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Thread: Washing Textile Gear

  1. #1
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Washing Textile Gear

    I though I'd pass this tip along since I've used this product at least twice in the past so many years.

    Once a year, I give my Aerostich Roadcrafter II a thorough wash. I might as well since I can't ride during the winter months.

    If your suit is black or grey, chances are you won't see what dirt is ground into the textile material, but mine is red and the dirt is visibly ground-in, in numerous areas.

    Instead of using higher priced products like NikWax Tech-Wash, I've been using Shout Stain Remover. A large 946 ml squeeze bottle goes for $2.43 at Wal-Mart and will do a whole suit.

    I don't use a washing machine because it tends to be a bit hard on the 3M reflective material and suit in general. I'll apply the Shout to the whole suit in sections and lightly brush it in. After an hour or more, I'll let it soak for at least two hours in a laundry tub of hot water with Tide (that by itself, never got my suit clean). After hand agitation in the laundy tub and many thorough rinsings, the spin cycle of the washing machine is used to semi-dry the suit before hanging it up to air dry.

    I also noticed that the Shout was a lot gentler on colors than the laundry detergents I've used previously.

    I've been using 3M Outdoor Scotchguard to waterproof my suits since 1992.

    According to some sources (maybe some with vested interests), detergent should not be used on Gore-Tex fabrics unless they are very thoroughly rinsed. I believe that I read in the Aerostich catalog that the suit should be dryed in a dryer to "re-activate" the pores in the Gore-Tex material. In any case, my Aerostich keeps me dry in some pretty heavy downpours for a given time, beyond that, I'll use a rainsuit over it.

  2. #2
    Rally Rat
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    We have a front load washer, which tend to be more gentle than top load, so I have washed several jackets/pants in that with no issues. I agree that the "Shout" brand stain remover tends to get the grime out better than detergent alone, you just have to remember to get your own bottle, otherwise the SO wonders how it got used up so fast..............

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    Minnesota Nice! braddog's Avatar
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    A little more info, please...

    John, what did you use when you washed your gear in the front loader? Detergent? Liquid or powder? What cycle?

    Alex and John, do you always re-waterproof after a wash?

    I've got a Belstaff Mercury whose time has come to be washed. I think it may have come with an packet of waterproofing stuff when I bought it, I just have to find it...and the washing directions. However, I'd much rather hear from folks that have already washed their gear multiple times.
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    Brad D. - Member #105766
    '77 R100RS - Black Beauty (big pipe, baby!)
    '94 R1100RS - Sylvia

  4. #4
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john1691 View Post
    We have a front load washer, which tend to be more gentle than top load.
    Are our front load washers the same as those in Europe. Those tend to use very little water and rotate very slowly...first in one direction a few turns, and then the other direction a few turns...repeat. I've never seen any in action on this side of the pond.


    Quote Originally Posted by john1691 View Post
    You just have to remember to get your own bottle, otherwise the SO wonders how it got used up so fast..............
    Good one!

    At $2.43 a bottle, I picked up 4 the other day. I'm set for a few years.

  5. #5
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Braddog View Post
    Alex and John, do you always re-waterproof after a wash?
    Everytime.

    BTW, I will wash my Aerostich at least once a year. In the past I would have washed it as often as three or four times a year. Getting old I guess.

    My first Aerostich which is now 16 years old but used for the first 13 years was always hand washed in a laundry tub and more often than my new Aerostich. As I mentioned, the detergents that I used (Sunlight, Tide) used to wash the color out far more than I noticed when using Shout.

    One thing I haven't tried is just pouring a half bottle of Shout into the laundry tub directly and mixing it in with the water. But being more diluted, I don't think it would work as well.

  6. #6
    Minnesota Nice! braddog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    Are our front load washers the same as those in Europe. Those tend to use very little water and rotate very slowly...first in one direction a few turns, and then the other direction a few turns...repeat. I've never seen any in action on this side of the pond.
    I have a front loader, and that's exactly the way they work. Slow action, much less water.

    I think I'm going to give it a try in the machine, use adequate amounts of Shout, hang dry, re-waterproof.
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    Brad D. - Member #105766
    '77 R100RS - Black Beauty (big pipe, baby!)
    '94 R1100RS - Sylvia

  7. #7
    Registered User Becky973's Avatar
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    Now for the reat of the wash!

