This post may contain affiliate links.

How to wash an eVent Jacket

eVent Care Instructions

Do you remember the orange tag that was attached to your eVent jacket when you bought it? The one that said, Please Wash Me Often.

It sounded like a good idea then, but I never seemed to get around to it.  That finally changed this week. My jacket was noticeably ripe on my last backpacking trip, so I finally gave it a wash yesterday, and now I’m thinking I really should do this more often.

Check the DWR

If your eVent garment is still relatively new, chances are good that its DWR (Durable Water Repellent) layer is still in excellent condition. You can determine this by simply spraying some water on the outside of your jacket or garment. If it beads up and rolls off easily, the DWR is still in good shape.

Avoid Hard Detergents

If you plan on washing your garment at home or at a laundromat, it’s important to make sure that there are no harsh detergents lingering in the washing machine that can damage the DWR. For example, if you use powdered detergent at home, hand-wash the tray you put the detergent in, and run an empty load to remove any powdered detergent residue. Definitely do this in a laundromat. Powdered detergent is very tough on DWR coatings.

Use Unscented Soap

Next, put your garment in the washing mashing and set the dial to use cold water. Pour in a small amount of regular unscented  liquid detergent which is dye and perfume free. This part is real important. You don’t want a bear coming to investigate your coat at night because you washed it in Honey-scented detergent.

If you want, you can also use a special soap like Nikwax Tech Wash to clean eVent clothing. Tech wash is a very gentle non-detergent soap made especially for outdoor gear that will not affect your garment’s DWR.

Whatever you do, don’t use any fabric softener or bleach, don’t dry clean your eVent garmet, don’t steam it clean, or and don’t iron it. All of these methods have the potential to damage the fabric and the waterproof eVent membrane.

Manufacturer’s Washing Instructions

Before you wash an eVent garment, check the manufacturer’s washing instructions in case they have any special recommendations. If you’ve lost these, go to their web site or call their customer service number.

For example, Rab recommended that I close all of the zippers on my jacket before washing it, that I wash the jacket a second time without soap, and then drip dry it. I followed their advice.

Restoring DWR

If the DWR on your jacket is shot, you can restore it in one of two ways: you can spray on a water repellent treatment like Nikwax Tx-Direct or you can wash it in with a specially formulated wash-in version of Tx-Direct that you apply in a washing machine, after you’ve washed your garment.

Before you do either of these you can also dry it on low heat in a dryer which can sometimes revitalize the original DWR coating.

I’ve used the spray-on version of Tx-Direct successfully on a Gortex-Pro shell in the past and had good success with it. Once clean, you simply spray Tx-Direct on your coat, let it drip dry, and then dry it on low heat in a regular clothes dryer.

I haven’t used the wash-in version and would personally be cautious about using it on a garment like a rain shell that really needs to vent moisture efficiently. The potential problem I see with a wash-in application of DWR is that it will coat both sides of the jacket fabric: the one closest to your skin and the one facing the rain. Anything that blocks the transfer of moisture from your body to the inside of the coat can’t be good and I’d avoid this method of application, unless someone else can vouch for it.


  1. Water is an incredible solvent, especially with a little soap in the mix. Normal washing with warm or hot water is quickly effective in removing grunge from clothes. The same effectiveness can be accomplished with cold water if the wash time is increased. I recommend using very little soap and letting clothes soak overnight in cold water. It is about as gentle a process as possible and the space soap used will be easier to rinse clean.

  2. That's true – I can still remember my chemistry teacher describing water as the "universal solvent."

    Another helpful cleaning tip is to use the big front loaders at a laundromat instead of the new smaller ones. The old ones use 75 gallons of water and the new ones only 13 gallons. Ignoring the amount of water used, you can use 1/2 as much liquid detergent as you normally would with the big washers because they are so much more effective and get dirty clothes very clean.

  3. Tech Wash improves the performance of what ever I wash in it, whether windproof or waterproof. The same cannot be said of DWR replacements – TX Direct has been disappointing and Granger's product was temporarily disastrous. Luckily, I was able to wash it out with Tech Wash.

  4. I'm glad you mentioned this. I'll have to try tech wash sometime, since every time I've washed DWR treatment into my older gore-tex jackets, the new treatment seems to only last a few days.

    Philip, have you noticed a really great improvement of the performance in the eVent? I've wanted to get one of those jackets for a while, but it's very hard to convince myself to spend the cash on a very expensive jacket when I'm so used to the $25 driducks. Oh, and have you washed your MLD eVent rain mitts, too? I can't remember if you use those…

  5. Always avoided the wash in DWR as it coats inside as well. eVent needs to cleaned a lot as it clogs up faster then Gore-Tex apparently. Hence wash me often.

  6. Guthook – I like my Rab eVent Momentum much better than my old Gore-Tex Paclite Jacket. There is an improvement in moisture transport, particularly in winter, which is probably due to the fact that eVent is 2 ply and gore-tex is normally a 3+ ply sandwich.

    I do own the MLD eVent mitts but haven't needed them much, so they haven't been washed yet. But they are nice over a lite fleece layer in cold rain.

    Martin – you've confirmed my concerns about eVent and tech-wash.

  7. TGO did an article on cleaning kit years ago (John Manning) and in it a pro cleaning company said don't use wash in DWR as it coats the inside. It is so obvious yet people believe the marketing hype. I need to clean my Super Fly as it is wetting out too quick and clogging up. Clean kit is high performing kit.

  8. > which is probably due to the fact that eVent

    > is 2 ply and gore-tex is normally a 3+ ply

    > sandwich

    Ummmm, I believe eVent comes in 2 and 3 layer varieties.

  9. That's interesting about not ironing eVent. I can't remember who posted the videos from a visit to the GoreTex factory (on a moments refelction I think it may have been Jason Klass), anyway, they were saying that ironing GoreTex was ok … always worth double checking which kind of garment you are cleaning!

  10. That sounds risky. I still own some gore-tex rain pains and no way would I iron them. What purpose could it serve?

  11. Just got back from walking the south cost track of tassie, and my eVent jacket copied a fare beating,
    Does anyone know if toko textile wash is suitable to used on eVent?
    The bottle says it is safe to use on gore text but does is it suitable for eVent

  12. Can i handwash my eVent jacket ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *