How to Re-Waterproof Gore-Tex

How to Re-Waterproof Gore-TexGore-Tex outerwear is treated with a durable water repellent (DWR), which causes water to bead up and runs off the garment's surface. Regular use and launderings wear the DWR treatment off a garment, and this inhibits the breathability. A garment with a worn-out DWR treatment feels wet inside. Reapplying a DWR restores breathability, re-waterproofs the garment, and reduces the wet feeling. W.L. Gore and Associates, Inc. recommends using a topical DWR treatment. Topical treatments are easy to apply.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Washing machine
  • Drying machine
  • DWR spray treatment
Step 1
Attempt to reactivate the current DWR coating. Wash the Gore-Tex garment using powdered detergent and warm water. Dry the garment in a drying machine on a warm setting. If the DWR treatment isn't worn completely off, the heat from the drying machine reactivates the waterproof coating. Test by running water onto the fabric. If the water beads, the drying machine reactivated the DWR.
Step 2
Wash the outwear in warm water using a powdered detergent. When finished, hang the garment and allow it to drip dry. The garment should still be moist. Gore recommends a powdered detergent over cleaning products that claim they were made specifically for waterproof breathable clothing.
Step 3
Spray the moist garment with a DWR spray treatment, a liquid version of the garment's original DWR coating. Shoot for an even coating. Make sure that the seams are well treated. DWR spray treatments are available at most outdoor specialty retailers and online outdoor retailers.
Step 4
Let the garment dry. Once dry, the DWR re-waterproofs the garment. Reapply a DWR treatment when water stops beading on the fabric's surface.

Tips & Warnings

For stains, Gore-Tex recommends using a pre-wash treatment like Shout or Spray 'n Wash. Following the instructions. Rinse well.
W.L. Gore and Associates, Inc. says avoid wash-in treatments, because they can reduce the garment's breathability.
Test the DWR on a small hidden portion of the garment to check for discoloration.

Article Written By Bryan Hansel

Bryan Hansel is a freelance photographer and kayaking guide who began writing in 1993. His outdoors articles appear on various websites. Hansel holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and religion from the University of Iowa.

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