How To Waterproof A Jacket: DIY Waterproofing Guide

I once paid to have an old jacket waterproofed and was sent into sticker shock. On that day, I decided I’d learn how to waterproof a jacket, a backpack, my shoes, and any other piece of gear that could possibly be DIY waterproofed. In this post, I’ll teach you how to do it too.

how to waterproof a jacket

Is Your Jacket Slacking Off? Spotting When to Waterproof Your Jacket

Have you noticed your favorite jacket behaving a bit… well, strangely in the rain? If it’s soaking up water instead of repelling it – a phenomenon we call “wetting out” – it’s a telltale sign it needs a waterproofing touch-up. Also, if you’re feeling damp or cold faster than usual when you’re out and about, even if the jacket looks fine, it’s probably high time for some waterproofing TLC. Remember, your jacket’s job is to keep you warm and dry, so keep an eye out for these signs and act accordingly.

We all need to remember that jackets aren’t invincible. They go through a lot, especially if you’re an outdoor enthusiast or simply wear it regularly. From exposure to dirt and oils to just the simple wear and tear over time, the waterproofing on your jacket can start to wear off. If your jacket isn’t performing as it used to or if it has been a long while since you last waterproofed it, don’t wait for a heavy downpour to find out. A quick check and possibly a waterproofing touch-up could save your day and extend your jacket’s life. After all, who doesn’t love a jacket that stands up to the elements, right?

Types of Jackets That Should Be Waterproofed

Alright, so you’re wondering which jackets you can waterproof. Well, good news: most of ’em are game for it! Whether you have a hard-shell or a soft-shell jacket, they can both be treated to enhance their waterproof abilities. Hard-shell jackets usually come with a waterproof coating or membrane, but over time this can wear off. Soft-shell jackets, on the other hand, typically offer some water resistance, but they can certainly benefit from a waterproofing touch-up to keep you dry when the weather goes south.

And don’t forget your down jacket! While they might be great for insulation, they’re not always the best when it comes to rain. But, a good waterproofing treatment can totally change the game. Just remember, different materials may need different types of waterproofing treatments, otherwise you could cause damage.

Grab Your Gear: What You Need to Waterproof Your Jacket

Ready to give your jacket a new lease on life? Awesome, you’ll need a few things first. For starters, a quality waterproofing product is a must. These come in a variety of forms, like wash-in or spray-on types, and your choice will depend on the material of your jacket and your personal preference. Some people swear by the wash-in type, while others love the control they get from a spray-on product. Just make sure it’s designed for the type of fabric your jacket is made of!

In addition to your waterproofing product, you’ll also need a clean, dry space to work, and a washing machine if you’re using a wash-in product. If you’re going the spray-on route, it’s a good idea to have a cloth or sponge on hand to evenly distribute the product. And of course, make sure your jacket is clean before you start the process – a dirty jacket can prevent the waterproofing from sticking properly. Now you’re all set, let’s bring back that rain-repelling magic!

Let’s Dive In: Your DIY Guide to Waterproofing Your Jacket

Alright, let’s get down to business. You’ve got your gear, you’ve got your space, and you’re ready to revive that trusty jacket of yours. Follow these steps and you’ll be singing in the rain in no time!

Step 1: Clean Your Jacket
First things first, give your jacket a good clean. Follow the care instructions on your jacket’s tag, and make sure it’s totally dry before moving on to the next step. This is super important, as any dirt or oils can prevent the waterproofing from sticking properly.

Step 2: Apply the Waterproofing
Now, for the fun part! If you’re using a wash-in product, just add it to your washing machine according to the instructions on the bottle, then run your machine on a gentle cycle. If you’ve got a spray-on product, lay your jacket out flat, hold the bottle about 6 inches from the surface, and spray evenly. Remember to get all the nooks and crannies!

Step 3: Let it Dry
Once you’ve applied the waterproofing, let your jacket dry completely. Some products recommend tumble drying on low heat to activate the waterproofing, so check the instructions on your specific product.

Step 4: Check Your Work
Finally, it’s time to see your hard work pay off! Test your jacket’s waterproofing by sprinkling some water on it – if the water beads up and rolls off, congrats! You’ve successfully waterproofed your jacket. If the water absorbs, no worries, just apply another layer of waterproofing and repeat the process.

There you have it! A little DIY project to keep you dry and comfortable, no matter the weather.

