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Fabric Cleaners/Treatments

Top Picks

How we choose: The best fabric cleaners/treatments highlighted here were selected based on 12 reviews of 7 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

How we test: Trailspace is powered entirely by our community of readers. The reviews posted here reflect the real-world experiences of outdoor enthusiasts just like you.

If you've used a fabric cleaner/treatment that you think should be listed here, please share your experience.

Disclosure: Trailspace never accepts payment for gear reviews, product placement, or editorial coverage. When you buy through affiliate links on our site, Trailspace may earn a small commission, which helps cover the costs of running the site.

Nikwax TX.Direct Wash-In

user rating: 3.5 of 5 (5 reviews)

BEST IN CLASS! What would you give to restore your most technical (typically expensive), breathable waterproof/repellent gear back to its original functional state? What you give to add durable water resistant (DWR) finish capability to a favorite synthetic fabric item, that did not have it in the first place?  What if this just costed $1 to 4 per item, and can be done at home ... without the need for a Flux Capacitor or Hot Tub Time Machine? Would it make you happy if there were no persistent chemicals added into the environment, that you are trying to see, while using this gear? Consider giving Wash-In a try. Worked GREAT for me, so far, on a variety of gear.

Reasons to Buy

  • Works astonishingly well ... in one easy treatment
  • Action and durability similar to original DWR (durable water resistant) finishes
  • Does not stain or build up ( if follow directions)
  • Water based, easy to apply and clean up without fumes
  • Environmentally friendly, biodegradable, does not persist!
  • Great directions ... important to follow them

Reasons to Avoid

  • Must read the label and follow directions to be optimally effective*
  • Must trust the directions: *prewash with right detergent, make sure all detergent traces removal before treatment
  • Can't stop leaking from abraded, exhausted or torn fabrics or seam tape (so don't expect it)
  • Not free: not included with original techwear purchases ... it should be, at least a coupon!
  • Odd how the label says use 10 oz to treat. My 10 oz bottle should just say use the WHOLE bottle.
  • Number of items treated per bottle stated as 3. I get more when using smaller items.

Over the last few years, I'm becoming more and more impressed with the products and vision of Nikwax. I've learned with every new one I try, that they must have invested extensive R&D and testing to create their (I'm finding to be) highly effective products. Nikwax does not just put words on a label. They assist me in proving those words out, on my gear, under my home conditions.If you think this is high praise, test Wash-In and see the results for yourself.   Out here a working rain shell jacket or pants might just help save my life.

Read more: Nikwax TX.Direct Wash-In reviews (5)

Gear Aid ReviveX Pro Cleaner

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

Best bang for the buck.

Reasons to Buy

  • Safe and effective down soap
  • Most economical I've used
  • Works as well for breathable rain gear and tech clothing
  • Restores DWR finish by cleaning

Reasons to Avoid

  • None

Previously, I've used Nikwax for down and thought I'd try McNett's Gear Aid. I won't be using Nikwax any longer and here's why: GA goes waaay farther, like about four to eight times what NW does making it that much less cost. Having used the 3-4 ozs. of Nikwax that's recommended for a down bag and finding that it does the job fine, I tried Gear Aid. They say it's concentrated four times more and using it made a believer of me. Literally, 1.5 ozs. cleans a down sleeping bag, though the label recommendation is 3-4 ozs.

Read more: Gear Aid ReviveX Pro Cleaner review (1)

Nikwax Hardshell DuoPack

user rating: 3.5 of 5 (1 review)

The Nikwax Hardshell DUO-Pack is a great choice for bringing back both the waterproofness and breathability of your Goretex or other waterproof breathable membrane gear. This kit includes a bottle of Tech Wash cleaner and a bottle of TX. Direct, which is a waterproofing treatment that allows water to shed off your jacket.

Reasons to Buy

  • Simple to use (especially when you don’t bother to read the instructions)
  • Seems to be effective at cleaning and at restoring the water repellency

Reasons to Avoid

  • The instructions are in an incredibly small font size and are dark text on a dark background, which make it a pain to read.

I have a couple of older jackets that have long ago started too wet out easily and were not nearly as waterproof as when they were new, so I thought I’d pick up the DUO-Pack from Nikwax and use it to clean and retreat my jackets. The kit comes with two bottles where one is the Tech Wash which is used to first clean your jackets and then the second bottle of TX.Direct is a wash-in waterproofing/water repellency treatment. Breathable waterproof membrane-based materials really only work when the pores in the membrane are free of dirt, sweat, and other crud and when the outer material layer sheds water and doesn’t “wet-out” which effectively prevents water vapor from coming through the membrane.

Read more: Nikwax Hardshell DuoPack review (1)

Rust-Oleum NeverWet Fabric

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

Rust-Oleum NeverWet Fabric is a one-step, superhydrophobic, water repelling treatment designed to keep items dry longer. Goes on clear and causes water to bead up and roll off treated gear.

Reasons to Buy

  • One-step (versus the original two-step NeverWet)
  • Clear (versus the cloudy haze of the original NeverWet)
  • Water has little chance to soak in
  • Quick and easy to apply

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not permanent, but I'm not aware of a treatment that is

I had tried the original Rust-Oleum NeverWet that comes in a two-can, two-step spray can form factor on some gear and while it worked great, it dried to an unsightly cloudy haze. Now Rust-Oleum has introduced NeverWet Fabric aimed at the outdoor furniture market. Having recently enjoyed a leaky tent on a rainy weekend trip, I decided to re-seam seal the tent and try NeverWet Fabric. As advertised, it goes on clear with no haze and took five to ten minutes to apply to my two-person tent.  One bottle was enough to treat my tent with perhaps enough left over to treat a jacket.

Read more: Rust-Oleum NeverWet Fabric review (1)

Nanotips Black

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (2 reviews)

Its a liquid solution you paint over the tips of your existing gloves to make them touchscreen compatible! It works great on my snowboarding gloves. I love how I didn't have to buy a new pair of glove for this function. I definitely recommend it to anyone who has a pair of gloves that don't work with their phones!

Reasons to Buy

  • Each bottle can treat 30 fingers
  • Works on my thick snowboarding gloves
  • Cheaper than a new pair of glove

Reasons to Avoid

  • Smells like nail polish when wet

I bought this product after seeing it on a review and I must say I was a little skeptical at first but it works great! I didn't think it would work on my snowboarding gloves since they were so thick but it works surprisingly well. The box said there is enough liquid for 30 treatments and each treatment can last for a month. I would say the only negative thing I have to say about the product is the smell when it's wet. it kind of smells like nail polish but once it's dried the smell is gone!  The application part was easy to use. I had to apply it to a larger area to make it more conductive, but that wasn't a problem. I've gone snowboarding twice now and it works great. 

Read more: Nanotips Black reviews (2)

More Reviews of Fabric Cleaners/Treatments

Trailspace reviewers have shared 12 reviews of 7 different fabric cleaners/treatments.

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Other Types of Gear Care and Maintenance

Find more gear care and maintenance reviewed in these related categories:

Repair Kits

Patches and Tapes

Seam Sealers

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