Skiing is fun, but it requires quite a bit of equipment. In addition to things like skis, boots, and poles, you are also going to need a quality ski jacket. Between the cold and the variable conditions, your jacket needs to keep you both warm and dry. That means you’ll probably spend a pretty penny to get a quality piece. Here’s how to wash a ski jacket so it stays in great shape season after season.
After you ski hard in your jacket all day, all weekend, or even all season, you’re going to need to wash it. Let’s take a look at some basic steps you can follow to wash your ski jacket and get it ready for your next trip:
- Empty all of the pockets (and remove lift tickets) before washing
- Zip the jacket and close pocket flaps
- Check the instructions on the tag for any special considerations
- Wash the jacket by itself in an empty washing machine
- Use quality activewear detergent (try WIN Detergent)
- Do NOT use fabric softener or bleach
- Machine wash with cold water
- Hang to air dry in a warm place away from sunlight
** Do NOT wash down jackets (the label will likely recommend dry clean only)
** Washing will always erode the DWR waterproof coating (common on synthetic jackets), so wash only when needed.
The Importance Of Base Layers
One way to help reduce the need to regularly wash your ski jacket is to wear appropriate base layers. These internal layers can help prevent your body oils and sweat from reaching the inside of your jacket. High quality base layers and jackets will wick moisture away as water vapor—but the salts and oils from your skin can still get trapped in these layers.
Of course, while these layers protect your jacket, they can get pretty dirty—and stinky—in the process. A quality activewear detergent like WIN Activewear Detergent can easily remove odors from your base layers, helping to ensure they stay fresh and keep your jacket fresh too!
WIN Activewear Detergent is made specifically for athletic apparel. It includes several ingredients that separate oils from synthetic fibers. With WIN, you will have a detergent that is designed to target the oils from your skin and remove them from the fibers of your garments. The result is clothing that smells fresh and new every time you pull it out of the wash!
Do I Really Need to Wash My Jacket?
It’s true that you may not need to wash your ski jacket as frequently as your base layers, but it is important to wash it from time to time. Dirt and other buildup will accumulate on the jacket with each run. That buildup can actually impact the performance of the jacket, wearing it down over time. By giving your jacket a periodic washing, you may be able to extend its useful life—and save yourself the hassle and cost of buying a new one.
If you decide not to wash your jacket between trips, be sure to at least brush away any dirt or debris, and treat any stains right away.
When To Wash
Here are a few helpful tips on when to wash your jacket:
- If you have a big ski trip coming up, wash your jacket well in advance so it can be packed and ready to go.
- Don’t try to wash your jacket in the morning before you go out skiing, as it may not dry in time.
- Be sure to wash your jacket shortly after any ski outing that was particularly dirty/muddy/messy.
- When planning for a ski trip, check on the availability of laundry machines where you’re staying, so you can wash your jacket during the trip if necessary.
- At the end of a season, be sure to give your jacket a good wash so it will be ready for next year.
Why Wash Your Ski Jacket By Itself?
Washing your ski jacket in an empty washing machine is crucial. Remember, your jacket is a pretty large piece of clothing with lots of zippers and pockets. If washed with other items, it could snag on them. Other items could also scratch and damage your jacket. Additionally, the inside of the coat is likely to hold on to a lot of water during the wash. That means it’s going to get heavy.
The bottom line is that putting too much in the washing machine along with the jacket could cause problems during the spin cycle. It’s better to err on the side of caution and simply wash your jacket alone.
Caring For Waterproof Ski Jackets
Note that any time you wash a waterproof jacket, you will erode the DWR coating. However, there are some extra steps you can take during the washing process to improve its longevity.
The first thing is to check on the quality of your jacket’s waterproofing. Test whether water absorbs into the material or beads on the surface. It should be beading, so if it’s soaking in, it’s time to take action.
After running your jacket through the wash using the steps noted above, wash it a second time with a wash-in waterproofing solution for clothing. This only needs to be done occasionally. Just check your jacket’s waterproofing every now and then to see if it could use a new coating.
WIN Your Next Ski Trip
To get your ski base layers and jacket ready for your next ski trip, use WIN Detergent. Our detergent is specifically designed to remove sweat and body oils from synthetic activewear like base layers, jackets, and more.