Search Report
2016 Sustainability Report
published 2017/08/01

No washing – or at least not as often

Should I wash my rain jacket or not? And what was that again with re-waterproofing?

VAUDEpedia has the answers

Care and maintenance plays a major role when it comes to how many resources are consumed during the usage phase of your VAUDE product. We provide assistance with professional advice. 


The most important thing: Before each wash, take a look at the label in your product. Specific instructions for care and maintenance are printed there. Whether your product stays in shape for your next adventure in the mountains or for your next bike tour depends on you.

If you want to find out more, VAUDEpedia can help: Our free App covers insider knowledge about our products, technologies, care and repair. Of course, you can also access this information the old-fashioned way, through the VAUDE Help Center.

Environmental tips for laundering

  • Wash as often as necessary, as rarely as possible – less is more!
  • Air out clothing after wearing.
  • Follow recommended washing temperatures: 30°C is usually warm enough for functional clothing. This conserves energy and water and protects the product.
  • Carefully clean stains by hand.
  • Fill the machine as usual – don't overstuff it, but try not to leave it half-empty either.
  • Functional clothing doesn’t require ironing; this saves energy and time.
  • Choose eco-friendly detergent and use it sparingly. DO NOT USE SOFTENERS.
  • Avoid tumble-drying, unless it is needed to reactivate water repellent products – see care label.
  • Use economy programs when washing. Newer washing machines use less water and energy.
  • More info and detailed care instructions: or the VAUDE Help Center.

Proper waterproofing for rain jackets

Waterproof or water resistant products have special needs in order to maintain their performance and good looks.

This, of course, is also true for your eco-friendly, non-fluorinated Eco Finish product. What's so special about it? Learn more here

The first thing you should always do is take a look at the label inside your product. It will tell you whether the product can be washed in a machine, what temperature to use, whether you should dry it in the machine and which type of waterproofing to use.

The myth of blocked membrane pores

Of course you can wash your VAUDE rainwear if it's dirty. But the idea that products should be washed as often as possible to keep them breathable is a myth. Ceplex® and Sympatex® membranes, for example don't have any pores that can become blocked.

So go ahead and wash it if it needs it– it's not a problem. However, washing more than necessary is hard on the environment, your wallet, and doesn't do your product any good either!

Waterproofing like the professionals

When the shell fabric of your jacket or trousers begins to absorb rainwater, you should wash the product and allow it to dry at low temperature for a few minutes. This will ensure that the water beading effect is restored.

If that doesn't help, you need to re-waterproof your product. Otherwise, it might become heavier and trap steam - especially in cold temperatures. 

You still won't get really wet if the item has a membrane. Click here for more information about membranes. But still, re-waterproofing improves your product’s functionality and keeps it looking good longer.

What's important is that you use fluorocarbon-free waterproofing. Why are fluorocarbons so hazardous? Here's the answer.

VAUDE recommends Nikwax® detergents and waterproofing products. These are environmentally friendly because they are water-based, solvent-free and fluorocarbon-free. See the care label in your product to find out if you should use a wash-in product or a spray; it depends on the technology used to give your product its functionality.

Waterproofing service by post

No interest, no time, no washing machine to waterproof it yourself? We have a service for you in Germany: Pick up a brochure from our partner, Meyer & Kuhl, at your VAUDE Store or Outlet and send your jacket in by post. They’ll wash and re-waterproof for you. Fluorocarbon-free, of course!

Information about how it works here. (German)

And here are the locations of VAUDE stores and outlets.

This also holds true for down sleeping bags - professional laundering and drying for the right "fluff" before the next use.

Wellness for your washing machine

Occasionally, your washing machine needs a proper cleaning cycle (without washing) to get rid of detergents and other deposits. Take a look at your owner’s manual. 

If you haven't cleaned your washing machine in quite some time, giving your rainwear a second rinse is a good idea. The last thing that waterproof products need are detergent residues picked up from the washing machine.

Detergent surfactants are known to reduce the surface tension of water, to improve its ability to spread over the fabric and seep into fibers so that it can remove dirt better. For that same reason, we use soap to wash our hands. This is exactly the opposite of what you want your waterproofing to do.

GRI:   G4-DMA Products and Services
Report why the Aspect is material. Report the impacts that make this Aspect material. Report how the organization manages the material Aspect or its impacts. Report the evaluation of the management approach, including: The mechanisms for evaluating the efectiveness of the management approach The results of the evaluation of the management approach Any related adjustments to the management approach
GRI:   G4-EN27
Extent of impact mitigation of environmental impacts of products and services
GRI:   G4-EN28
Percentage of products sold and their packaging materials that are reclaimed by Category
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