Gear Washing

4:16 p.m. on May 8, 2010 (EDT)
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59 forum posts

I always see on tags of gear, like tents, rain suits, ect. It says to use mild detergent. I was wondering what is concidered "mild" detergent. Or if there was a specific soap for something like treated nylon which is safe for the nylon and taped seams.

9:05 p.m. on May 8, 2010 (EDT)
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311 forum posts

Over the years i have pretty much used Woolite soap on gentle and hang drying my outdoors gear,have not had any problems for 40 years.As for down products i use "down" soap just to error on the good side of the product.One key is keeping gear clean so it will "breath" properly and last a long time,cost to much to do other wise.ymmv

9:28 p.m. on May 8, 2010 (EDT)
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59 forum posts

do you think its ok to machine wash even if the product says not to?

9:57 p.m. on May 8, 2010 (EDT)
244 reviewer rep
5,239 forum posts

I would think the manufacturer would know best by saying that on the label?

I second the Woolite product for mild soap. And now there are other specially made detergents for washing gear. Ask about them at your local outdoor shops,

4:23 a.m. on May 9, 2010 (EDT)
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59 forum posts

ok, ill ask around some of the local outdoor shops, and i figured the manufacturer would know best but sometimes they say things that dont need to be done. Ill stick to the hand wash with mild's a militarty issue "improved" rainsuit. I wasnt sure if there was any other conciderations with taped seams and such.

7:54 a.m. on May 9, 2010 (EDT)
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2,975 forum posts

I don’t wash my Gore-Tex items, fearing I may block the pores or compromise the seam tape. I know people who say soap flakes like those in the accompanying link will not harm Gore-Tex. Also, regardless what the label says, do not machine dry treated fabrics or Gore-Tex. Some fabric treatments will break down or out gas in a dryer, and the fumes could be flammable. Hang dry Gore-Tex; it is too expensive to risk damage for the convenience of quicker drying times. If you wash a sleeping bag, always do it by hand; the machine can tug at it, and destroy the internal baffles of a down bag, or tear bats of insulation loose in synthetic bags. Always dry sleeping bags in the large laundry mat style dryers on low temp. (Home dryers are not large enough to dry a bag in.) Anticipate two hour or more at the laundry mat waiting for your bag to dry.

3:24 p.m. on May 16, 2010 (EDT)
75 reviewer rep
306 forum posts

The thread above has a video on YouTube from the people at Gore and discussing cleaning. There are also some other helpful tips on the thread.


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