Washing regular clothes is a straightforward task. You throw them in the washing machine, add detergent, select the setting, and off you go.
If you’re new to skiing and snowboarding, you might wonder how to wash ski gear. Is it like doing everyday laundry?
Before learning the best way to wash snow gear, I rarely washed my ski jacket or pants, only my base layers, and sweaters, as I knew they could go in with regular clothes.
However, now I’m in the camp that it is essential to wash ski gear after each trip to the mountains.
Keep reading to learn the methods I use to wash my ski gear.
How to wash your snow jacket?
Washing your ski jacket the right way is critical to ensure it lasts many years, not only one season.
Start by removing any removable inserts or liners, then check the brand label for the specific washing instructions.
If there aren’t any, it’s best to wash it on a low-temperature and gentle setting, which is the standard for all washing machines in the United States.
Make sure to close all zippers before throwing the jacket into the wash, as this will reduce sharp edges from snagging on other items in the wash. It will also reduce the chance of it having water in the pockets when the cycle finishes.
After your jacket has gone through its wash cycle, dry it either hung up or laid flat in an area away from direct heat to prevent shrinking and distortion of fabric design.
For tough stains, we recommend spot-treating them with mild detergent and cold water before putting it in the washing machine with your other gear.
How to wash your ski pants?
Washing your ski pants is very similar to the steps outlined above when instructing you how to wash your snow jacket.
You can wash ski pants separately from other items like your jacket, but you can also wash them together. As with the coat, please do not wash them in hot water or put them in the dryer since excess heat may damage the fabric of ski pants.
We also recommended washing ski pants with an appropriate detergent, especially for technical fabrics, so they keep their waterproofing properties intact while reducing the chance of staining or fading.
Again, make sure to zip up all pockets before placing them in the wash, as it’s happened to me before that water has accumulated in the pickets.
Then, once your wash cycle is complete, unzip all zippers before or after hanging your ski pants so they can air dry quickly.
These simple steps will ensure that your ski pants will still be in top condition once it’s time to hit the slopes again!
How to wash waterproof fabrics?
When deciding how to wash waterproof fabrics such as ski gear, the correct technique is essential in preserving its properties. Waterproof gear is expensive, so you don’t want to ruin them after spending a lot of money.
Firstly, wash with a mild detergent designed explicitly for waterproof materials and wash in cold or lukewarm water. Hot water could damage the garment.
Make sure you select a gentle cycle, and we even recommend turning the clothes inside out, not to damage any connectors or fastenings of the product.
Once the wash finishes, lay it out on a clothes horse or hang them on hangers and place them outside to dry naturally.
Do not use highly abrasive cleaners, and avoid tumble dryers, if possible, as they can cause permanent damage to the fabric and its waterproof properties.
If you fear that you’ve incorrectly washed your waterproof gear in the past, then you can apply a waterproof protector once dry as reinforcement.
How to wash a fleece sweater?
Fleece sweaters go through a lot so washing them correctly is essential. They are vital for warmth in the colder months and can be worn as the main outer layer once it warms up.
To start, wash the garment in cold or lukewarm water on a delicate wash cycle with mild detergent meant for delicates. Remove the garment from the washer and lay it flat on a towel to dry.
Allowing the sweater to air dry will help prevent it from shrinking more than necessary and maintain its original shape. It’s best to put it in a dryer only if the clothing label claims you can.
After drying your fleece sweater, fluff it up with your hands or a brush to restore it to its original softness. I rarely do this last step, but my girlfriend does it with her fleece sweaters.
Washing Items Made With Gore-Tex
Gore-Tex is one of the most popular fabrics for snow gear. If any of your gear is made with Gore-Tex, there are specific instructions to ensure you wash them correctly.
With Gore-Tex, it’s important to wash the fabric delicately using a special detergent, as we mentioned when discussing how to clean waterproof materials.
Do not scrub or brush Gore-Tex items, as it could damage the material. Wash on a gentle cycle and at a low temperature too.
After washing, it t best to hang dry the Gore-Tex clothing and avoid machine drying as it can degrade the fabric’s performance over time.
Don’t use fabric softeners. You don’t need to smell as fresh as a daisy on the mountains, and definitely don’t use bleach! These can negatively affect snow gear that uses highly resistant Gore-Tex materials in its build.
I own a pair of Gore-Tex ski gloves and only washed them at the end of the first season that I had them. The truth is that I was scared to ruin them by washing them, so I put off doing it. However, I used the steps mentioned above, and they came out fine!
Don’t be a filthy animal like me if your gloves need a wash sooner!
How to dry snow gear after you’ve washed it?
We’ve already said that we like to hang dry all of our snow gear once it’s clean. This is easy at home as we can hang our ski pants up by the suspenders, hang the coat with a hanger, and then do up the zip.
But, if we’re away and something needs cleaning urgently, we’ll do so wherever we’re staying and use a dryer as a last resort.
This is why taking a spare pair of ski pants is a good idea. Some people will even take an extra jacket with them, depending on the length of their trip. You never know what’s going to happen, so why not.
Hang or lay items flat in a well-ventilated area for an hour or two to help them dry faster.
If items are still wet, place them in the dryer on a low setting with a few towels and regularly check until fully dry. Snow pants and ski gloves should be turned inside out before drying, then hung up alongside jackets, so air circulates freely inside them.
To avoid damaging waterproof breathable shell fabric, opt for natural drying instead of using a dryer whenever possible.
As you’ve seen, washing expensive ski and snowboard gear differs from washing regular clothes.
Outer snow gear is made with waterproof material, so you’ll need to buy a detergent for this type of material. We also advise you to wash your ski jacket and pants at a low temperature and a gentle setting to avoid damaging the items.
If you want to be cautious, washing them separately is also a good idea.
We like to wait to wash ski gear on a nice day so it will dry quickly. But this is only sometimes possible, especially in winter.
On bad weather days, dry them outside in an area protected from rain, snow, and other brutal elements. Otherwise, the last resort is to use a dryer, but ensure the temperature and spin setting are on the lowest option.