An important step in maintaining clothes or any other gear is that of keeping them clean. When it comes to clothes, this entails washing them depending on what the care label recommends.
Gear, on the other hand, vary. Some require washing, whereas others can be easily cleaned with a wipe down or brushing dirt off.
Because keeping clothes and gear clean is so essential in ensuring that they will last for a long time and look good, we have compiled several guides on this topic.
Our topic for today, as the title indicates, is learning the best method to wash a jacket and other outdoor gear by Arc’teryx.
We discussed how to wash Patagonia jackets several months ago and recently also looked at the best steps to clean a backpack by The North Face, so today is time to look at Arc’teryx products.
We picked this brand for our guide as it is renowned for the high quality and performance of their designs, which means that it is all the more important to learn how to best care for your Arc’teryx product.
Let’s get started with the brand’s introduction first, and then get right down to the cleaning steps.
1. Arc’teryx: The Brand
Originally named Rock Solid, Arc’teryx was founded in 1991 by Dave Lane, who renamed it after the Archaeopteryx, the earliest known bird, as a way to showcase the brand’s philosophy of innovation, change and adaptation much better.
Arc’teryx is a Canadian brand, which started out manufacturing and selling climbing gear, but the product range of which has vastly expanded throughout the years.
Their most renowned and earliest products were the Vapor harness and Bora backpack, which were created with thermolamination technology.
Nowadays, however, Arc’teryx is mostly renowned for its high performance jackets. It was some years after its founding that they began designing and manufacturing outdoor clothing, which came as a result of obtaining the Gore-Tex license.
We have discussed Gore-Tex fabric technologies several times on our site, as it is one of the brands that makes top performance fabrics for a variety of weather conditions and activity levels.
When two brands like Gore and Arc’teryx get together, the end result is clothing of the highest quality and this is what helped earn Arc’teryx a place among the top outdoor gear brands in the world.
2. Washing Arc’teryx Jackets
After the introduction to Arc’teryx, it is now time to start learning the best methods for keeping the brand’s jackets clean and looking and performing at their best.
2.1 How To Wash an Arc’teryx Down Jacket?
Down jackets are the perfect garment to wear in the cold of winter. They insulate effortlessly and are very comfortable as well.
However, as we have previously discussed in our Down care guide, jackets insulated with natural down require very specific maintenance steps as they risk getting damaged during the washing process.
While down jackets of all types share similarities, following the recommendations of the care label by the manufacturer is the very first step in cleaning them.
The rule of thumb when washing any jacket is to empty all pockets and then close all the zippers, including pockets and pit vents.
Drawcords should all be released and Velcro tabs must all be fastened to make sure that nothing will catch onto the fabric and cause tears or rip through.
Washing Machine and Detergent
Down jackets by Arc’teryx can be washed in a washing machine, so long as the temperature is kept on the low end and the selected cycle is a gentle or delicate one.
A front-loading washing machine is the best choice here as a top-loading one might cause serious damage. In this case, using a mesh bag for the jacket can help minimize the risk.
When it comes to detergents, it is always recommended to use a down-specific one, as it will guarantee the best results.
NikWax Down Wash products or Arc’teryx’s very own Nu Care Products are two of the recommended ones, but products from other brands will work as well.
When all preparations are finished, put the jacket inside out in the washing machine and let the washing process finish.
To make sure that all residue from the detergent is gone, double rinsing the jacket is recommended.
After this step is finished, you might need to apply water repellent coating in order to keep it water-resistant. However, this must be done when necessary, after you have noticed that the jacket is starting to let water soak through.
When drying a down jacket, regardless of brand, you have two options: either a tumble dryer or a clothing line.
The best method is using a tumble dryer in the lowest heat setting and placing a couple of dryer balls, down-appropriate balls or just regular tennis balls in with it.
The balls will help break down clumps as the jacket dries, which in turn will result in evenly-dispersed down and better loft.
If you do not have a tumble dryer, then the jacket must be taken off the drying line every couple of hours to help fluff up the down and break up any clumps by hand.
Keep in mind that this method can take more than one day to guarantee a fully dry jacket.
2.2 How To Wash Arc’teryx Gore-Tex and Waterproof Jackets?
We included both Gore-Tex and other hardshell / rain jackets here as their cleaning method is similar.
Velcro, zips and elastic drawcords must all be secure and not tightened (in the case of Velcro fasteners and drawcords).
All zippers must be closed to prevent them from catching on the shell and the jacket should be turned inside out for a deeper and better cleaning.
