After a particularly wet weekend of walking in the Peak District, my much loved DHB waterproof jacket was letting water in. The waterproofing was failing.
Fortunately, through London Cyclist readers, I’d heard about the Nikwax range of products.
You simply washed your waterproof gear in the Nikwax mixture and the waterproofing is restored.
It seemed a bold claim, so I asked everyone what their experience with the waterproofing products were:
- Spinyone: Yep. Have a Paramo cycling jacket. Works pretty well if you clean first & follow instructions 😉
- Juter: Yep, it’s good stuff. Saw me through a lot of very wet Devonian winters.
- TBag75: LOTS of times. Works a treat
- Wondermare: used it on my horse’s turnout rug. She’s still warm and dry in spite of monsoon weather.
- Katelockhart: it wasn’t a problem, I just washed old tracky bottoms after. It works really well – did about 5 items – all waterproof again!
The feedback seemed overwhelmingly positive, so all I had to do is choose the most suitable product for me. Nikwax have a fairly huge range:
I ended up with the Nikwax TX Direct Wash In Waterproofer as it had overwhelmingly positive reviews and a 300ml bottle was only £7. This is enough to wash 6 garments, if you hand wash.
Rather than add it to my washing machine, I decided to hand wash it, using gloves to protect my hands.
- I hand cleaned my waterproof jacket.
- I filled a bucket with 6 litres of hot water and sunk my jacket in to the water.
- I added a full cap (50ml) of Nikwax.
- I splashed it around to make sure everything mixed together and left it for 10 minutes.
- Then, I agitated the mixture again, removed the jacket from the bucket and rinsed it with cold water, until the water was running clearly.
- Left my waterproof jacket to dry
Did it work?
Since then, I’ve ridden around London in heavy rain and in snow. Both times the jacket kept me perfectly dry. It seems the Nikwax did the job!
Which version should I get?
A London Cyclist reader argued that the spray in version was less likely to impact the breathability of the jacket. I’m not really sure if this would make a difference and the manufacturer claims that the product also revives breathability.
With my jacket I’ve not had an issue with reduced breathability.
Further tips on using Nikwax to restore waterproofing
My readers have shared some further useful tips:
- Make sure your washing machine is fully clear of any biological soap as this may damage the underlying fabric in your jacket – Gore-Tex particularly. Otherwise works great. Beware of any liquid run-off from the jacket, after the wash, onto the floor as this will be slippery!
- Half my laundry cupboard is nikwax products! I redo my various coats and water proof trousers every now and then. Unfortunately I discovered this morning that my over trousers are due to be re-done . I run a 60 degree empty wash through the machine before using techwash or TX direct to make sure that the pipes are free from detergent.
- As routine, washing machines should be run empty on a 90 degree wash (which is the equivalent to some ‘cleaning’ settings). I use Nikwax a lot and it does work, just follow the instructions and don’t try to wash to many items at once as I think the normal size bottle is only meant to do 3 or 4 jackets.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.