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November 05, 2021 2 min read

How to clean, wash and take care of your waterproof shell jacket and pants?

After muddy and sweaty autumn adventures, your shell clothing might need some love and care, right? In time the shell surface starts to "wet out" on the outside.

Most of the Patagonia shell jackets and shell pants have a chemical treatment called "Durable Water Repellent" on the surface like many other waterproof clothes. Unfortunately, DWR won't last forever if you don't take care of the surface. When you maintain the DWR surface, it works correctly and keeps the shell breathing at its optimum level.

To take the best care of your shell clothes and to ensure that they will last for a long time, we put together an ultimate Shell Clothing Care Guide, read on!

Patagonia W's Torrentshell pants

Sonja and her favorite Torrentshell pants from Patagonia.

Washing shell garments

The durable water repellent (DWR) surface quickly takes in the dirt as mud, body oils and smoke. Therefore, washing your shell garment regularly nurses the fabric back to health.

First, check the washing instructions from the label of the garment. Typically 30-40°C regular wash is recommended. Use small amount of any ecological mild detergent without bleach and fabric softener. You can use e.g. Nikwax Tech Wash or any other ecological wash productTurn the garment inside out. Close the zippers, hook and loop fasteners and loosen all cords.

Once dry, tumble dry (40°C medium heat) or iron the garment on a gentle setting to reactivate the durable water repellent treatment. If ironing, remember to protect the garment with a towel in between. Repeat the heat treatment when water drops no longer remain on the shell, at latest.

Patagonia W's Calcite Shell Jacket

Maintaining the DWR surface

If the surface of your clothing is leaking or letting water in, it's time to take care of the DWR surface, at latest. Reactivating the water repellent qualities is essential – this gives several extra years for the garment and keeps you dry!

Luckily today, there are several environmentally friendly waterproofing products. A good one to try is e.g. Nikwax Spray-On. See all ecological care and wash products available.

Once you have chosen the preferable care product follow the instructions further. You can find more information about how to use our care and maintenance products from this article: "Introducing our sustainable care and wash products for clothes and accessories".


Maintaining the DWR surface


Prolong the lifespan of your clothes

With the correct care, you can prolong the life cycle of your clothes and make them more sustainable. It is important to pay attention to the care instructions of each garment.

Still looking for a perfect waterproof shell jacket or pants for your needs? See all sustainable Patagonia shell pants and shell jackets available. And read our tips on how to choose between the best-selling Patagonia shell clothing:

See all care instructions for different materials

Patagonia Calcite shell jacket
Sonja is wearing the Patagonia Calcite shell jacket in size M.