Before washing and….
Grangers 2 in 1 Cleaner and Reproofer £8.99 for 300ml (up to ten washes)
Many water-resistant garments lose their effectiveness after washing with modern detergents. The result is that many wearers refrain from cleaning the garment until it becomes absolutely necessary. I’m sure some of us have seen riders wearing yellow jackets that look like they have seen cleaner days; I noticed one such example the other day, the rider admiring a new bike in a shop. I also noticed the lady standing nearby cringe as she slowly edged away to a cleaner, fresher and altogether more agreeable place!
For a while there have been several products on the market aimed specifically at cleaning and reproofing water resistant fabrics. Grangers are one such company and offer three variations: a cleaning specific solution, a reproofing specific solution and the product tested here, which is a combination cleaner and reproofer in one bottle.
I first used this at the beginning of the winter on a favourite walking jacket of mine, which was starting to fall into the category as described above. It was becoming a choice of either repel water, or repel people, I couldn’t, it seems, have both! Well, now it seems you can, for after washing it was both clean and I am relieved to say still as water resistant as it was before being cleaned. It was no better, I have to say, but no worse either, so I guess that if your current jacket leaks then it will not make it as good as new. The reproofing-specific version would need to be considered for that.
To use, simply place the garment in the washing machine, use two cap fulls of solution for a single jacket, washing at 30 degrees. Often the garment’s washing instructions will recommend tumble drying after washing to maximise water repellency. If so, this you still need to do; if you have no tumble drier then a slightly warm iron achieves the same result.
Father Christmas bought my girlfriend a new Altura Nevis jacket after he had heard her saying how much she liked mine. At £50.00 it is water resistant,breathable and comfortable enough that many use it as a jacket instead of purely as rainwear. Sure enough, as is often the case when you are wearing something new, she came off! The result one was concussed rider, a broken helmet and a very dirty and grazed jacket, not to mention a motorist who now has a bad ear ache after I explained that it was not the done thing to overtake a rider then immediately start to turn left! At time of writing, the rider is healing, helmet is replaced and jacket, although forever scarred, is not so bad that it needs to be thrown away, although it did need a wash to remove the worst of the road dirt.
Fortunately I had a bottle of Grangers handy – the bottle has enough for up to ten washes. This has enabled me to test my still new and unwashed jacket and compare it to hers after washing; not exactly a highly technical test in a laboratory with scientists wearing long white overalls and holding clip boards, but it does show that the water I sprayed onto the material with my plant sprayer has beaded on both jackets, a simple yet relatively effective test, showing that it does do exactly as it says on the bottle.