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Down filled items are used to provide lightweight insulation to keep you warm. The structure of down allows air to be trapped between its filaments and warmed by body heat to provide insulation for the user.
Through use, dirt and body oils build up on down items. This affects both the fabric and the down fill. Dirt attracts water; if the fabric absorbs water, rain and condensation can easily transfer into the down. If down gets wet it clumps together. This causes it to lose loft and insulation as it can't trap air effectively. When wet, down loses all of its insulating properties, as water conducts heat away from the body up to 25 times faster than air. It will also gain weight and its breathability will be significantly reduced; leaving you feeling cold, wet and uncomfortable.
Down filled items are most likely to get sweaty and wet inside when used in damp or wet conditions. Therefore it is important to stop down filled gear from getting wet by maintaining Durable Water Repellency (DWR). The outer fabric of your down filled item, as well as the down inside, must be maintained to ensure comfort. Nikwax Down Wash Direct will revitalise the insulation and restore DWR.
Your down items could be soaking up water because the Durable Water Repellency (DWR) has been compromised by dirt, or because it has been cleaned with a conventional laundry detergent. Dirt attracts water and household detergents leave water attracting (hydrophilic) residues, leading to fabric and down 'wetting out' in wet or damp conditions.
If your down items are relatively new, or have been recently treated with Nikwax Down Proof, then cleaning with Nikwax Down Wash Direct will not only remove contaminants, such as dirt and residues left behind by household detergents, but also revitalise insulation and restore DWR.
However, once the gear has been thoroughly used, you will need to add DWR, using Nikwax Down Proof, after cleaning first with Nikwax Down Wash Direct. This will add DWR to the outer fabric of the gear and also the down fill.
Nikwax Down Wash Direct has been specifically designed and optimised for down filled gear. It is a highly effective cleaner which removes body oils and dirt from both the fabric and the down fill. It also restores the Durable Water Repellency (DWR) of both the outer fabric and the down. This protects against rain and condensation, preventing the item from wetting out and maintaining the natural insulating properties of down. Additionally it revives breathability, allowing moisture vapour to pass through the item, optimising performance in cold and damp conditions.
Nikwax Down Wash Direct prolongs the effective life of your down gear. It is the safe way to thoroughly clean your down clothing and equipment. Application in a washing machine is quick, easy, and ensures that the whole item is thoroughly cleaned.
Sleeping bags and very large jackets are best hand washed in a bath or equivalent and then spin dried in a washing machine.
Use neat Down Wash Direct to treat stubborn stains before washing. Remove all non-washable parts. Shake well before use. Follow care label instructions. Do not use conventional detergents.
Machine Wash (for down clothing only).
Remove all detergent build-up from the detergent dispenser.
Place maximum 2 items in washing machine.
Add 100 ml.
Wash according to care label, preferably on low setting and slow spin.
After the washing cycle has finished run multiple spin cycles, each time incrementally increasing the spin speed, to remove excess water.
(Hand wash sleeping bags or wash in a professional machine).