If there are any stains present, using dish soap as a spot treatment can help lift stains prior to washing.
Gum or tree sap must be frozen using an ice pack or ice cube and then scrapped of the fabric.
Afterwards, soaking the jacket in a water/white vinegar mix will help lift the stain left behind. This goes for most jackets.
Washing Machine and Detergent
A waterproof garment typically implies the use of durable water repellent (DWR) products on the shell, which further helps the membrane and the fabrics to repel water and remain dry.
In this case, these products may require not only reapplication, but reactivation as well, after being washed. Using a DWR spray product is the best way to go about it in this case, as it will ensure an even coverage of the jacket.
However, to prevent damaging the DWR present as well as the fabrics themselves, using specialty detergents is the recommended method for Gore-Tex and waterproof jackets.
A front-loading washing machine would be better, and mild temperatures (30-40°C/ 86-104°F) should be used. When it comes to the cycle, a regular one would do just fine.
Once more, Arc’teryx recommend double rinsing the jacket to make sure there is no detergent residue left.
DWR Coating Application
If necessary, you should reapply the DWR coating. This is only necessary when the shell is starting to let water seep through, however.
In case the shell is still repelling water, then activating the DWR is the next step. This is best done in a dryer.
Low to medium heat should be used for around 40 minutes, until you can feel that the garment is dry to the touch.
This will help to activate the DWR coating as well.
2.3 How To Wash an Arc’teryx Softshell Jacket and Fleece Garment?
Softshells are great layering and intermediate jackets. They provide adequate insulation in mild temperatures and are great for keeping you cool and comfortable during physical activity.
Softshells are made of polyester and typically have a fleece lining on the inside, which is why we will cover both fleece and the jackets in this segment.
You might also like our general guide on how to wash a fleece jacket.
Once again, zippers must be closed and Velcro fasteners secured.
Turning the jacket or fleece garment inside out will help prevent any damage to the shell and will also ensure that it gets thoroughly cleaned.
Washing Machine and Detergent
Polyester does not do well in high temperatures so low settings and a gentle or normal cycle is the best way to go about it.
When it comes to detergent, you can use any mild detergent that does not contain bleach or softener, as it will cause serious damage to the fabric and cause it to lose its shape.
A specialty detergent, such as the ones used for Gore-Tex products (Grangers Performance Wash, ReviveX Synthetic Fabric Cleaner, etc) will yield the best results.
Applying DWR coating if the jacket came with it should be done after the jacket is washed, and using a spray-on product is recommended in order to ensure an even coverage.
Softshells and fleece don’t do well in dryers as they risk shrinking or melting due to the fabric being polyester, which is why it is best to hang them to dry in a well-ventilated dry room, away from the sun.
If you must use a dryer, then make sure that the lowest setting is on.
3. Washing Arc’teryx Shoes and Backpacks
3.1 How To Wash Arc’teryx Shoes?
Cleaning your Arc’teryx shoes is best done with water.
Rubbing the dirt off with a soft brush, a cloth or even your hands will work just fine. Rinsing them in water will leave the shoes clean in most cases.
If there is a need to clean them further, then using a mild soap is the recommended method, rinsing them thoroughly afterwards.
You should leave them to dry in the shade, not under direct sunlight or by using other quick-drying methods.
In case your shoes came with liners, Arc’teryx recommends using a mild soap or detergent and hand washing the liners in lukewarm water.
Leaving them to dry is the best method as the tumble dryer will cause them to get damaged.
3.2 How To Wash Arc’teryx Backpacks?
Backpacks are usually best spot cleaned or wiped down with as little water as you can get away with.
Using a cloth and a soft brush will help get rid of almost everything on the surface and inside of the backpack and are typically enough to get the backpack clean.
Detergents are not at all recommended as they can seriously damage the fabric on the backpack and can also damage the DWR coating.
If there are stains that won’t lift, using a very mild soap or detergent can help remove them. Spot cleaning is recommended in this case as well.
Submerging backpacks is not a good idea and should only be used for when absolutely necessary.
If you need to go that route, soaking the backpack in a tub or basin of water, without detergent preferably, might work well.
However, in case detergent must be used, make sure to dissolve it in the water first and then submerge the backpack, checking it every 20 minutes to see if the stain has lifted.
The less the backpack is left in the water, the better.
Afterwards, hang it to dry, preferably upside down to make sure any water left will get out. The backpack should be hung in a room or in the shade, away from heat sources and never in the dryer.
This concludes today’s guide. As usual, look at the care label and stay away from harsh detergents and high temperatures!