Reviews

Best bang for the buck. Previously, I've used Nikwax…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $12/12oz.

Summary

Best bang for the buck.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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.

The way I do it is, in a 14" x 22" deep plastic storage bin I add the soap to about 2 gallons of hot 106° tap water and pre-treat any heavily soiled areas and rub it in those then submerge the rest of the bag and let it soak for 10-20 minute before hand working it again. Now, I carefully feed the bag into the tub of the HE front-loader and add the soap solution. Wash it on gentle cycle, slow spin, and extra rinse.

After that it's in the dryer on the low setting for hours. About every half hour I will turn the inside out and vice versa and gently break up any clumps until it's about half dry. At that point I put six tennis balls in the dryer that help immensely in the down fluffing up.

Finally, when I'm satisfied with it being dry and knowing there's still moisture I take it out and hang it for a week or two before putting it in the large breathable storage bag for longer term.

A heavy hooded down jacket only takes 1/2 oz. That's 24 garments to one 12 oz. bottle.

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