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Boogers_McGee

DWR lifespan

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I have a hardshell jacket about 5 years old. The Gore-Tex works, but the DWR coating is gone. I Nikwax the jacket a couple of times a season and bake it in the dryer, but its water repellency doesn't last.

 

Is there anything I can do that's better than Nikwax?

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I've used Revivex and had incredible sucess with it. Pro Mountain Sports sells it.

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I like both products. I find they need to be reapplied more often than I would like, but they work.

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I like Revivex too. A good wash, hot dry and touch up with an iron works pretty well too (the ironing supposedly melts the microscopic frayed threds or something). I usually use all of the above.

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I haven't used a dwr before but have heard that revivex is good. As far as waterproofing boots though, I think Nikwax stinks. It never really lasts. Right or wrong, I've gone back to good old SnoSeal. Just how good at waterproofing can a waterbased product be?

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Revivex is also the stuff endorsed by Gore...if that means anything. I agree that Revivex works better than Nikwax. I also heard if you smeared Crisco on your jacket, that works really well, too.

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quote:

Originally posted by Figger Eight:

Revivex is also the stuff endorsed by Gore...if that means anything.

I think it's endorsed by Gore because it's MADE by Gore. But I still like the way it works.

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The spray-on type is the best, and as prviously stated, follow instructions re washing, drying and ironing. It really works. And be sure to buy the stuff from Jim Nelson's fab-o shop, Pro Mountain Sports. Be true to your local indie retailer!

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Thanks for the reco for Revivex. I've used the wash-in Nikwax and, before that, Tectron Spray, even used both together, and have been pretty unimpressed--water never did bead off the outer fabric such as it did when garments were new.

 

We'll see what Revivex will do, but my current philosophy is to hold off on washing my DWR-treated garments until it's absolutely necessary, and then only spot treat it. I think putting a garment thru the wash actually takes out much of the DWR, much like washing a rope in a washing machine causes the rope to lose its water-repellancy (although it will remove the dirt, too). I'm not sure ANY revive-type treatment can replace the original DWR treatment on the outer fabric of waterproof/breathable clothing such as is made with Gore-tex.

 

Got a 3-year-old Mtn Hardwear G-tex jacket I still haven't had to run thru the washer yet, but I'll try the Revivex on some other, older stuff that I've already treated unsuccessfully with Nikwax.

 

Cheers, pindude

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Seriously, don't be afraid to wash Gore-Tex. The manufacturers recommend it, and you gain a ton of breathabilty back by doing so.

 

Similarly, don't be afraid to wash your down things. You can do a sweater in your washer at home, a sleeping bag you have to go to a laundromat to do. Use the washers with no center spindle. You're sposta use special soap but I use just a litttle detergent with great results.

 

I wash my down bags 1-2x a season depending on use, and they tend to last me forever. I have one old one I've had since I was 8 (that was a while ago) that is still super-lofty and toasty!

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quote:

Originally posted by allison:

Seriously, don't be afraid to wash Gore-Tex. The manufacturers recommend it, and you gain a ton of breathabilty back by doing so.

Allison, are you trying to pick a fight with me? [big Grin] My 3-year-old G-tex still breathes okay (as much as 3-layer Gore-tex can breathe-hah! [Roll Eyes] ). And it still repels water okay (it beads off). No, I don't wear it downtown, just use it for the mountains when I know I will need it. It would breathe less if the DWR was worn off...which in the wet results in essentially the outer layer being a soaked layer of water, where NO air can get out, and moisture from the skin cannot escape the fabric resulting in a nice little sauna-maker. Yes, with enough dirt, sweat, body oils, etc. the 3-layer fabric will block moisture and air transport too, and will then have to be put through a front-leading, gentle washing machine, but I will NOT wash my G-tex until I absolutely have to. [smile]

 

Cheers, pindude [big Drink]

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I guess this is what Gore says:

 

quote:

Regular wear and tear, plus exposure to dirt, detergents, insect repellant, and other impurities, causes DWR failure. DWR is not permanent on any fabric. Its effective life depends upon how you care for your garment and how rigorously it is used. The most effective way to maintain your Gore garment's water and stain repellency is to wash it, rinse it, and put it in your dryer. The washing removes contaminants and the heat from the dryer helps redistribute the DWR treatment on the fabric surface.

I wash my GT jacket at least once a year, warm water, tumble dry on med. water beads up like a maniac still after 5 years...That's not to shabby. I've never used revivex, but have heard good thing, probably try it soon.

 

cheers.

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The garmet will breath whether there is DWR or not, but in both cases won't breath when wet. It will breath less if it is dirty.

 

I've found you definately want to wash the garmet at least every year. If you ski or climb a lot with it you might even want to wash it every month. I've got a 8 year old Marmot Alpinist Jacket and a 5 year old cheapo imitation I got from Pro Mountain Sports and they still work great. I wash them periodically, treat them with Revivex, and iron the Marmot to melt any tiny fibers that are sticking up, especially around stitching.

