Debbie Gabriel

19 Jan 23

Caring For Your Down Jackets

Debbie Gabriel

19 Jan 23

Many of us really love our down jackets. Despite the efforts of skiwear manufacturers around the world to invent ever better artificial materials to keep us warm and dry on the slopes, somehow the natural stuff manages to stay one step ahead when it comes to being lightweight, functional and cosy.

But sadly a good many of us have also had cleaning disasters with our down products. While many artificial materials can withstand regular washing cycles, down jackets are a very different breed, and it’s all too easy to completely ruin an expensive jacket in just a few minutes by getting the wash wrong.

Down Care

Down gear needs specialist care to keep it performing at its best, and waterproofing and aftercare specialists Nikwax have come up with the solution in their newly released Down Care Kit.

Specifically designed for cleaning and waterproofing down clothing, you just need to follow the simple steps provided to restore your jacket to its normal puffy self in no time.

Nikwax’s Down Care Kit will return your jacket to the warm, dry and clean garment you originally purchased for your adventures in the snow. Caring for your down gear with Nikwax will also extend the life of your down gear, which means you’ll save money not having to buy replacements so often, and that, in turn, will reduce waste. 

Why you need the Nikwax Down Care Kit

Down-filled jackets are great at keeping you warm because the structure of down traps air between its filaments and, once warmed by body heat, provides insulation.

But like all clothing, down items do need cleaning as dirt and body oils build up, affecting the water repellence, insulating properties and also creating odours.

Dirt attracts water; and if the fabric absorbs water, it can easily transfer into the down, making it clump together. When down gets wet it loses all of its insulating properties, because water conducts heat away from the body up to 25 times faster than air. It will also gain weight and its breathability will be significantly reduced, leaving you feeling cold, wet, and uncomfortable – in short, the opposite of what you want your down jacket for!

Cleaning your down items in a washing machine with conventional laundry detergent will, at best, leave behind a residue which masks water repellence, causing water to be absorbed and leading to a loss of warmth. At worst, it will lead to the same clumping that renders your jacket much less effective at doing its job.

Caring For Your Down Jackets

Nikwax Down Wash.Direct® is a specialist cleaner designed to revitalise the water and insulating properties of hydrophobic and regular down-filled gear. To add what’s known as “Durable Water Repellency”, or DWR for short, to your jacket use Nikwax Down Proof, a wash-in waterproofer, specifically designed to protect the insulating properties of down-filled gear from wet and damp conditions by adding extra water repellence. Nikwax Down Proof will add DWR to the outer fabric of the gear and also the down fill.

If you find that your down gear needs additional TLC and isn’t restored by just using Down Wash, it’s time to use Down Proof too! With average use of your down jacket it’s recommended you use Down Proof, also part of the Nikwax Down Care Kit, every five washes or whenever the surface of your jacket isn’t repelling water after cleaning.

Founded in 1977, Nikwax is today the global leader in environmentally safe aftercare and waterproofing solutions that extend the life and performance of technical apparel and equipment. Nikwax uses formulations that deliver maximum effectiveness while minimising environmental impact and promoting sustainability.

Nikwax products are all fluorochemical-free, use advanced elastomer technology, are not tested on animals, and are non-persistent.

WIN Nikwax Down Care Kit

The Nikwax Down Care Kit contains a generous 1L bottle of Down Wash.Direct and 300ml of Down Proof with a handy 10L dry-bag.

Available on Amazon for £22.99


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