Although it seems like a chore, reproofing a waterproof jacket isn’t as bad as it may seem. It’s not a process that takes too long as most of its time is spent in the washing machine or drying, whether that’s in the dryer or hanging outside in the fresh air.
When you pay a lot of money for a jacket or coat, it’s important to look after it properly. Waterproof jackets might seem high maintenance compared to other everyday coats but you buy them to protect you in wet weather conditions. When they lose that feature, they’re no longer of use. To get better value for money, reproofing your waterproof jackets expands their lifespan and means you will get years out of one.
In this blog post, we’ll share our top tips of how to reproof a jacket, a step by step guide of how to reproof as well as when you need to reproof it. Whilst this method is mostly for waterproof jackets, it also works for other items, such as trousers.
When should you reproof a jacket?
It’s recommended you should reproof jackets every six to twelve months; however, this will depend on how often you wear it. A great time to reproof is during the spring as you will only need your waterproof jacket on a handful of occasions. You can then check if it needs redoing at the end of the summer but you can often get away with it.
To test if it needs reproofing, pour water on one of the shoulders. If it soaks in, it needs reproofing. If it doesn’t, you’ll get away with it. You can generally tell when you’re out and about whether you need to reproof a jacket. If your clothes start to feel damp underneath, it probably needs doing.
How to reproof a jacket: a step by step guide
It is recommended that you wash your jacket first before reproofing. You need to get out any dirt or oil that is within the material as often these alone will clog up the waterproofing qualities without the need to reproof.
Make sure you empty any pockets before washing and check whether your jacket has any removable features, such as a hood or collar. See if these need to be washed differently to the jacket or if they can stay attached.
Check the jacket for any visible marks or dirt and give them a quick scrub with warm water and a cloth or brush. The idea here is to just get the worst of the jacket, not clean it fully.
When sticking your jacket in the washing machine, we recommend washing at 30 degrees for a more gentle wash and to help the environment. Don’t turn your jacket inside out or the waterproofing liquid won’t work properly! After the wash, if your jacket still feels a bit too damp, set it on a rinse and spin cycle for a few minutes to get rid of the excess water.
Next, it’s time to reproof. There are a couple of options here: a spray and an all-in-one liquid. Here’s a closer look at how to use each of them.
All you need to do here is spray the entire jacket evenly and hang up outside to dry (so it’s best to do it on a dry day) or if the weather is a little wet, hanging your jacket off a shower curtain rail works too!
Once dry, give it a quick wipe once over with a dry cloth and you’re good to go. Some areas, such as the elbows and shoulders, can often need a second reproofing so bear this in mind.
An all-in-one liquid
Some reproofers are also cleaners too and simply require washing without having to reproof separately. If you’re washing/reproofing multiple garments, we recommend you only put one in your washing machine at a time to allow the reproofer to work properly.
Wash on the cycle shown on the jacket’s tag and if the tag allows, tumble dry it as heat activates many reproofers. Make sure it’s a low-medium heat as you don’t want the jacket to melt! However, you will need to check the instructions on the bottle first. Alternatively, if it’s a hot, sunny day, you can leave it outside to dry.
We’re fans of washing with an all-in-one liquid at the end of winter or the start of autumn so it’s fully ready for two seasons of heavy weather. We then use a spray every couple of months as a top-up of sorts. Sometimes, we don’t have the time to wait a couple of days for our waterproof jackets to dry so a quick spray on an evening and leaving the jacket to dry overnight is an alternative method.
When is it time to replace your waterproof jacket?
Although waterproof jackets and coats last for a long time when you look after them and clean/reproof them regularly, unfortunately they don’t last forever.
If you’ve tried washing and reproofing your jacket and it doesn’t seem to be working anymore, it’s time to look for another option. Small repairs can be made, such as sewing up a small hole in the lining, but if it’s on the outside of the jacket, chances are it’ll cost more to repair than it will be to purchase a new one.
When purchasing a new jacket, think about what you liked and didn’t like about your old one. Did it have enough pockets? Was the hood the right style for your head? Do you want a regular hood or one that folds away into the collar? Do you want a thicker or thinner version this time? Was the bottom secure enough or do you need adjustable cuffs and hems? Maybe it was getting too small and it’s time to size up? If you’ll be wearing it during the winter with multiple layers underneath, it’s best to size up anyway. You want the coat to be fitted to your body but not too snug that it’s uncomfortable to move in.
Think of how often you’ll wear your waterproof jacket and that should help to answer your questions. Consider colours and the length of your jacket before purchasing. Our range of waterproof jackets is extensive with a style to suit any country gentleman, lady or child. If you’re unsure of what you’re looking for or would like more detail on a particular feature, contact our customer service team who are always happy to help.