Shop Smarter: Spotlight on Commercial Waterproofing Products

So, you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and waterproof your jacket, but you’re not sure which product to choose? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Here’s the lowdown on some top-rated waterproofing products on the market.

If you’re a fan of the wash-in method, you might want to check out Nikwax Tech Wash and TX.Direct. These two are often sold together and have fantastic reviews. The Tech Wash cleans your jacket and the TX.Direct adds the waterproofing.

For those who prefer the control of a spray-on application, Granger’s Performance Repel Plus works well. It’s pretty much odorless and I found that it was easy to spray on.

Also worth mentioning is the ReviveX Durable Waterproofing spray. I’ve had some friends that have used it and they said it’s lasted a long time. When my Granger spray runs out I might go ahead and give it a try myself.

Remember, what works best for you depends on your jacket’s material and your personal preferences. So don’t be afraid to try out different products until you find your perfect match!

Soap Up, Stay Dry: The Scoop on Using a Wash-In Waterproofing Method

Okay, so you’ve decided to give the wash-in method a whirl for waterproofing your jacket. Great choice! Here’s how you do it and what to keep in mind during the process.

Firstly, why choose wash-in? Well, it’s pretty straightforward and super convenient. The waterproofing product goes straight into your washing machine along with your jacket, so the whole garment gets an even treatment. Plus, it’s fantastic for those hard-to-reach areas!

Now, onto the process. Before anything else, make sure your jacket is clean. If it’s dirty, give it a wash with a technical wash or pure soap. Remember, regular detergents can leave residues that interfere with the waterproofing.

Once your jacket is clean, you can add your wash-in waterproofing product. Just follow the instructions on the bottle for how much to use. Run a rinse cycle after the wash to make sure any excess product is removed.

After the wash, some products might recommend tumble drying your jacket on a low setting. This heat can help to activate the waterproofing. But always check your jacket’s care label first to avoid any heat-related mishaps.

And there you have it! You’re well on your way to becoming a wash-in waterproofing whiz. It’s really as easy as doing a regular load of laundry, but the payoff is a super dry, happy you when the rain starts to fall.

Spray and Go: Mastering the Art of Applying a Spray-On Waterproofing Solution

Thinking about giving the spray-on waterproofing method a shot? You’re in the right place! It’s a bit more hands-on than the wash-in method, but it gives you great control over where and how much product you apply. Let’s walk you through it.

First off, like always, start with a clean jacket. It’s important to remove any dirt or oil that could interfere with the waterproofing. Once it’s clean and dry, you’re ready to start.

Lay your jacket out flat on a clean surface. Give your spray-on product a good shake, then hold it about six inches away from your jacket. Now, start spraying. Try to get even coverage, and don’t forget to pay extra attention to high-wear areas like the shoulders and seams.

Once you’re done, let your jacket dry. Some products might recommend using a tumble dryer or even an iron to activate the waterproofing, but always check your jacket’s care instructions first.

Finally, give your jacket a test run! Sprinkle a little water on it – if it beads up and rolls off, you did a great job. If not, no worries, just apply another layer of the spray-on solution and try again. At this point, you’re officially a pro at spray-on waterproofing. With just a little time and effort, you’re set for those rainy days.

Aftercare 101: Taking Care of Your Jacket Post-Waterproofing

So, you’ve done it! Your jacket has a fresh waterproofing treatment and you’re ready to brave the elements. But wait! The job’s not done yet. Taking proper care of your jacket after you’ve waterproofed it is crucial to maintain its effectiveness. Let’s break it down.

First things first, always clean your jacket with care. Avoid regular detergents as they can mess up the waterproof coating you just applied. Stick to technical washes or pure soap. And remember, heat can also affect the waterproofing, so check the care label before tossing your jacket in the dryer.

Another important tip is to reproof your jacket regularly. How often? That really depends on how frequently you use your jacket and the conditions it’s exposed to. But as a rule of thumb, if water stops beading up on the surface, it’s time for another round of waterproofing.

Finally, storage matters. Don’t cram your jacket into a tight space or leave it wadded up in the corner. Hang it up or lay it flat in a cool, dry space. This helps preserve the shape and integrity of the waterproofing.

Jim Murphy

Jim's love for camping started at an early age. His parents would take him camping every summer, where he'd spend his days getting quality time in with his dad and his nights eating too many smores.

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