DE
Search
Search Report
 
2017 Sustainability Report
published 2018/08/01

Don’t wash any more than necessary

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 the impact your VAUDE product has on the environment as it’s being used. We’re here to help with some good advice.


Carelabel

The most important thing: Before you wash your product, take a look at the care label where you’ll find specific instructions on the maintenance for that item. How your gear functions on your next adventure largely depends on you.

If you want to find out more, check out the VAUDEpedia: it’s our free App for 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 online.


Environmental tips for washing

  • Only wash as often as necessary, and as infrequently as possible – less is more!
    • Air out clothing after wearing it.
    • 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 does not require ironing; this saves both time and electricity.
    • Choose eco-friendly detergent and use it sparingly. Do not use fabric softeners!
    • Avoid tumble drying, unless it is needed to reactivate water repellent products – check the care label.
    • Use economy programs when washing. Newer washing machines use less water and energy.

Proper waterproofing for rain jackets

Waterproof or water resistant products require special care if you want to maintain their functionality and keep them looking good.


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


The first thing you should always do is take a look at the care label inside your product. The label will tell you whether the product can be washed in a machine, what temperature to use, whether you should tumble dry it and which 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 needs be – it's not a problem. However, washing more than necessary is hard on the environment, hard on your wallet, and doesn't do your product any good either!


Waterproofing like the professionals

When your jacket or trousers begin to absorb rainwater, you should wash the product and put it in the dryer at a low temperature for a few minutes. This should reactivate its water beading functionality.


If that doesn't help, you’ll need to re-waterproof the product. Otherwise, it might become heavier and begin to feel clammy – especially in cold temperatures.
You still won't get truly wet if your product has a membrane (Read here for more information about membranes). But re-waterproofing does help your product to function better and stay nice for longer.


It is important to use fluorocarbon-free waterproofing. Why are fluorocarbons so hazardous? Here’s the answer.


VAUDE recommends Nikwax® detergents and waterproofing products. They are environmentally friendly because they are water-based, solvent-free and fluorocarbon-free. Refer to the care label in your product to see 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? If you live in Germany, we have a service for you. Pick up a brochure from our partner, Meyer & Kuhl, at your VAUDE Store or Outlet and send in your jacket by post. They’ll wash and re-waterproof it for you. Fluorocarbon-free, of course!


Here you’ll find information about how it works. (German)


Here are some frequently asked questions and answers.


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 product needs is detergent residue picked up from inside 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 better remove dirt. For that same reason, we use soap to wash our hands. That's exactly the opposite of the hydrophobic finish you want your waterproofing to achieve.

GRI:   103
Management Approach
GRI:   302-4
Reduction of energy consumption
GRI:   302-5
Reductions in energy requirements of products and services
GRI:   301-3
Reclaimed products and their packaging materials
Related stories
Links
The VAUDE Help Center
Read more
iFixit: VAUDE partner for tools and spare parts
Read more
How to care for your product
Read more
Nikwax protects the environment
Read more
How does laundry detergent work? (German)
Read more
Share on
Who writes this report?
Read more