    I see that you guys can wash your gear and your motorcycle with the greatest of care, but when it comes to washing clothes or cleaning around the house you don't have any idea how or when to do it. Is that another man thing!

    Becky
    #973

  8. #8
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becky View Post
    I see that you guys can wash your gear and your motorcycle with the greatest of care, but when it comes to washing clothes or cleaning around the house you don't have any idea how or when to do it. Is that another man thing!

    Becky

    That is good.

    No, its not a man thing.

    Is a "sunny out and ride" vs " stay in and clean up" thing. Decisions, decisions. My tool box is neat and tidy though.

    You ought to see my lawn...just look at the The World's Fastest Indian and you'll have an idea.

  9. #9
    Minnesota Nice! braddog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becky View Post
    I see that you guys can wash your gear and your motorcycle with the greatest of care, but when it comes to washing clothes or cleaning around the house you don't have any idea how or when to do it. Is that another man thing!

    Becky
    Now, now, don't let your skirt get blown up in your face.

    (Just kidding!)

    I wash my share of clothes, usually when my closet is empty, and do my share of cleaning, usually because I can't find what I'm looking for because of all the dirt and clutter.

    Seriously, if my work clothes played as big of a role in my job as my riding clothes play in my riding, I'd probably be as concerned about regular laundry.
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    Brad D. - Member #105766
    '77 R100RS - Black Beauty (big pipe, baby!)
    '94 R1100RS - Sylvia

  10. #10
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becky View Post
    I see that you guys can wash your gear and your motorcycle with the greatest of care, but when it comes to washing clothes or cleaning around the house you don't have any idea how or when to do it. Is that another man thing!

    Becky
    I'm a bachelor. If I don't do it, nobody will.
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  11. #11
    Registered User burnszilla's Avatar
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    A few scoops of OxyClean + detergent gets my yellow roadcrafter lookin' like new, way better than detergent alone. Spray N Wash or other stain removers can be hard on the colors. I found the 3M ScotchGaurd would attract more dirt after application. I waterproof with Nikwax.
    Stephen Burns - 2007 R1200GS
    BMW MOA Lifetime Member
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  12. #12
    Registered User Becky973's Avatar
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    also work and clean the bikes!

    I also clean the bikes (mind and my husband) after riding. We both work on the race bike and the old bikes. The newer ones are harder to work on and a lot of plastic to deal with. I also have a neat tool box if I can keep my husband away from it.

    Becky
    #973

  13. #13
    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
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    I've been riding for about 18 months now but I've been using Gore-Tex fabrics ever since they came out in the 1980's.

    Gore-Tex won't work when dirty. It won't repel water and it won't breathe your body perspiration out, so you'll get wet from the outside and inside if you don't take care of it.

    I use Nikwax on my Roadcrafter and it works perfectly. The suit is much softer/more pliable, it repels water better than when new, and it breathes much better than it did before.

    Definitely use a front loading machine if you have one, can find a friend with one, or can use one at a laundromat. The front loader will be much easier on your suit, won't be overloaded by the suit, and will extract much more dirt and detergent residue than a top loader.

    A fatal blow to Gore-Tex breathability is detergent residue. I run my suit through the wash once with conventional detergent to remove most dirt and oil. Then I run it through the wash twice more without detergent to remove all traces. Then I wash it using Nikwax and following the instructions on the bottle.

    When I'm done, the suit looks as good as new and performs better than new.
    Seattle, WA
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  14. #14
    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dvandkq View Post
    ...A fatal blow to Gore-Tex breathability is detergent residue. I run my suit through the wash once with conventional detergent to remove most dirt and oil. Then I run it through the wash twice more without detergent to remove all traces. Then I wash it using Nikwax and following the instructions on the bottle.

    When I'm done, the suit looks as good as new and performs better than new.
    Using liquid detergent is the worst for Gore Tex. Use a powdered detergent if at all possible. And several rinse cycles.

    I remember the first time we washed my GT running outfit. Used liquid detergent, and no extra rinse cycles. First time I ran in the rain the suit was frothing up like an overloaded washing machine! Actually looked kinda funny.
    Dan

  15. #15
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    Fabreze, anyone?

    GlobalRider has me thinking about washing the Rallye 2 - it's about time. Thanks for the reminder.

    Has anyone out there had any experience with Fabreze on motorcycle clothing? Good? Bad? Effective in cleaning, or not?

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