 

The breathability of any fabric whether it is Goretex or a knockoff is based on two factors, water vapor transport and the ability of the outer fabric to resist soaking up water. If the the outer fabric gets soaked the garmet is useless. The outer fabrics ability to resist soaking up water is based on the surface tension of water.

 

Now the science lesson. Notice if you take a small bit of water and put it on a smooth surface like glass it will form a bead instead of just becoming really flat like intuition would tell you. This is strange physical property of water called surface tension. Water wants to minimize it's outer surface area because it is more energeticaly favorable, so by forming a bead it has a lower outer surface area than if it were really flat. So on a garmet that is clean and properly treated the water will bead up and fall right off which is great. Unfortunately (at least for clothes) waters surface tension can be alter by things called surfactants, things like dirt, salts, body oils, chemicals, and loose fibers on the surface of the jacket. These things will keep the water from beading up and falling off, eventually allowing the water to soak into the jacket, and at that point you might as well be wearing garbage bag.

 

By washing the garmet you are removing the things that lower the surface tension of water. Make sure when you wash you don't use detergent becuase it drastically lowers the surface tension of water, use one of those Nikwax deals or just use plain old hot water. You also want to iron on low heat areas that are worn to melt away any micro fibers that are sticking up. Basically the smoother and cleaner the outer surface is, the better water will bead up and the better it will perform when it gets nasty outside.

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On another note, don't be afraid to wash your clothes, too. You come back from a climbing trip and throw all your nasty socks and base layers in the corner of your room or closet, what does that accomplish? Talk about losing breathability, people will suffocate if they walk into range of that stench. Washing your rock shoes occasionally helps, too.

 

[rockband]

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quote:

Originally posted by Fromage:

On another note, don't be afraid to wash your clothes, too. You come back from a climbing trip and throw all your nasty socks and base layers in the corner of your room or closet, what does that accomplish? Talk about losing breathability, people will suffocate if they walk into range of that stench. Washing your rock shoes occasionally helps, too.

 

[rockband]

it keeps your roommate's junkie boyfriends from stealing and wearing your clothes..... [laf]

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quote:

Originally posted by jon:

Now the science lesson.

The underlying problem with shell garments getting wet and becoming non-breathable is that nylon is hydrophyllic.

Every now and then a manufacturer will have some techy hydrophobic fabric, but it'll be outrageously expensive compared to nylon. Clima-guard, for example.

Another strategy some mills use is to coat nylon with oil-repellant shiznit to overcome "wetting" problems caused by surfactants like body oils which lower the surface tension of water. eVENT fabric, for example, or the Nikwax after-market stuff.

Durability is always a problem with these coatings and fabrics, though. There's a lot to be said for rubber-coated foul-weather gear with "chimney" venting when the weather is truly wet. IMHO, Gore-Tex is useful only for temps from about 0 Farhenheit to maybe freezing. Below 0, your own body moisture freezes on the inside of any shell, and above freezing you're in rain and the wet Gore-Tex won't "breath" enough.

Some more food for thought: urethane coated ripstop nylon "breathes" about as much as Gore-Tex. (def: "breathable" passes water vapor about 1/20th as fast as uncoated fabric --From W.L. Gore himself).

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When washing your garment its a good idea to use a non-detergent cleaner as detergents do wash away dwr and leave residues that attract water molecules into your garment. Nikwax is enviro-friendly as it contains no harsh chemicals, no animal bi-products, no petroleums or fluorocarbons etc... revivex does contain some not so enviro-friendly stuff. Be wary what you put on your expensive leather boots as fish oils (snow seal) actually dry and crack the leather over time. As for down products, wash with non-detergents and be aware that "down proofing" products will take 5%-10% of loft away.

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Snowseal is 100% beeswax not "fish oil" [Confused] you puttin cod liver on your boots?

 

Arcteryx ReviveX's every item they sell before it leaves the factory - even packs and stuff - except the harnesses i think. they claim it the best for promoting and keeping DWR. i use it cause i got a bunch free [big Grin] when i worked there. revivex every time you wash and you never seem to lose DWR even after 3 years of use...(so far)

 

I think its a bit like the down vs synthetic debate if you use down you say down is better and if you use syntho you say syntho is better probably... whatever...its all better than oilskins, and seal fur parka is the best for -30 C.

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quote:

Originally posted by trask:

that's right mr. rogers, and a hot klootch is just the ticket for a cold nite
[Roll Eyes]

in some inuit villages, it ws traditional to provide a "wife" for a man when he visited the village.

 

before you buy your ticket for Iqualuit, though, trask, you should know that this was because women did all the sewing and clothing repairs, and the "wife" was provided so she could fix up your clothes while you were away from your own wife!

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