GORE-TEX Clothing Care Guide

The GORE-TEX® membrane is what makes GORE-TEX® fabrics completely waterproof. Each microscopic pore is about 20,000 times smaller than a drop of water, which means no external moisture from rain and snow to that puddle you just stepped in can penetrate the membrane. The pores in the GORE-TEX® membrane are 700 times bigger than a water vapour molecule, so perspiration can easily evaporate through and you can stay dry from the inside out. Breathability is an important component of comfort when you are active. Your natural body oils, sweat, grime and dirt can block these pores preventing the garment from breathing. This means you need to wash your GORE-TEX® product to maintain its performance. GORE-TEX® products are not only built to last, but they're also easy to take care of too. Routine care and maintenance will ensure the highest performance from them and extend their useful lifespan.  


Washing & Maintenance Instructions

 

It’s critical that you clean your GORE-TEX® products frequently, relative to the level of use and even if your garment does not appear soiled. Recommended care instructions are typically found on the inside tag of your GORE-TEX® product.

Simply machine wash your garment, rinse it and put it in the tumble dryer, being sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the care label attached to the inside of your garment. Washing removes dirt and other contaminants and the heat from the dryer helps redistribute the DWR treatment on the fabric surface.


Restoring Water Repellency

 

Wet out occurs when water saturates your garment’s outer fabric layer above the GORE-TEX® membrane, as opposed to water beading and rolling off, leaving you feeling damp and clammy as if your garment were leaking, even when it’s not. To prevent wetting out, all GORE-TEX® shell fabrics are treated with an ultra-thin treatment called DWR, a durable water-repellent coating that is applied to the outermost fabric layer. DWR causes water to bead up and roll off this outer layer of fabric, instead of being absorbed. DWR is not permanent. Regular wear and tear, plus exposure to dirt, detergents, insect repellent and other impurities can shorten its lifespan. The good news is that restoring the water repellency of your GORE-TEX® shell is easy.

Once the garment has been cleaned and tumble-dried, you can test the DWR’s performance by putting a few droplets of water on the outer fabric. If the water beads up and rolls off, you have effectively restored the DWR. If the water fails to bead up on the surface and appears to soak into the surface fabric, the DWR treatment on your garment has reached the end of its useful life. You can restore the garment’s DWR water repellency by applying a water-repellant treatment. GORE do not recommend wash-in treatments, as they can hinder your garment's breathability.


Pockets

 

Very few pockets are truly waterproof, especially those that are on the outside of the garment. While the Gore-Tex fabric is waterproof the seams where sewing needles pierce the cloth are not. Patch pockets are the most prone to seepage of moisture through their seams. The application of a liquid seam sealant can improve the weatherproofness of outer pockets but will still not make them watertight.

 

Saltwater

 

After use in marine or coastal applications such as sailing or fishing, make sure to wash and rinse your garments thoroughly in freshwater before wearing them again. Otherwise, salt from both water and spray builds up on the interior of garments either in linings or mesh scrims, and the next time you wear the garment, perspiration is absorbed and held by the salt. This leads to the sensation of stickiness which is often wrongly attributed to a lack of waterproofness or breathability.


Repairs

 

Although GORE-TEX® products are renowned for their durability, sometimes under extreme or rugged use an accident happens resulting in a small tear or puncture in your garment. Often small perforations of the membrane are the reason for “leaking GORE-TEX®” complaints. A GORE-TEX® fabric Repair Kit allows you to make instant repairs to preserve the waterproof integrity of your outerwear when you’re out in the field. These kits contain press-on adhesive patches, precut to standard shapes that usually don’t require trimming. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the repair kit to apply the patch effectively. While patches will provide temporary protection from leakage, they are not recommended for permanent repairs.

 

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