How To

    Waterproof Your Ski/Snowboard Clothing

    The typical scenario is once you’ve washed or laundered your ski/snowboard pants, they are no longer water resistant. Even two coats of the spray stuff (Scotch Guard, etc.) does not seem to help. What do you do? Instead of simply wearing your ski clothing till your ski jackets, pants, and gloves are soiled and dirty and then replacing them or having two pairs of pants (one fresh pair for the snowy days and the older laundered pair for dry days), there are options to help you re-waterproof your ski gear.

    Keep in mind however, that there are broad two classes of garments: those with waterproof membranes laminated to the inside of the fabric (Gore-Tex, Dermizax, and assorted other designations proprietary to particular companies) and those without which are generally designated only as water-resistant. Both of these require a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) chemical treatment to the outside of the fabric so that water beads off and does not soak into the outer layer. If you have a waterproof garment then it should rarely if ever soak completely through. If you notice that the outer fabric appears to become waterlogged then reapplying a DWR coating will improve your comfort by allowing the waterproof membrane to properly breath.

    Re-Waterproofing Your Ski/Snowboard Clothing

    How to Re-Waterproof At Home

    1. Avoid using traditional laundry detergent which can damage the water repellency of your ski clothing. If you use proper cleansers then you should not have to reapply chemicals after every wash.
    2. Wash your ski clothing with a special cleaner designed to protect the waterproofing on your ski pants and jacket. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. These cleaners will help keep the original Durable Water Repellent coating intact.
    3. Follow up with either a spray-on water repellent or a wash in repellent. If you are using a spray-on repellent, you will most likely need to dry your ski clothing before hand. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions or line dry. Use the spray-on as directed. NOTE: Look for a water repellent that is specifically designed for clothing. Repellents used on wood decks, etc. can include chemicals that are harmful to your health if absorbed by your skin. If you are using a wash-in waterproofing product, do not dry your clothes after you wash them. Simply start another wash cycle with the wash-in repellent. Follow manufacturer’s instructions.
    4. Dry your clothing following the instructions that come with the wash-in or spray-on product, but be sure not to exceed the recommendations that are found on your garment’s care label. Many products actually advise that you tumble dry the garment in order to distribute and bond the water repellent chemical. However, if your garment specifies “hang dry only” then machine drying should be avoided.
    5. Hit the slopes to test out your re-waterproofed gear!

    Other options

    Take your ski clothing to your local dry cleaner to have them re-apply waterproofing spray.

    Waterproofing Products


    Nikwax Tech Wash
    “Wash-in cleaner for waterproof clothing and equipment. Safely revitalises breathability and water-repellency. This product is a non-detergent soap which can be used regularly to clean clothing and equipment without damaging the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coatings. Use this product instead of detergents or washing powder.” See more details at


    Penguin Sport-Wash
    “Its residue-free, non-allergenic formula is deisgned to keep high-tech fabric at peak performance and odor-free by washing away residues left by regular detergents, removing dirt, neutralizing bacteria, and restoring breathability, moisture-wicking, and factory applied waterproofing (DWR).” See more details at Penguin Apparel Care


    ReviveX Synthetic Fabric Cleaner
    “Specialized formula designed to clean all types of outerwear including rainwear, skiwear, soft shells, fleece and synthetic insulation. Essential preparation for treatment with Revivex Water Repellents. Ideal for GORE-TEX® garments, WINDSTOPPER® garments and other waterproof breathable garments.” See more details at



    Nikwax TX.Direct Wash-In
    “Wash-in waterproofing for wet weather clothing. Adds water-repellency and revives breathability to fabrics without wicking liners.” See more details at



    ReviveX Spray-On Water Repellent for Outerwear
    “REVIVEX Water Repellent for Outerwear For GORE-TEX and WINDSTOPPER garments and all types of breathable laminates and synthetic fabrics. Works on jackets, bibs, rain gear, hats and more! ReviveX Water Repellent for Outerwear will totally restore and/or create DWR (Durable Water Repellency) to any outerwear that can be washed and tumble dried. For all-season comfort, just wash, spray and tumble dry.” See more details at



    Tectron Water Repellent
    “This spray-on treatment provides maximum water repellency to leather and suede footwear—and it’s ozone safe.” See more at



    This article was republished with permission from

    Photo: (feature) Patrick Breen, (all others) from original article

    Share This Article