You can wash clothes without detergent

Washing Gore-Tex: Instructions for the correct care of outdoor clothing

Gore-Tex clothing should be washed from time to time to ensure a long product life and optimal functionality. So that the function of Gore-Tex trousers, jackets and gloves does not suffer, there are a few basic rules to be observed for care.

GORE-TEX garments can withstand a lot - even though they are usually quite stressed and get a lot of dirt in outdoor use. But what to do with your favorite sweaty and dirty jacket and dirty hardshell pants? Rinse carefully by hand? Simply put in the washing machine or, preferably, straight away? Can you use normal detergent or do you need special sports detergents?

Is it easy to wash Gore-Tex clothing?

Dirt and superficial contamination from body oils, sunscreen and sweat can reduce the effectiveness of the water-repellent material and thereby impair its functionality and breathability. Dirt can cause water to penetrate the outer material and soak the fabric, which leads to an increased formation of condensation inside the clothing. Therefore, if you regularly and properly care for clothing made of Gore-Tex®, you will ensure optimal functionality and a long service life.

  • Important: A few points should be observed when caring for Gore-Tex clothing. The following instructions will help.

How to Wash Gore-Tex: A Guide

Basically, Gore-Tex garments can be washed normally at a maximum of 40 degrees in the washing machine.

  • Washing preparation: It is important to close all zips, cover strips and straps before washing a Gore-Tex jacket or trousers.
  • Laundry detergent: A whole range of functional detergents is available from specialist outdoor retailers that have been specially developed for technical outdoor clothing and breathable membranes. Alternatively, you can also use normal liquid laundry products.
  • Dosage: Overall, the manufacturer Gore recommends using little detergent for the care of its membrane and rinsing sufficiently twice.
  • Wash cycle: The gentle cycle at 20 to 40 degrees is ideal. A second rinse ensures that all detergent residues are rinsed out.
  • Fling: At low speed.

Valentin Rapp

Simply put in the machine: Gore-Tex clothing and rain jackets can easily be washed in the washing machine.


Die Dont’s: What can you do wrong when washing Gore-Tex clothing?

Powder detergents and products that contain fabric softeners, stain removers or bleaching agents are unsuitable for the care of Gore-Tex clothing. They impair the performance of the membrane by clogging the micropores or attacking the material. To avoid unwanted creases, it is advisable to spin as little as possible.

Valentin Rapp

Gentle cycle and 30 ° C, that's ideal for a Gore-Tex jacket and, above all, saves energy.


How do you dry Gore-Tex clothing correctly?

After washing, the item of clothing is simply air-dried, hanging on a clothes hanger or clothes horse. A place without direct heat and sunlight is ideal for this.

Reactivating DWR: How does it work?

Gore-Tex clothing is always equipped with a DWR (Durable Water Resistant) finish to make the upper material water-repellent. Many Gore-Tex products still use a DWR based on fluorocarbons. Such an impregnation can be "reactivated" or "refreshed" very easily after the first wash, so that the DWR only has to be completely renewed after several washes. There are three methods for doing this:

  • Tumble dryer: 20 minutes at low speed and at a warm temperature (around 60 degrees) are sufficient.
  • Iron: To do this, place a towel between the item of clothing and the iron and iron the dry item of clothing at a low temperature and without steam.
  • Blow dry: With a bit of a respectful distance, the garment can also be weaned carefully and meticulously. It is important that every corner gets enough heat, but the temperature should not be too high here either.

How do you renew the impregnation?

If the water no longer pearls off your Gore-Tex jacket as usual after washing and drying, it is time to freshen up the DWR treatment with the appropriate impregnation agent. There are also numerous care products from various manufacturers such as Nikwax. In some cases, combined 2-in-1 care products are also available. Depending on whether you decide to wash-in or spray-impregnate, different work steps are necessary, which is why we have written our own instructions for the impregnation of membrane clothing: Impregnating a rain jacket - this is how it works.

Valentin Rapp

Is it time to re-impregnate your Gore-Tex jacket? Do the spray test!


