

Merino shirts: cold hand wash when I remember, but they've sneaked into the normal wash a couple of times and don't seem to have suffered from it.

Everything else: in the normal wash, not too hot.
PPP - on 16 Feb 2014
In reply to BStar:
It's probably best to follow manufacturer's instructions as "they know it better". For most of "soft" garments (fleeces, socks, shirts, underwear, etc.), I just put them into washing machine with my laundry and it's fine. I do not like setting washing on high temperatures anyway. To be honest, I don't usually wash trousers, unless they really need to (I used DPM-like trousers and I have never seen them dirty, but they get chalky a lot).

However, wool garments need some extra care. They shrink if you use too high temperature. Again, follow manufacturer's instructions for them. I just put them together with all other things. My Devold Merino wool shirt and pants have been used daily for few winters (I grew up in country where temperatures between -20 and -30 degrees are common) and still use them in Scotland while sleeping. Still nothing wrong with them, though they are probably over 5 years old now.

Hard-shells with membrane (Goretex, Event or anything else) need some extra care. I don't wash them frequently, so I can't really comment on that. Seems that Techwash works well, but you might need to reapply DWR.

For down products, I would leave it to professionals. I would be too afraid to do anything with my down sleeping bag.

Boots? Clean with appropriate cleaner and reapply water repellent.
Post edited at 19:45
Dave Perry - on 16 Feb 2014
In reply to BStar:

I currently have clothing that 'require' Nikwax PolarTech, TechWash, BaseWash, Down Wash, Direct TX products... the list goes on" Bloody hell what kind of gear do you wear? Silk negligee sort of thing.

Fleeces of any kind I simply give them a gentle wash. I don't own any of these fancy ones that need 'reproofing'.

Down stuff like sleeping bags I've never washed as I always use a liner.

The odd down duvet jacket only gets used rarely. I'm not sure I've ever needed to wash it.

Gortex jackets only need washing and then tumble drying to reproof them to stop them getting wetted.

As for Nikwax, Polar Tech Tech Wash etc, etc., they are all clever ways to con consumers into buying unecessary extras.
BStar - on 16 Feb 2014
In reply to Dave Perry:

To be honest that's what I thought, it's probably just a way of flogging detergent to a customer!

As for the clothes I own, unfortunately I don't have the silk negligee yet, just a down jacket, merino wool base layer, polar tech soft shell and a regular soft shell, all very regular 'techy' clothing, just a pain to wash tbh.
Carolyn - on 17 Feb 2014
In reply to BStar:

I've never been convinced at all that there's much difference in the detergents - tend to use a normal non bio for almost everything (inc merino), and maybe a wool detergent & wash for down. I've done a few down things, including heavy jackets, now I have a tumble drier, and all have been fine. Some merino, like Icebreaker, will take a normal wash, some's much more delicate.

Paramo/hardshell I do tend to use tech wash (but only because I have a ready supply); then the TX direct waterproofing, which is the only bit that I'd say is necessary. Though I do sometime wonder if it's just diluted PVA ;-)
captain paranoia - on 18 Feb 2014
In reply to BStar:

I separate my clothing into four piles

1 things that have a DWR
2 things that don't have a DWR
3 merino wool
4 down

Things that have a DWR that I want to keep, I wash in soap-based cleaner; genuine soap flakes, 'liquid soap flakes', or a proprietary soap cleaner such as TechWash or Grangers (although Grangers is now a detergent). e.g. soap flakes:

http://www.dri-pak.co.uk/soap-flakes-for-laundry.html
http://www.dri-pak.co.uk/liquid-soap-for-laundry.html

Things that don't have a DWR or that I actually want to wick will mostly be synthetics; polyester fleece and base layers, or nylon or polypropylene. These go in a normal 50C synthetic or 40C coloureds cycle with biological detergent and no conditioner.

I suspect that I weakened a merino item by washing with a biological detergent on a normal 40C coloureds cycle, so I now use Woolite on a machine washable wool programme. Woolite bought as a job lot in Poundland...

I have yet to wash a down item, but I might consider one of the surface cleaner sprays, rather than give them a complete soaking... My lightweight travel bag is getting a bit minging around the head area; I might risk that in the machine one day...

I sweat, and get my trousers soaked in bog, mud, etc, so I do wash them...

I only reproof when necessary. Beware of reproofing Paramo every time you wash it; you can over-proof it...
Noelle - on 18 Feb 2014
In reply to BStar:

I've always had problems when attempting to wash waterproof coats. They wash fine, but then never seem to re-proof properly afterwards, despite me following the instructions to the letter and using recommended detergents and re-proofers.

I hate spending 200+ quid on clothing (plus about 20 quid on washing products) and then have it ruined when I try to look after it i.e. keep it clean.

I'm probably going to sound like an utter tramp, but I very rarely do a proper (machine) wash now. Often a wet-wipe will do well enough. My record is 18 months without a machine wash. Often the clothing will fall apart before I need to wash it, as I tend to wear outer stuff most days.

