How to keep your North Face jacket fresh and clean:
Can my GORE-TEX® jacket be washed?
You may wash your GORE-TEX® jacket without hurting it if you follow these simple instructions! In fact, we recommend washing these jackets regularly to help maintain the special DWR (Durable Water Repellant) coating that is on the fabric. This coating won't wash off and helps water bead up and roll off as opposed to being absorbed. Keeping it clean will help the water shedding, rather than being absorbed for a thin layer of dirt on the outer surface where it may remain wet/damp for a longer period of time.
Before putting a jacket in the wash, zip up all the zippers, and all exterior and interior front, bottom, or back pockets ... all of them ... after your have removed everything from inside the pockets! Close all other fasteners, too. Use only mild detergent powder since most liquid detergents will leave a residue on your jacket that can interfere with the beading characteristics of the DWR finish. Use a regular, home washing maching on a cold water, gentle cycle. You'll get the best results by putting the jacket through two wash cycles - the second time without any added detergent to insure the detergent is all washed out. If your machine offers a second rince cycle this works, rather than a second wash cycle. Do not use bleach or fabric softeners when cleaning your jackets and do not use commercial dryers or any temperature setting higher than low. Do not dry clean your jacket or put it away until it is thoroughly dry, inside and out.
How do I wash my down jacket?
An occasional cleaning of down jackets helps maintain maximum loft and ensures product longevity. We recommend having your down jackets professionally cleaned by a specialist and if you do not have a cleaning service in your local area, you may contact and send your product to the North Face Warranty Department and request that they send it to cleaning service for you.
My North Face GORE-TEX® jacket leaks. What can I do?
GORE-TEX® garments are made of a nylon outer fabric that has been laminated to a GORE-TEX® membrane. This nylon outer fabric is treated at the mill with durable water repellency (called DWR). DWR is a substance like Tectron® or Scotchguard®, only it is much longer lasting. The GORE-TEX® membrane is what keeps raindrops out and allows body vapor to pass through. Once the DWR wears off, water will soak into the nylon layer of the jacket, but the GORE-TEX® membrane will keep water from soaking all the way through to your skin.
You can revive the DWR by cleaning the product with a powder detergent as noted above, using cold to warm water. Put the product through two rinse cycles to ensure there is no detergent residue and then dry it in a residential clothes dryer on low heat. When cleaning a GORE-TEX® jacket, be sure to empty all pockets, attach all Velcro® closures and zip closed all zippers. Finally, the entire outside of the garment may be touched up with a warm iron on the steam setting.
This process should revive the DWR. For even better performance, treat your product with a coating of a DWR spray, such as Tectron® or Revivex®. This maintenance program is only required when water stops beading up on the outside of the garment.
In the event you find this process ineffective, please contact The North Face about sending in your GORE-TEX® product for an inspection.
My shell jacket will not stay dry anymore. What can I do about it?
All of The North Face outerwear shell fabrics are treated with a Durable Water Repellent finish (DWR). This finish helps the shell fabric resist wetting by causing the water to bead-up so it easily falls off before being absorbed into the fabric. Additionally, some of our performance fabrics have a waterproof back finish (such as GORE-TEX® or HydroSeal® fabrics) that prevents penetration of the water through the fabric. As a garment is worn and used over time, an accumulation of soils from external sources as well as from your own body can lessen the performance of these finishes.
In order to revive the DWR, the product needs to be thoroughly cleaned with a powder detergent in a regular washing machine in warm water. Put the product through two rinse cycles to ensure that there is no detergent residue, then dry it in a regular clothes dryer on low heat. When cleaning your GORE-TEX® jacket, empty all pockets, attach all Velcro® closures and zip up all zippers. Finally, the entire outside of the garment can be touched up with a warm iron on the steam setting.
This process should revive the DWR. For even better performance, treat your product with a coating of a DWR spray such as Tectron®. This maintenance program is only required when water stops beading up on the outer surface of the fabric.