Restoring Water Repellency
To prevent liquid from saturating your garment’s outer fabric (called “wet out”), all GORE-TEX® garments and selected GORE® WINDSTOPPER® products are treated with an ultra-thin water-repellent polymer that is applied to the fabric. Water repellency causes water to bead up and roll off the outer layer of fabric, instead of being absorbed.
The water-repellent treatment is not permanent, though. Regular wear and tear, plus exposure to dirt, detergents, insect repellent, and other impurities can shorten its lifespan. The good news is that reactivating and restoring the water repellency of your garments is easy.
How to Reactivate and Restore Water Repellency
GORE-TEX® Technical Garments, GORE® WINDSTOPPER® Soft Shells and GORE® WINDSTOPPER® trousers
Just wash, rinse, and put the garment in the dryer, being sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. The washing removes contaminants and the heat from the dryer helps reactivate the water-repellent treatment on the fabric surface.
If water fails to bead up on the surface of your cleaned and tumble-dried garment, its water-repellent treatment has reached the end of its useful life. But you can restore the garment’s water repellency with a water-repellent polymer.
Gore recommends applying a topical water repellency restorative for outdoor fabrics. The water-repellent restorative should be one intended for breathable garments on a fluorocarbon (FC) basis.
GORE-TEX® Heat & Flame Garments
We recommend regular treatment with fluorocarbon (FC) resin in the last rinse. Subsequent heat from tumble drying or ironing will activate the treatment. This will extend the protective clothing’s lifespan.
Treatment will not affect the performance of the GORE-TEX® membrane.
Important: The outer fabric itself retains its heat and flame protective function even if it is not treated with fluorocarbon or its durable water repellency effectiveness has deteriorated with time. However, soiling of the outer fabric could reduce the heat and flame protection. (See: Regular Maintenance).
Most spray-on products designed for shoes can be used to improve the water repellency of GORE-TEX® Footwear when the original finish has worn off or washed out due to heavy use. These treatments will not affect the GORE-TEX® liner. Always check the manufacturer’s care instructions on the label of your shoes first.