One of the most popular questions I’ve had over the years is about how to keep ski and snowboard outerwear clean. Keeping your gear clean is just as important as keeping your skis or snowboards tuned. By keeping garments free of dirt and grime, you keep them breathable and waterproof and here’s how:
Check out any instructions on the jacket (duh.) If the garment says don’t wash or dry in a dryer (Bogner comes to mind) I’d stay away from them all together because your jacket is no match for a chairlift or occasional lunch fail. Waterproof, not overpriced-pizza proof.
Petroleum free is key: When washing a garment, stay far away from petroleum-based detergents which are mainly all liquid detergents. And, unfortunately, all-natural products may not be your friend here, either. Petroleum-based and some “all natural” detergents can block the pores on your outerwear which are used to keep the jacket or pants breathing and you happy. They can also warp the waterproofing and strip vital fabrics. Using these can virtually turn your gear into a sheet of rubber. That being said, this can hold true for all athletic wear. Natural liquid detergent + yoga wear + hot yoga = slippery and HOT.
After getting your gear squeaky-clean, there are a couple of options here (pending instructions). But I have a standard: med-high heat for 5-10 minutes to get off the excess moisture and to reinstate the waterproofing and than hang dry. Has worked very well for me so far.
Nikwax, Grangers and Sportwash all our industry leaders in providing washing and waterproofing products for all your wears. I’ve also heard that Ivory Snow works as well but haven’t tried that as of yet as these other products are a no-fail. These companies have great products for down, synthetics, re-waterproofing, etc, and are usually found at sporting goods stores and ski shops.
Oh, and grease stains..a little dish soap never hurt 😉
~stay dry, stay warm