Yes, people will still sit next to me on the bus.
wilkie14c - on 18 Feb 2014
In reply to BStar:

I'm a tramp so I don't care for washing very much. Belay and hard shell have never been washed, fleece & wools on cool wash with pure soap and then only when they really need it. I'm into keeping dry and warm rather than looking dapper! It's just me though, not having a dig, I only wish I could be arsed to wash stuff properly and know what all the cleaning agents did. One thing i've found though is that pure soap flakes don't like to disolve in cool washes and you end up with clean stuff but little white soap bits all over them. The mrs disolves the flakes in hot water first then adds this mixture as if it were a washing liquid rather than powder/flakes.
Oh, I never iron any outdoors clothes at all, bys their nature they generally don't need it anyway but I don't want to risk heat damage to fibres/membranes/coatings etc
wilkie14c - on 18 Feb 2014
In reply to Noelle:

> I'm probably going to sound like an utter tramp, but I very rarely do a proper (machine) wash now. Often a wet-wipe will do well enough. My record is 18 months without a machine wash. Often the clothing will fall apart before I need to wash it, as I tend to wear outer stuff most days.
>
> Yes, people will still sit next to me on the bus.

Thats the spirit!! wilks and noelle - the vagrant climbers
Blizzard - on 18 Feb 2014
In reply to BStar:
I split things up in the wash and use the Techwash products. My kits lasts me for years. My current Scottish pants and Montane top were bought in 1998, I do have two sets of clothing tho ( the other set is far newer and I rotate useage)

As far as reproofing goes, I do it, but have concluded that goretext or equivilents are not even waterproof to begin with ( when used in extreme conditions) Coats may get washed twice a year and reproofed, but it seems to be a bit of a waste of time! lol
Post edited at 18:36
AlisonSmiles - on 18 Feb 2014
In reply to BStar:

Nearly everything goes in a 30 degrees wash with Boots soap flakes which I figure is a compromise to avoid using detergent and yet not buy every product under the sun. If stuff that needs to bead stops beading then I get down and dirty with the Direct TX but only then.

I don't think I've ever washed anything Down but then I am quite skanky.
Timmd on 18 Feb 2014
In reply to AlisonSmiles:

Being lazy I've just used shampoo to wash things made from wool, figuring it wouldn't be biological.

It smells nice afterwards.
Timmd on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Blizzard:
> As far as reproofing goes, I do it, but have concluded that goretext or equivilents are not even waterproof to begin with ( when used in extreme conditions)

I think technically they're water 'proof', but not water 'tight' due to having four holes in, and they've a sweaty human in them. I'm starting to see where the softshell/Paramo logic comes in.

In a DIY softshell kind of way, I've been wearing a water resistant stretchy fleece over my PlanetX angora wool* lined fleece, both of which have hoods, and even in pretty heavy rain I've found I'm still dry and comfortable.

*I didn't know about how cruel the angora wool trade is (or can be) when I bought it. I'm not advocating the buying of angora wool unless one knows for sure it's ethically sourced.
Post edited at 00:32
MikeStuart26 on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to BStar:

Being a poor uni student, I either wash everything together at 40 with normal washing tablets that you just chuck in the machine - including all bright colours tees, merino base layers, softshell and cotton trousers etc.

Or i just don't wash my clothes, I have never washed my gortex hardshell (5yrs old), my down jacket (3yrs old), nor my windstopper softshell jacket (1.5yrs old) - I just let these all just air in my room.

Everything still keeps me, warm/dry/cool etc. as it should...
island_explorer on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to BStar:

In terms of down, I've found that handing it over to a specialist down cleaner is well worth the money. I have a 700 fill down sleeping bag which has been around for 17 years and is still as good as new. The specialist washing, apart from keeping it clean, apparently reconstitutes the down which contributes to longevity of the gear. Now I wouldn't do this with any cheaper down gear, but handing the bag over to a specialist every few years works out cheaper than splashing out >800 on a new one.
Timmd on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to Timmd:
The stretchy fleece is a Haglofs one. Though it's not really fleece, it's a soft shell equivalent.
Post edited at 11:53
climbwhenready - on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to BStar:

Tech wash for when my Paramo fleece/waterproof need washing (which is fairly infrequently), woolite for wall, persil for everything else. Nikwax TX Wash-in Direct for hardshell reproofing (which is once every 12-18 months).
m0unt41n on 20 Feb 2014
In reply to BStar:

Merino Wool - Icebreaker - gets washed with all the normal clothes, non-Bio detergent, and has been fine. Some of the 260 long sleeve is quite a few years old and whilst not as soft as new ones still are good.

Paramo - use to use a little of soap flakes dissolved in hot water in washing machine. But I think it gummed up the machine a bit so use Techwash - buy the 5 litre bottles from Amazon.

Not convinced about Tech WashIn to reproof. Don't see how something that is meant to form a water resistant surface which causes the water to form spheres and not pass through whilst allowing air through on the external face doesn't do the same on the internal one and therefore complete wreck the breathability. Paramo / Nikwax says its works but I don't believe them.

Down sleeping bags done professionally, they cost too much for me to risk damaging.


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