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Thread: Help with Waterproofing Questions, please

  1. #1
    Senior Member BIGEarl's Avatar
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    Question Help with Waterproofing Questions, please

    In the past I have used Scotchgard Heavy Duty Waterproofing for Outdoor Fabrics with great results. Unfortunately, even though it is still listed on their website I canít find it anywhere. I contacted 3M and was told they discontinued all Scotchgard products for outdoor applications and were unsure if these products would be reinstated in their product line. The representative told me to look for another solution from another source.

    REI sells products from Nikwax, Tectron, and Grangerís that deal with waterproofing or repelling water. I have used Nikwax on footwear but not on anything else. I have not used Grangerís or Tectron products.

    My main interest is to restore the DWR treatment on rain gear and other outdoor gear (packs, etc).

    Does anybody have information on this topic? Does anybody have experiences with these products? Iím interested in the good and bad.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I have used Silicone Water-Guard for many years on boots (sueded leather), rain gear, packs and umbrellas. My last can(s) were bought at Wal-Mart.
    I'm just outwalkin....

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    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    My understanding is that Nikwax's TX.Direct Spray On waterproofing is one of the best options. It's not quite as simple to use as the wash-in DWRs, but the problem with those is that they also coat the interior with the DWR, which may inhibit the breathability of the garment.

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    Junior Member BoulderBum's Avatar
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    Makes you wonder what they put in the 3M products doesn't it? I used to use that stuff in the army... pretty awesome, but maybe I was poisoning myself.

    I just used the Nikwax TX-Direct Spray-on the other day on my pack. seems to have created a water-beading result that I remember from the 3M stuff... we'll see if it lasts.

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    Senior Member sardog1's Avatar
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    I've used the NikWax line for several years and then the Granger's for the last three or four, on several GoreTex garments and an eVent jacket. I've found the Granger's to be just as effective, maybe even better, and somewhat less expensive per application.
    sardog1

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    Senior Member JoeCedar's Avatar
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    Nikwax has a number of products, depending on the application. They have spray-on "tent and gear solarproof" intended for tarps, packs, etc., which are not waterproof/breatheable fabrics.

    The TX-direct spray-on is for clothing such as Gore-tex which have coated interior layer(s).

  7. #7
    Senior Member jbreen's Avatar
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    I've had good luck with the Nixwax spray on, but if the garment is not too (over) used, you can run it through a hot dryer and that will restore the dwr properties.
    What's a dazzling urbanite like you doing in a rustic setting like this?

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    Member BF's Avatar
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    I've used Scotched Gard water repellent spray numerous times. The last can I purchased was last summer at Home Depot in the paint department. Maybe they still have some left on their shelves.?

  9. #9
    Senior Member BIGEarl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoulderBum View Post
    Makes you wonder what they put in the 3M products doesn't it? I used to use that stuff in the army... pretty awesome, but maybe I was poisoning myself.
    .......
    I'm pretty sure Scotchgard is intended for external use only. Where were you spraying the stuff?


    Thanks for all of the information.

    Iíve checked the W.L. Gore website for guidelines on maintaining Gore-Tex. Based on their recommendations for restoring repellency, I believe a spray-on product will fit my needs best. They specifically recommend against a wash-in treatment. I'm pretty sure a spray-on solution would be best for my other gear as well but might look at a wash-in product for my pack if it seems a wash-in lasts longer than a spray-on treatment.

    It looks like Nikwax TX Direct or the Grangerís XT Proofer will do the job. Iím a little concerned with the Grangerís product. They suggest running the item through a dryer after spraying to ďensure proper activation of Grangerís XT ProoferĒ. I have easy access to some pretty large dryers but this adds inconvenience to the process. The Nikwax stuff may have the same recommendation and Iíve just missed it.

  10. #10
    Member BF's Avatar
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    Be careful with putting Goretex in a hot drier. A hot drier can destroy/bubble the Goretex layer. Keep the drier on a low setting.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    I've used Scotch Guard but mainly to help water repellance of fleece. (In a bind I once used it on a tent.) I've never used it on Goretex and have resigned myself to the fact that, while Goretex can safely be cleaned, the water resistence of the outer film cannot be maintained in a way that doesn't, sooner or later, compromise the Goretex qualities of water resistence AND breathability.

    Thus, I accept the life span of my Goretex at only 83 years ... just kidding ... at 5-10 years depending on its use and, for best results, cash it in (donate to Goodwill etc.) when it loses the qualities I purchased it for. Having said that, my NorthFace Mountain Light jacket lasted over 10 years.

  12. #12
    Senior Member BIGEarl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    I've used Scotch Guard but mainly to help water repellance of fleece. (In a bind I once used it on a tent.) I've never used it on Goretex and have resigned myself to the fact that, while Goretex can safely be cleaned, the water resistence of the outer film cannot be maintained in a way that doesn't, sooner or later, compromise the Goretex qualities of water resistence AND breathability.

    Thus, I accept the life span of my Goretex at only 83 years ... just kidding ... at 5-10 years depending on its use and, for best results, cash it in (donate to Goodwill etc.) when it loses the qualities I purchased it for. Having said that, my NorthFace Mountain Light jacket lasted over 10 years.
    Quite a few years ago I was in contact with the Customer Service folks at W.L. Gore for guidance on maintaining Gore-Tex rain gear that I had. I was given very specific instructions for washing the set and restoring repellency. (Similar instructions are currently listed on their website.) Part of the instructions included Scotchgard Heavy Duty Waterproofing For Outdoor Fabrics. There are many Scotchgard products for various applications but this particular one worked great for my rain gear. Since this particular flavor of Scotchgard has been discontinued it isn't really worth a discussion. I am very disappointed 3M has decided to discontinue the product and hope to find something equivalent. Restoring water repellency for the outer layer of a Gore-Tex product is easy, and for me a preferred solution.

    After over twenty years of use, the rain gear I called W.L. Gore about is still going strong.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BIGEarl View Post
    After over twenty years of use, the rain gear I called W.L. Gore about is still going strong.
    That doesn't surprise me. The failure of my gear was at least due as much to interior moisture build up (from lack of breathability) as to water penetration. I just never had much success washing without some noticeable difference in performance, even following instructions, so my "system" was little or no cleaner of any kind and a light spray of Scotch Guard afterwards.

  14. #14
    Senior Member BIGEarl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    That doesn't surprise me. The failure of my gear was at least due as much to interior moisture build up (from lack of breathability) as to water penetration. I just never had much success washing without some noticeable difference in performance, even following instructions, so my "system" was little or no cleaner of any kind and a light spray of Scotch Guard afterwards.
    I have always treated the outside of my rain gear after washing. The outcome has always been like-new performance.

    The Customer Service person at W.L. Gore was very specific concerning the detergent to use in washing Gore-Tex. I'm not sure of the reason for a particular product, and still do not care. I simply follow their instructions.

    The instructions posted on their website are less specific concerning the cleaning detergent and DWR products to be used.

  15. #15
    Senior Member mtruman's Avatar
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    We use the Nikwax Tech Wash and TX Direct wash in for our rain gear and it works really well. I also use the Nikwax Fabric and Leather Proof for waterproofing on the boots and it's great too.
    Mark

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