I've been looking into washing eVent fabrics and my head's spinning now! The label says wash with liquid detergent. Do they mean the likes of persil, daz, surf liquid detergents or something more specialist Nikwax etc. I have just been reading on the forum posts stating they thought nikwax techwash harmed the DWR. Any truth in that?
I've used nikwax techwash and tx wash in proofer in the past with good results on other fabrics, but I now have event jacket, trousers and gaiters and would like any advice on how to get the best results.
Best place to check the "official" view is the Event fabric website. My understanding is that as far as Event is concerned its OK to wash frequently in detergent as opposed to only using a soap based cleaner. The logic in this is that the detergent cleans the waterproof/breathable membrane in a way that a soap based product does not. By this I think they mean the "sweat and grime" type stuff you produce when you sweat that is then expected to pass out through the garment.
As I understand the advice from the manufacturers of Event is that a soap based product, and I include nikwax techwash in this catagory, will not harm the Event fabric in anyway but may not clean it as well as a detergent will. This in turn will mean that the garment will not perform as well.
Event is based on an ePTFE membrane. The pores in these membranes tend to get contaminated with body oils, which, in turn, attract dirt, and this dirt causes osmosis that pulls water thorugh the membrane.
Cleaning with a detergent will remove this oil contamination, but is likely to negate the effect of the DWR, also required to maintain breathability of the fabric (stopping it 'wetting out').
A soap-based cleaner won't negate the DWR in this way, since it will rinse out.
So, many people wash with a pure soap-based cleaner, and every now and then, use a detergent, followed by soap wash, to remove oil, and then detergent residues.
Some people use a detergent wash followed by a soap wash every time they wash their Event or Gore-tex items.
> I've used Grangers 30C Wash
> found that pure soap or cleaners such as Nikwax Tech Wash
Grangers 30C wash is soap-based. So probably just as 'useless' as Techwash...
Plenty of great advice there, cheers.
I think I'm going to try Ecover that niloC mentioned then reproof with TX wash in and see how it goes with that. I have soap flakes that were recommended for a Montane primaloft jacket but the jacket was stinking after using them, so I'll just give everything a real good rinse after using detergent.
First challenge is to persuade my wife to let me use the washing machine again after leaving colours in with whites! Oooops! Genuine mistake.....
Thanks again everyone
captain paranoia wrote (see)
> I've used Grangers 30C Wash> found that pure soap or cleaners such as Nikwax Tech Wash Grangers 30C wash is soap-based. So probably just as 'useless' as Techwash...
What actual experience do you have of either product captain paranoia? How many garments have you washed in Nikwax and how many in Grangers over what period of time?
I've used Grangers for dozens of washes over many years; I've never found it necessary to do a detergent wash, I've never found it necessary to do an extra rinse, I've never found it necessary to wash the washing machine first.
When I used Techwash, the DWR wasn't maintained anywhere near as effectively, nor were my garments cleaned as effectively.
So, what's your experience with either product? Do you own any eVent garments?
I contacted Montane about my old event jacket from them. They basically said wash in ordinary washing detergent you can geet from supermarkets. The guy said wash it as often as you want. The advice is that you can get home from a walk and shove it in with all your other clothes and wash it. Of course people should know not to use any fabric softener. In fact I won't have the stuff in my house I believe it is unneccessary for for fabrics of any type and it is hard to get out of technical fabrics. The guy emailed me and copied a passage he said came direct from the eVent boffin they dealt with.
I didn't trust that so I actually contacted the eVent people. They sent me the same advice. In fact the wording was just the same in parts as the passage the Montane guy sent me.
So based on that I actually use a non-bio gel from a main name detergent manufacturer. One of those gel sacks you put in the drum under the clothes. I wash it about every 5 times I wear it out for a long time on a walk but since I find I don't wear it that often it doesn't get washed much. I have also stopped re-proofing it as often since doing that. I also prefer grangers stuff to nikwax. I know both can give good results but IME I have always got better results with granger's. I also believe it is chemically closer to original DWR or at least read that somewhere.
Oh the other thing is to wash it several times with ordinary detergent then use nikwax or grangers wash stuff BEFORE using the re-proofer. That wass from montane and eVent. The nikwax or grangers is needed to clear off any detergent and it also prepares the surface better to take the re-proofer apparently.
I've had problems with all the "soap" based detergents - tecwash, graingers and pure soap.
I sweat a lot and have oily skin - so the inside gets well and truely gunked up with body oils and grime after a while (albeit, quite a while, like a year or more) to the point you can see it.
When I had a problem with my Paramo wetting out, I tried all the soap based stuff...no good...then contacted Paramo who told me to use non-bio detergent as no soap based stuff would be effective enough after a while. What I do now is a non-bio detergent wash once a year usually to put my winter gear away clean for the summer and then - maybe - a soap wash during the wearing season. Getting the gear clean has reduced maintainance cleans radically.
> What actual experience do you have of either product captain paranoia?
I'm not going to get involved in a "my dad's bigger than your dad" argument.
I was merely commenting that both Techwash and Grangers are soap-based cleaners, and likely to perform equally well. Or equally 'uselessly'.
Yes, I own Event items. Yes, I've been washing waterproof items for about 20 years. Yes, I've used Grangers, Nikwax and other cleaning products, including detergents. My current preference is for soap flakes, partly because I'm cheap, and partly because they seem to work perfectly well for me. I've experienced DWR problems after washing with detergents, and resolved them by using a soap wash. I've found that detergents are better at coping with ingrained, oily dirt.
you probably look after your stuff als and don't let it get properly dirty. my washing is the same as simon's. a "parky wash" once a year and soap washes in between.
i would point out that ecover does remove paramo proofing as this is a surface wax. other chemically ingrained dwr wouldn't be affected (as much) i would think.
i also think that there is some truth extension about detergent too. yes it may well bind to the surface of the garment, and hence by a large leap of the imagination will therefore completely negate any dwr (a handy sales pitch for soap), but to what extent. it is probably only a small amount that you would be hard pressed to notice.
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