Restoring Water Repellency

“Wet out” can put a real damper on your day. That’s when liquid saturates your garment’s outer fabric layer above the GORE-TEX® membrane, leaving you feeling damp and clammy - as if your garment were leaking, even when it’s not.

To prevent wet out, all GORE-TEX® shell fabrics are treated with an ultra-thin treatment called DWR, a durable water repellent polymer that is applied to the outermost fabric layer. DWR penetrates the fibers and lowers the surface tension of the fabric, causing water to bead up and roll off this outer layer of fabric, instead of being absorbed.

DWR is not permanent, though. Regular wear and tear, plus exposure to dirt, detergents, insect repellent, and other impurities can shorten its lifespan. The good news is that restoring the water repellency of your GORE-TEX® shell is extremely easy.

Restoring Water Repellency for GORE-TEX® and WINDSTOPPER® Outerwear

Just machine wash it, rinse it, and put it in the dryer, being sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the care label inside. The washing removes dirt and other contaminants and the heat from the dryer helps redistribute the DWR treatment on the fabric surface.

If water fails to bead up on the surface of your cleaned and tumble-dried garment, its DWR treatment has reached the end of its useful life. But don’t worry: You can restore the garment’s water repellency by applying a topical water repellency restorative (DWR treatment) for outdoor fabrics, available at your local outdoor retailer. We do not recommend wash-in treatments, as they can hinder your garment's breathability.

Restoring Water Repellency for GORE-TEX® Footwear

We do not recommend the use of waterproofing waxes or greases as they can seriously affect the footwear's breathability. Apply only treatments, polishes, conditioners, and dressings recommended by the manufacturer. Always check the manufacturer’s care instructions on the label of your footwear first.

Restoring Water Repellency for CROSSTECH® Outerwear

The CROSSTECH® fabric in your garment provides waterproof protection without a water-repellent finish, although the garment’s outer shell fabric has been treated so that water beads up on its surface in the rain. This treatment may wear off after use but can be restored by ironing your garment using a warm steam setting after cleaning according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After extended wear, you may need to use a commercially available, non-silicone water-repellent product to treat the outer fabric.