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Thread: Breathable waders:washing and storing

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  1. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Rothschild (Wausau), Wisconsin
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    Washing waders is not only to clean them. Breathable wader have a DWR (Durable Water Repellency) Coating that has to be renewed. I wash and heat set or retreat my waders with DWR at the end of every season.

    Breathable waders should not be washed with any detergent that is scented for leaves a residual material. Most modern detergents contain a UV brighteners so detergents should NOT be used. See instructions later in my post.

    Why does a breathable fabric need water repellency? Because when a Gortex garment is coated with water, the water vapor that passes through the Gortex membrane is trapped from escaping to the outside air. So the garment cannot breath. The garment acts just like a solid sheet of plastic and your perspiration is trapped and condenses on the inside of the garment and on your clothing. This is a phenomenon called "wet out". You may think your waders have a small leak but the moisture is sweat condensing inside the waders.

    "Wetting out: When water soaks into and spreads across the surface of the fabric, it prevents the breathable layer from working. This is a sign that the durable water repellent (DWR) surface treatment has been compromised. This is when a good cleaning and possibly re-waterproofing can improve your experience."

    Wet Out

    Read what Gortex says.

    Restoring Water Repellency

    Here is a primer on how to care for breathable garments by REI.

    Rainwear: Durable Water Repellent (DWR) Care

    I personally use Nikwax TX.Direct for renewal. It has performed well for me. The product you use to wash your waders is important. It should be a powder and not a liquid, and it should be unscented. That is to prevent any detergent residues that would interfere with the DWR application or seal the Gortex pores. I use Ivory Snow unscented powder. Alternatively, you can use a residue free product like Sport-Wash.

    To use the Nikwax TX.Direct, wash your wader or rainwear and rinse well. Hang it up outside and allow the water to drip off. While still damp, spray the wader or garment with Nikwax TX.Direct and cover all areas. Then put in your dryer and dry on the "Permanent Press Low Heat Cycle." Put the suspenders of the waders into a sock to protect them while the DWR sets.

    Follow the manufacturer's direction if you use another DWR.

    For those of you who are science nerd like me:

    The DWR (Durable Water Repellant) coatings like Revivex and Nikewax TX.Direct that renew waders have molecular limbs that point out that repel water. Here is an electron micrograph of some plant surfaces that do the same thing.





    Lotus leaf scanning electron micrograph below.





    Nanotechnology solutions for self-cleaning, dirt and water-repellent coatings


    Here's a piece of glass that has a coating so it is self cleaning.





    New coating turns ordinary glass into super glass






    Last edited by Silver Creek; 07-28-2017 at 05:04 PM.
    Regards,

    Silver

    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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