We recommend …

  • Unlined Gore-Tex clothing can be treated with a spray or wash-in impregnation.
  • For padded ski and winter clothing spray impregnation is more suitable.

If professional dry cleaning is necessary due to heavy soiling, your cleaning department requires that pure, distilled hydrocarbon solvent be used to rinse the garment and that a water-repellent impregnation (DWR) is sprayed onto the outer material before drying.

Checklist for Gore-Tex care textiles

  • Follow the manufacturer's care instructions!
  • Close zips, pockets and cover strips
  • Use liquid detergent or special detergent
  • Gentle cycle at max. 40 ° C / little spin
  • No bleach, stain remover, or fabric softener
  • Air dry or tumble dry at a warm temperature
  • DWR reactivation in the dryer (20 min. At low temperature) or with an iron and towel
  • Renew DWR treatment from time to time with a special agent

Valentin Rapp

Every now and then the DWR impregnation of your Gore-Tex membrane has to be renewed with impregnation spray.


How do you wash Gore-Tex gloves?

Of course, gloves made of Gore-Tex must also be properly cleaned and cared for - provided the care label does not explicitly prohibit this. Gloves are best cleaned by hand in warm water. In any case, caution is advised with the leather upper: Soap cleaners are out of place, the water should be gently squeezed out from the fingertips to the wrist.

Checklist for Gore-Tex care gloves

  • Follow the manufacturer's care instructions!
  • Hand wash in warm water; Caution, leather cannot be cleaned with soap!
  • Gently squeeze the water from your fingertips towards your wrist
  • Air dry (fingertips up) or at low temperature in the dryer (follow care instructions!)
  • Steam iron with a cloth between the glove and the iron. Dry ironing possible
  • Renew DWR treatment from time to time.

It is best to air-dry gloves with your fingertips pointing upwards or in a tumble dryer at a low temperature. Gloves can also be ironed when they are dry. In order to restore the impregnation, you should always use an appropriate product.

How often should you wash Gore-Tex?

How often you should wash your Gore-Tex clothing primarily depends on how often and how intensively you use your equipment. With intensive use, manufacturers recommend washing after ten to twelve days of use; with lighter use, it is sufficient to wash them every 20 to 30 days. It is best to do it at your own discretion: If your clothes look dirty, damp or clammy to the touch, or no longer hold water, it is time to wash them. Basically, you should follow the manufacturer's care instructions on the label for every item of clothing. More information is also available on the respective company websites.

Video: washing and impregnating Gore-Tex

Summary of Gore-Tex care

For optimal functionality and the longest possible product life, Gore-Tex products should be cared for accordingly. In the case of clothing in particular, washing is necessary from time to time - depending on the intensity of use - and is definitely recommended.

It is important to take into account the manufacturer's information on the product, as these are always designed for the most sensitive part of a garment. Generally, Gore recommends for his Membrane clothing machine wash with liquid or special detergent at a maximum of 40 ° C.

Before washing, the motto is “bulkhead tight” - all pockets and zippers should be closed. Stain removers, bleach and fabric softeners are out of place. The subsequent reactivation of the DWR finish is just as important as washing properly. This happens under the influence of heat, so a gentle lap in the dryer or gentle ironing is required (please read the instructions!).

Also Gore-Tex gloves should be cleaned and cared for regularly. This is best done by hand washing with lukewarm water. Care products and soap products that contain a lot of fat or oil should be avoided with leather components. Gloves are also dried at a low temperature in the dryer or in the air, away from direct heat sources and the sun. The impregnation of all Gore-Tex products should be renewed from time to time.

You can find all care instructions in the Bergzeit wash time

In this handy guide you will find out everything you need to know about washing and caring for your outdoor equipment

More about Gore-Tex and care

Kathrin Thoma-Bregar


Kathrin Thoma-Bregar lives and works as a freelance journalist in the Berchtesgadener Land. In winter she lets off steam by touring, on the cross-country ski trails and on the slopes, in summer she prefers to saddle up her mountain bike.
More posts by Kathrin Thoma-Bregar