Nikwax – Waterproofing DWR

My Streetgaurd 3 jacket is entering it’s 3rd season, just got a new fat YKK Aquaguard main zipper and needed a good clean and rejuvination of it’s water-repelling capabilities.

tech wash

Having had great success with Nikwax’s glove treatment, actually the cream type for gloves and saddles where grip is necessary, it was only logical to try out their solution for jackets too. For garments, Nikwax has a different approach from the glove treatment. It’s a 2-stage approach utilizing a prewash then DWR application. The prewash is actually best done after a couple of regular washes as it is specifically for removing residual detergents and dirt that may compromise the DWR coating allowing water to seep by the barrier. So, what did I use?

TECH WASH for the prewash. It is just like using a typical detergent. Nothing special there. No softener, bleach or anything extra. Just wash. It’s supposed to clean thoroughly without leaving any detergent behind to compromise the 2nd stage water-proofing treatment.

Next, the TX DIRECT Spray-on. There are 2 options for the TX DIRECT, wash-in and spray-on. As my jacket has Schoeller’s c-change membrane which has climate-control characteristics, I chose to only apply the TX Direct Spray-on to the outer shell and avoid possibly compromising the c-change membrane by coating the inner as well, as the wash-in supposed to do. However, Nikwax does state the wash-in is fine for Gore-tex and similar products.

Applying TX Direct – Having been advised to apply the TX Direct while the jacket was still wet/damp, I applied the first coat soon after washing it. A few hours later, while still damp, I applied another coat to the front, shoulders and arms. Then, the next morning applied a 3rd coat to the arms. Why the multi-coats? Well, the wind and debris pounding the arms, shoulders and front can quickly wear down or damage the DWR. Hopefully, the multi-coats will give it a better chance. * Note: Best wear eye and breathing protection when applying. It has a smell and sticks leaving a slick yet dry residue. No warnings on the label but it’s better not to feel or smell that. I thought so after the first application and went long-sleeves, goggles and dust mask.

Long Term Test – Ok, so how well does it work? Now @6000km old and still going strong. The back still beads the water. The rest of the shell doesn’t leak or weep and breathes just as well as it did prior to the treatment. Haven’t cleaned or maintained it at all in that time either.

Verdict – Double thumbs up. Only off point is the smell for the initial few hundred kms.

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