Nikwax Aftercare Guide

Nikwax Aftercare Guide

How to clean, waterproof, condition, and protect your outdoor clothing, footwear, and equipment.

Why do I need Nikwax aftercare?
Using Nikwax aftercare products will help your gear perform better for longer, to keep you warm, dry, comfortable, and save you money.
Most waterproof outdoor clothing, footwear, and gear has a coating on the outside called a 'Durable Water Repellent' finish, or DWR. This finish is what causes water to bead up on your gear. When functioning correctly, it allows moisture vapour to escape, whilst preventing water from entering.
Over time, dirt, body oils, and other contaminants can degrade the DWR causing your gear to 'wet out'. However, cleaning with normal household detergents leaves behind water-attracting residues that can impair the DWR. When the DWR fails, the fabric soaks up water. This means its breathability is reduced as water vapour is unable to escape, causing you to get wet from the inside.

The DWR and breathability of your waterproof clothing, footwear, and equipment can be restored by cleaning and waterproofing with Nikwax's award-winning aftercare range.

Choosing the right Nikwax aftercare products for your outdoor gear

This guide will help you select the best Nikwax products to care for your gear and show you how to apply them in order to achieve the greatest results.
Each product can be easily identified by the colour of its bottle cap:

Green for cleaning
Gear should always be cleaned with the appropriate Nikwax product before it is proofed. Household detergents can damage the durable water repellency (DWR), but our high performance cleaners safely remove dirt whilst reviving the DWR. You can also apply Nikwax cleaners directly to fabrics as a stain or grease remover.

Purple for proofing
Nikwax waterproofing products add DWR and revive breathability. They last for several washes and do not need to be reapplied every time you wash with a Nikwax cleaner.
Some Nikwax waterproofing products also contain UV protection to help protect your gear from harmful UV rays.

Methods of application
There are 4 methods of applying various Nikwax cleaning and waterproofing products. They are WASH-IN, SPONGE-ON, SPRAY-ON, and BRUSH-ON. 

CLEANING CLOTHING

Tech Wash®

Technical cleaner for waterproof textiles that removes dirt and detergent residues, while revitalising breathability and restoring water repellency.
Great for cleaning:
Waterproof, breathable clothing
Synthetic sleeping bags
How to use:
Wash-in
Sponge-on
Brush-on

Down Wash Direct®

Effectively cleans, revitalises insulation and restores the water repellency of hydrophobic down clothing and sleeping bags. It will also improve the water repellency of regular (untreated) down and maintain the water resistance of the down item's outer fabric.
Great for cleaning & restoring water repellency:
Treated and non-treated down filled sleeping bags and clothing
How to use:
Wash-in

WATERPROOFING CLOTHING

TX.Direct®

The world's No.1 high performance waterproofing for breathable waterproof clothing that is easy, safe, and quick to use. Fluorocarbon-free, solvent-free, and does not require tumble drying.
Great for waterproofing:
Garments with membranes such as GORE-TEX® and eVENT® and synthetic-filled items
How to use:
Wash-in (for garments with waterproof, breathable fabrics)
Spray-on (for garments with wicking or absorbent liners)

Softshell® Proof

High performance waterproofing for softshell fabrics that is easy, safe, and quick to use. Fluorocarbon-free, solvent-free, and does not require tumble drying.
Great for waterproofing:
Softshell fabrics such as Windstopper®, Windbloc®, and Schoeller®

How to use:
Wash-in (for garments with waterproof, breathable fabrics)
Spray-on (for garments with wicking or absorbent liners)

Polar Proof®

Wash-in waterproofing for fleece. Maintains the air gap between the fibers, keeping the wearer warm and comfortable while repelling water from the surface in wet or humid conditions. Will also reduce pilling of the fabric.
Great for waterproofing:
Fleece items such as jackets, trousers, hats, and gloves
How to use:
Wash-in

Cotton Proof

Wash-in waterproofing for cotton, polycotton, and canvas clothing and equipment. Adds DWR: reducing weight gain from water and maintaining the breathability of fabric in wet weather.
Great for waterproofing:
Cotton and polycotton clothing such as trousers and jackets. Plus can be applied by hand to canvas rucksacks, tents, and awnings
How to use:
Wash-in
Sponge-on
Brush-on

Down Proof

Wash-in waterproofing for down filled clothing and gear. Adds water repellency, revives insulation and breathability.
Great for waterproofing:
Down filled sleeping bags and clothing
How to use:
Wash-in

CLEANING FOOTWEAR

Footwear Cleaning Gel

A soap-based cleaner that removes embedded dirt from footwear while revitalising water repellency.
Great for cleaning:
All types of footwear, including those with GORE-TEX® membranes
How to use:
Sponge-on

Sandal Wash

A sponge-on cleaner for sandals and barefoot footwear, designed to safely clean and deodorise. Leaves footwear with a fresh smelling fragrance.
Great for cleaning:
All types of sandals and barefoot footwear including synthetic, fabric, and leather materials
How to use:
Sponge-on

WATERPROOFING FOOTWEAR

Fabric & Leather Proof

Sponge or spray-on waterproofing for mixed fabric and leather footwear. Waterproofs and maintains breathability.
Great for waterproofing:
Any fabric, leather, or fabric and leather combination footwear
How to use:
Spray-on
Sponge-on

Nubuck & Suede Proof

Sponge or spray-on waterproofing for nubuck and suede footwear. Waterproofs and maintains breathability.
Great for waterproofing:
Any textured leather footwear, such as nubuck and suede
How to use:
Spray-on
Sponge-on

Waterproofing Wax for Leather

Waterproofing cream that can be used on both wet and dry leather and once applied will provide immediate water repellent protection. Adds water repellency, reduces water absorption and maintains breathability.
Great for waterproofing:
Any smooth leather footwear
How to use:
Sponge-on

Waterproofing Wax for Leather Liquid

Waterproofing liquid for smooth leather footwear. Adds water repellency that maintains support and breathability.
Great for waterproofing:
Any smooth leather footwear
How to use:
Sponge-on

Conditioner for Leather

A sponge-on waterproofing conditioner for full grain leather that revives breathability, softens, and waterproofs.
Great for waterproofing:
Smooth leather footwear in need of softening or breaking in
How to use:
Sponge-on

CLEANING TENTS & GEAR

Tent & Gear SolarWash

Spray-on technical cleaner & UV blocker for all weatherproof textiles, including cotton, canvas, and synthetic fabrics. Cleans effectively, revitalises water repellency, and increases fabric strength and lifetime by protecting against UV deterioration.
Great for cleaning & UV protection on:
Tents, rucksacks, panniers, camera bags, awnings, gazebos, and more
How to use:
Spray-on
Sponge-on

WATERPROOFING TENTS & GEAR

Tent & Gear SolarProof

The most effective and safest protection for synthetic tents and gear. Adds water repellency and protects against damage caused by the sun's rays. Effectively doubles the life of gear by slowing the effects of UV degredation and increasing the fabric's tear strength.
Great for waterproofing & UV protection on:
Tents, rucksacks, panniers, camera bags, awnings, gazebos, and more
How to use:
Spray-on
Sponge-on
Brush-on

SPECIALIST PRODUCTS

Nikwax offers a range of aftercare that maintains the performance and extends the life of your specialist gear. Gloves, climbing ropes, baselayers, horse rugs, crash helmets, and visors, are just some of the other outdoor gear that Nikwax products help to protect.


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