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How to Maintain and Invigorate Your Rainwear

Clever Tips to Maintain & Reinvigorate Your Rain Apparel

Just about all rain capes, jackets, coats and other rainwear is treated with a durable water repellent (DWR) finish. A membrane that's waterproof and breathable stops water from penetrating you on the inside. That’s a nice combination (we add seam-sealing on top of that). But it’s a DWR that keeps water from saturating your garment.

How DWRs Work

DWRs increase the "surface tension" when water contacts a textile. Microscopically, water droplets are suspend into a nice round shape — a domed bead. The rounder the bead, the easier it rolls of the fabric. The technology is pretty cool. DWR coating doesn’t impair your cape or jacket's breathability. Rather than coating a textile's entire surface, DWR coats individual fibers, and leaves space between the fibers open for breathability.


Keep It Clean

We don't recommend cleaning your garment too frequently. If your poncho or jacket get dirty, spot clean with a rag, warm water, and a mild detergent. Or hand wash for bigger, muddier jobs and hang dry. Test your rainwear by sprinkling or spraying some drops on its exterior. Does it bead up and roll off? Your DWR is in good shape. If you give the fabric a strong shake, does most of the moisture fly off? Great.

Performance Enhancement

Over time DWRs performance diminishes from dirt, abrasions, and repeated launderings. But it’s easy to revive it’s qualities. If it looks like the water is beginning to create wet spots, try reviving it with a gentle cleaning and about 15 minutes in a low-heat dryer. That often does the trick. If that doesn’t reinvigorate the DWR, it’s time to reapply a new DWR coat with a spray-on or wash-in DWR product. We like Nikwax, but check out Granger’s, McNett or Penguin for a variety of good choices. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. It’s easy. Feel free to drop us a line at if you have any questions. Stay dry out there!