Nikwax Great Tips and Tricks for the Engearment Audience!

Niwax Tips & Tricks for Engearment

Nikwax Great Tips and Tricks for the Engearment Audience!

Nikwax tips and tricks. How to use Nikwax to clean your favorite outdoor gear. From jackets and bibs to down and wool, boots, and gloves. Nikwax has it covered.

The Engearment Team has relied on Nikwax to clean our gear and restore DWR to our favorite ski and snowboard clothes.  We have used the Down Wash and Down Proof for our sleeping bags, Glove Proof for our gloves, and Wool Wash for our base layers. You can say we are big fans.

We reached out to Nikwax to collaborate on a “best practices” article on how YOU can salvage your favorite kit and make it last.  Enjoy this “tips and tricks” write up from Nikwax’s very own Heidi Allen.  Heidi has personally washed and cared for 100’s of pieces of gear, so she knows how to handle your kit!

Nikwax Tips & Tricks for Engearment

Nikwax Tips & Tricks for Engearment

Nikwax Tips & Tricks for Engearment

Cleaning and care in general:

Most ski jackets and pants have a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) that allows water to bead up and roll off, keeping you dry. Over time, dirt, oils, detergents and campfire smoke can inhibit both the jackets’ ability to shed water and to breathe.

Clean with Tech Wash. Always follow the care label! If it says to wash cold or to hang dry, it’s important to follow those so as not to void the manufacturer’s warranty (or destroy your gear!). I’ve attached a handy graphic that translates just what those little symbols on their care tag mean. Nikwax products work at all temperatures and don’t require heat to activate, so you can be sure to follow your item’s care tag.

Nikwax Great Tips and Tricks for the Engearment Audience! 1

Spot treating can be a huge help. Cuffs, zippers, and areas by the face can get extra dirty. For these trouble spots, pour a small amount of Tech Wash directly on the area, and lightly scrub with a soft-bristle brush (I use an old toothbrush). If you use a lot to spot-treat, reduce the amount you add to the washer, so you don’t cause over-sudsing. Tech Wash also works on bloodstains.

Heat only when allowed. Certain items (like GORE-TEX) recommend using heat after cleaning. Others, (Like eVENT) say “no heat please!”. Only use heat when the care label allows. Nikwax waterproofers do not contain PFCs, so they do not need heat to activate.

Cleaning the article in Tech Wash will not only clean but will revive breathability and water repellency. After you wash and dry, take a spray bottle of water and spray your clean jacket/ pants. If the water beads up, you’re good to go. If not, if the water seeps into the material, it’s time for step 2 – waterproofing with TX.Direct. Add to your washing machine and dry it according to the care label. More instructions here.

Waterproof hardshell & synthetic pieces with TX.Direct, softshells with Softshell Proof. Suggested Nikwax products: Tech Wash, TX.Direct, Softshell Proof.

Suggested Nikwax products: Tech Wash, TX.Direct, Softshell Proof.

Wool shirts

Wool Wash is specifically formulated for cleaning merino wool garments. Use Wool Wash as a substitute for your regular detergent. Amounts listed on the bottle. Using WW semi-regularly keeps odors from returning and the wool conditioned and soft. (Wool can sometimes get stiff and brittle after long-time use). Air dry.

Down: (These tips are critical for not ruining your down pieces)

Clean often and use the proper cleaner. It’s a good idea to clean down regularly, as dirt and oils can cause the feathers to lose their loft, thereby reducing the effectiveness of your down-filled items’ insulation. (I once listened to a podcast with a down apparel designer. He said he cleans his new down apparel before wearing since the down has been through so much before it comes to the consumer.)

Cleaning with a proper, gentle cleaner like Nikwax Down Wash Direct is key, as harsh detergents can cause feathers to become brittle and break, and those detergents will also impair the DWR on the jacket (and on the feathers if it is a waterproof down item). Down Wash Direct is great for both regular down, and waterproof down. It will actually extend the waterproofing of treated down!

No agitator! Down should always be washed in a machine with NO agitator. Top loaders with agitators bash the down around, causing breakage, and can tear the lightweight outer shell of the jacket.

Dry thoroughly and on VERY LOW HEAT. Always follow the care label regarding heat and the use of a dryer. Hopefully, it allows tumble drying, as air drying down is a bit challenging. If you can tumble dry on low, for quite a few cycles. Throw in a couple of clean tennis balls or dryer balls to help break up down clumps as it dries. If you must air dry, be sure to spin out as much water as you possibly can. Hang the item in a warm, dry place. Frequently check in on the item and massage it to break up clumps. This will take a while.

Suggested Nikwax Products: Down Wash Direct, Down Proof

Leather Ski Gloves:

Wet hands are cold hands and cold hands are miserable. You can clean your gloves with Footwear Cleaning Gel and then waterproof them with an array of products: Glove Proof for combination gloves or Waterproofing Wax for Leather (Kinco includes this with all of their leather ski gloves). For fleece gloves, use Tech Wash to clean and Polarproof to add DWR.

All of Nikwax’s products enhance breathability while waterproofing.

Nikwax Tips & Tricks for Engearment

Nikwax Tips & Tricks for Engearment


As a leader in the aftercare market for over 40 years, Nikwax products extend the performance life of technical clothing, footwear, and equipment. All Nikwax products are and have always been PFC-free. The products are biodegradable, water-based, non-flammable, and VOC-free. Nikwax is a carbon balanced company.

For more tips and tricks on caring for your gear, please visit

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