If you read this blog regularly then you’ll probably know that I recently bought my two boys a waterproof coat each to keep them warm and dry during the wet and windy winter months. When I was about to pay for them, the helpful shop assistant asked if I had the right detergent to wash them in?
I can honestly say that it hadn’t even crossed my mind that I might need to wash waterproof coats with a special detergent. This got me to wondering, do I really need to buy a special washing detergent to wash my waterproof clothes in, or, can I get away with just using my normal washing detergent instead? Well, I did a little bit of research on the subject and here’s what I found out.
Is Washing Detergent for Waterproof Clothing Just a Scam?
OK, right now you are probably thinking one of two things. Number 1, you think I have been completely scammed by the shop assistant who had probably been told by her manager that day to sell as many add-on’s as possible. Or, Number 2, you might have known about this for a very long time and you are wondering how I have managed to miss this basic fact for so long!
In the end, I decided to listen to the advice that was given to me by the shop assistant, mainly because what she said really did make sense. When I got home I also did some online research and discovered that it’s the technology behind the waterproofing that you have to take care of. If you wash a waterproof garment with normal detergent, it can weaken the waterproofing technology by breaking down the fibres in the clothing and stripping the clothing of its waterproof coating. This will leave you with an ineffective waterproof garment, instead of the good quality waterproof coat that you were happy to pay that bit of extra money for. On top of this, using the correct detergent can also help to revitalise the waterproofing on the clothing too!
After learning about this, I was completely determined never to wash the boys waterproof coats with my usual washing detergent again! It just doesn’t make sense to me to pay more for a waterproof coat to keep you or your little ones dry on a wet day, only to then risk the waterproofing not working because you’ve used the wrong type of detergent!
I suppose the next question is where can you buy this type of detergent from and how much will it cost?
Where to Buy Waterproof Washing Detergent
Annoyingly, the supermarkets that I have checked in don’t actually stock this type of specialist care product. So, it is wise to stock up when you do buy some, just so that you never get caught off-guard when your kids decide to go splashing in muddy puddles!
For a convenient shopping trip, you can find the brand that I usually buy which is called NIKWAX on both Amazon and eBay, where you can pick up a 300ml bottle of NIKWAX Tech Wash for around £6.36 with free delivery at the time of writing.
If you’d prefer to get it from a more specialist store, then most of the shops that sell waterproof clothing items will also sell the washing detergents to take care of them. I often buy some sachets of detergent when I am near my local Trespass shop, for example. This is where I first found NIKWAX but when I checked the Trespass website recently it looks like they have replaced the NIKWAX detergents with an own brand version called Trespass wash-in cleaner, which you can buy a 75ml bottle of for around £2.99. There is a delivery charge of £3.95 for orders under £50, though. You can also buy this type of product from outdoor clothing stores such as Mountain Warehouse and GO Outdoors.
Is Waterproofing Detergent Worth the Money?
I hope that this post has helped you to decide whether you need to buy a specific cleaning product for your waterproof clothing or whether washing them in your usual washing detergent will do just as good a job. Yes, it may seem like a bit of a hassle to buy a special cleaning product to wash your waterproof clothes with, but in the long run it could save you money by stopping you from having to frequently replace your waterproofs because they no longer do the job you need them to do.