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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 12-27-11, 04:27 PM   #1
Mercian Rider
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Is it possible to "re"-waterproof rain gear?

So, would any of the available spray on fabric "waterproofing" solutions revive an otherwise virtually completely shot rain suit? Anyone tried them, and if so what was the result?

I've got a new rain suit, so all's well.

But earlier this year my previously trusty Performance rain suit completely failed on a cool rainy morning commute. It was at least 10 years old, and I surmise it had been washed one too many times, and maybe even washed improperly.

Not sure what to do with it. Although no longer waterproof, it still acts as a great moisture barrier for my sweat. Hoping an $8 bottle of spray will give me a spare rain suit--probably dreaming?
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Old 12-27-11, 04:32 PM   #2
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If it's meant for DWR, then get a $10 bottle and reapply it. You'll want to wash the jacket, dry it on medium heat, spray it down, then dry it again, with medium to high heat, because that's what brings the stuff to life.

If the jacket wasn't designed to work with DWR, this will be a waste of your $10.
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Old 12-27-11, 05:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
If it's meant for DWR, then get a $10 bottle and reapply it. You'll want to wash the jacket, dry it on medium heat, spray it down, then dry it again, with medium to high heat, because that's what brings the stuff to life.

If the jacket wasn't designed to work with DWR, this will be a waste of your $10.
I'm not familiar with the acronym "DWR"--would you please enlighten me?

Since you're from Seattle I'm sure you know more about rain gear than I ever will!
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Old 12-27-11, 05:18 PM   #4
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DWR, 'Durable Water Repellant'.. a surface treatment on the New fabric
when it's manufactured.

In waterproof-breathable fabrics,
the Micro porous membrane, depends on surface water beading up,
to keep the pores open to water vapor from within, escaping.

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-27-11 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 12-27-11, 05:30 PM   #5
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http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/MensCl...-repellent.jsp Worked for me. Throwing the garment in the dryer also tends to reactivate such repellent treatments. I wear a pack and the straps tend to reduce the water-repellency prematurely.
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Old 12-27-11, 05:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mercian Rider View Post
I'm not familiar with the acronym "DWR"--would you please enlighten me?
Durable Water Repellant. Fietsbob already beat me to it.

Basically, it's a chemical thing that gives a surface just enough static charge (?) to made water bead up and roll off, instead of soaking in. A lot of jackets, rain pants, and other outdoor gear comes treated with some kind of DWR. It lasts about a season, with typical use and typical washing, then it's more or less worn out. If your rain rain gear has a surface that, well, works with DWR however that works, then applying more will make your stuff as good as new.

Get the spray on kind, not the wash in stuff.
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Old 12-27-11, 07:13 PM   #7
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I've been using Camp Dry for years.

Never a problem, and I seem to get as much wear out of it as the "durable" stuff, for less money. A buy can a year. It does both my rainjackets, rain tights, winter tights, a few pair of gloves, my shoes, and a couple pair of booties.
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Old 12-27-11, 09:07 PM   #8
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Mercian Rider: I seen this link posted in another thread today and found it full of useful info on how to care for cycling gear. I think there is still some hope that your old rain coat can be revived.

http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/arti...nwear+dwr.html

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Old 12-27-11, 10:45 PM   #9
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Membrane type rain gear, GoreTex, Entrant,etc, usually marketed as being "Waterproof-Breathable" requires, as others have said, a DWR treatment on the surface. Keeping the garment clean, preferably with a suitable tecwash, and tumble drying, is enough to keep the garment up to snuff, for 1-2 years, depending on quality and use. When reapplying the DWR, use a wash in type for 3 layer membranes ( perversely, these are the ones that seem to be one layer of cloth ) and a spray on for 2, or 2 and half layer garments. Those are the ones that have some form of separate liner. Regular "plastic" waterproofs, use some kind of tent waterproofer. I don't recommend that type of rain gear for cycling, you get so sweaty that you're just as wet at the end, anyway. I usually suggest something in GoreTex Paclite or pro shell, or Entrant, and something with suitable venting.
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Old 12-28-11, 07:59 AM   #10
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As others have said, if it's fixable, the sprays will work wonders. I've had great success with Nikwax. I used the nikwax pretreatment/cleaner as well. They say to use it to make sure that the garment is completely clean before applying the spray. I have not frmae of reference if it helped or not, but I figured for what the jacket cost, it was worth spending the extra couple of $ to clean it. As someone mentioned, if you try it, make sure to get the spray on treatment, not the wash in kind. The wash in one can/will coat both sides of the fabric. You only want the coating on the outside.
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Old 12-28-11, 10:38 AM   #11
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The DWR (Temporary water repellant) treatment beads water away from the waterproof/breathable membrane. Once the beading stops, the fabric and membrane soaks up water, remaining waterproof but not breathable. It takes hours to dry off.
DWR effect can be destroyed by detergent washes. Use a soap-based cleaner. You can get special outdoor cleaning stuff but soap flakes or soap liquid work well. If you have used a detergent wash, re-wash in soap.
If you dryclean the garment, rewash with soap.
You can restore DWR with heat. Gortex recommend ironing the surface.
I have used Nikwax for many years. Some drycleaners can also apply a DWR.
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