Prepare your kit for the upcoming snow season

Are you super-prepared and ready to hit the slopes this ski season, or, like most of us, struggling to find the time in busy lives to get snow-organised? Don’t stress, use Nikwax! The easy and cost-effective way to clean, freshen and waterproof your gear for maximum enjoyment in the mountains, Nikwax is guaranteed keep you warm, dry, and comfortable. Just follow our simple preparation steps and you’ll be ready to go…

Step 1: Clean your outerwear
Jackets and salopettes pick up more dirt than you think and if you didn’t clean them after your previous ski trip, it is most definitely time for a freshen up – hard-earned sweat and those après-ski spillages can quickly degrade waterproofing properties. First, clean the garments in your washing machine with Tech Wash® (check the garment care labels first!).

If your gear was wetting out before its clean, Tech Wash will help revitalise its Durable Water Repellency (DWR). However, if wetting out continues to occur after the cleaning cycle, it is time for a proper re-proof with TX.Direct® Wash-In. This can also be used in your washing machine, on a separate cycle. Note that for wicking linings we recommend TX.Direct Spray-On.

 

Paul Telling, Programme Director at Team Evolution, an Austrian-based British Ski Academy says:
“We tend to wear our team kit for 200-250 days a season, so we really need it to last and protect us from the wind, rain and snow. Our gear is made from high quality materials; however, it takes such a battering from the weather it is important we keep its waterproofing topped up. Whenever we clean our jackets we use Tech Wash & TX.Direct. Not only does Nikwax re-waterproof the kit and keep it breathable, it’s also simple to use. It doesn’t matter if we’re in France or South America, in a hotel or hand-washing our kit in a basin, we’re able to ensure our kit stays protected, and can therefore do its job protecting us.”

Nikwax is not heat-activated, so you can simply air-dry your gear after the cleaning and proofing process, or tumble dry it if the care label allows. It is essential to ensure your gear is completely dry before putting it away or packing it in your suitcase.

Step 2: Clean your synthetic base layers
Dirt, sweat, make up and oils from your skin all build up on base layers, which can impair their technical wicking capabilities, making temperature regulation more difficult. Regular detergents can have the same impairing effect, so it is vital you use the best cleaner for the job if you want to optimise your gear.

As Tech Wash does for outer garments, BaseWash® gently cleans synthetic base layers. Not only that, it conditions the garments too. Perfect if you have many base layers that need washing.

If you only have a couple of synthetic base layers, then pop them in a normal laundry wash and replace your regular conditioner with BaseFresh®. This high-performance conditioner allows your regular detergent to clean your items without compromising their functionality. Both BaseWash and BaseFresh will deodorise your base layers – removing built-in odour and sweat – whilst also enhancing the wicking and drying properties. Garments stay fresher for longer.

Step 3: Clean your gloves and socks
Ski gloves also pick up a lot of dirt on the slopes, which can affect their DWR resulting in damp, cold hands. Clean gloves will stay waterproof and breathable, which keeps you far more comfortable zig zagging down the mountains. After cleaning with Tech Wash, proof with Glove Proof, which is suitable for synthetic, full-grain leather, fabric & leather, and membrane fabric gloves.

In the same way hands suffer if they get damp, so do feet! Many snow sports enthusiasts choose Merino wool socks thanks to their temperature regulating and wicking properties, which need specialist care. Wool Wash – cleaner and conditioner in one – deodorises and enhances the wicking and drying performance of woollen gear, piste after piste.

“Keep your gloves and socks away from radiators! Put them next to a warm heat source instead, with enough space for the heat to circulate. If you must put your kit on a radiator, always lay a dry towel down first so you don’t have melted gloves in the morning.” Paul Telling

Step 4: look after your boots and equipment
If you are lucky enough to own a pair of boots, skis, or a snowboard, it is a good idea to service them before each trip to ensure your feet stay fully protected in all conditions. Clean the inners of your ski or snowboard boots with Sandal & Sport Shoe Wash to remove any unwanted odours and improve their wicking quality (as with socks, wet feet quickly become cold feet!).

If ski touring is your thing, you should waterproof your ski skins with Ski Skin Proof, a treatment that prevents ice building up on ski skin fibres, reducing saturation to improve glide and reduce kick.

Servicing your skis and board should, of course, include a re-wax and edge sharpen.

These recommended steps will safeguard the technical qualities of your snow sports gear, enhancing their properties and extending the life of the garments/equipment. Ensuring the longevity of your gear will not only save you money but it will boost your sustainability credentials too as you’ll be helping to keep garments out of landfill.