How to wash your ski jacket and pants
Skiing is not known for being a particularly dirty winter sport. Nevertheless, knowing how to wash your ski clothing is essential for preserving its functionality and extending its lifespan. By following our advice, you’ll no longer be afraid to wash your ski clothing or your down jacket!
Read (and follow) the labels
Start by reading the labels inside your clothing. They will give you all the details on what your ski jacket and pants are made of as well as instructions on how to wash them.
The information provided below, however, is suitable for most skiwear.
To wash your ski jacket (for WOMEN | for MEN) or your ski pants (for WOMEN | for MEN), use a washing machine. You can follow the instructions below regardless of what the garment is made of (unless it has a Gore-Tex type waterproof membrane):
- Empty your pockets.
- Close all the zippers and Velcro closures to protect them and to keep them from damaging the fabric.
- Turn the garment inside out before putting it in the machine to prevent damage to any decorative elements.
- Use a normal dose of a liquid household detergent (not powder!). Do not add any fabric softener or other products to the wash.
- Select the “synthetic” wash cycle at 30˚C (86˚F) and put the spin cycle on 800 rpm maximum.
- If you have any ski clothing made of down, add four tennis balls to the machine. At the end of the first cycle, start a second rinse then the spin cycle to remove every last bit of soap from the down.
- While you are waiting you can watch this video or go wax your skis.
- Take out the clothes right after the end of the wash cycle.
How to dry based on what your clothing is made of
How you dry your ski clothes will depend on whether they are made from a synthetic fabric or from down.
- If you do not have a dryer: leave your clothing turned inside out and simply dry them on a hanger. Then, with an iron that’s not too hot (set to ‘synthetic’ or 110˚C (230˚F) max), reactivate the waterproof treatment by putting a towel on top of the outer fabric and making a quick pass over it.
- If you have a dryer: leave the clothing turned inside out and set your dryer to a gentle ‘synthetic’ program set at 60˚C (140˚F) max. One 40- to 50-minute cycle should be enough. If not, put your clothes on hangers to finish drying. There’s no need to iron because the heat from the dryer should be enough to maintain and reactivate the water repellent treatment.
Down clothing and down jackets
If you don’t have a dryer, go straight to a laundromat to wash your down clothing or take them to a dry cleaner. A dryer is essential for fluffing up the feathers when the garment is drying and you should move your clothes straight from the washing machine to the dryer without waiting.
- Put your down clothing or down jacket into the dryer along with four tennis balls to fluff up the feathers.
- Select a gentle ‘synthetic’ program (60˚C (140˚F) max) and keep running it until your clothing is totally dry and has regained its original loft. (Count on three to five cycles and up to several hours).
Ski clothing with a Gore-Tex type membrane
If you want to wash a technical garment that has a Gore-Tex type waterproof membrane, you will find all of our advice in this article.
There are special products available from brands like Nikwax and NST that are made for washing technical ski clothing. Always check to make sure they are compatible with your ski jacket or ski pants. One last piece of advice is to avoid storing a down jacket or a jacket with a membrane (like Gore-Tex) in a stuff sack or compression pocket for long periods of time.