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How to keep sports kit as good as new!

You’ve invested in new base layers and sports shoes to help you reach peak performance whether running or cycling, or spending time at the gym. Why is it then after just a few activity sessions your gear is smelling bad, even though you only recently washed it?

The answer is simple – you have not been using appropriate aftercare!

Standard detergent and fabric conditioner will not care for your gear effectively. If you wash your technical clothing and base layers ‘normally’ then the products you use will impair their wicking capabilities. Why? Because they will prevent your sweat spreading across the fabric and drying quickly, whilst also causing body oils to build-up and encourage bacterial growth, which is what causes the smell.

The same applies to footwear – tempted as you may be to put sports shoes in the washing machine, please don’t! Their breathability will be reduced and your standard detergents will prevent moisture from being directed out, resulting in damp and stinky footwear which, over time, might even start to fall apart due to degradation.

Nikwax is the reliable, and cost-effective, means to keep your gear in prime condition – sports kit will last longer and save you money…

How do you use it? Very easily is the answer!

Watch our quick videos to see how our market-leading products will enhance the performance of your kit – without breaking the bank – ensuring you stay fresher and drier for longer.

BaseWash® – the high performance cleaner for all synthetic base layers

Sandal & Sports Shoe Wash – the ultimate deodorising cleaner for all non-waterproof footwear

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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.

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Nikwax isn’t just for the rain, it also targets sweat…

From the frozen wastes of Antarctica to the highest mountains in the world, Nikwax aftercare products have kept outdoor professionals and athletes warm and dry in some of the most challenging conditions imaginable. However, did you know that Nikwax will protect you in warmer weather too? From cycling the country roads to weekend running, Nikwax Sweatproofing products will enhance your clothing and footwear’s cooling effect, keeping you fresher and drier throughout the summer months. Below, we answer five commonly asked Sweatproofing questions…

Why should I use Nikwax Sweatproofing products in the summer?
They will enhance the performance of your next-to-skin technical clothing by eliminating odours and speeding up fabric drying times, keeping you fresher for longer – and your kit working at its best. As for non-waterproof footwear, you can rely on Nikwax to thoroughly clean and refresh your sandals and sports shoes, giving them a new lease of life. Our Sweatproofing products keep you cooler in warm conditions, warmer in cooler conditions – and smelling better whatever the weather!

Why shouldn’t I use standard detergents to wash my technical base layers and sportswear?
Next-to-skin clothing works brilliantly to control sweat and regulate body temperature. However, household detergents can leave behind a hydrophilic (water-attracting) residue, and standard fabric conditioners can leave behind residues on the fabric that impair its breathability and wicking ability, meaning sweat and moisture is retained. Added to this, body oils and bacteria can build up over time, causing garments to start smelling. Regular household detergents mask the smell rather than removing it, so as soon as you start to use your base layers again, the smell returns very quickly. The Nikwax Sweatproofing range cleans and conditions all next-to-skin clothing and footwear, with no loss of performance. On the contrary, performance is improved!

What products are in the Nikwax Sweatprooing range?
BaseWash® is a specially formulated product that both cleans and conditions your synthetic base layers. It deodorises, freshens and softens your clothing whilst accelerating its drying and cooling properties to keep you comfortable when exercising in the sunshine. Nice weather for ducks? BaseWash also keeps you fresh and dry when working out inside!

BaseFresh® is a fabric conditioner that allows you to wash your base layers with other, non-technical, garments, alongside a conventional washing detergent – great if you just have a few technical garments you need cleaned! It delivers the same results as BaseWash – deodorising, accelerated drying and improved cooling efficiency in warm weather – whilst removing the need for a separate wash. Additionally, BaseFresh treated fabrics are more resistant to stains and day-to-day soiling.

Wool Wash is a cleaner and conditioner for all your merino and woollen base layers (a necessary back-up for our unpredictable British summers). It enhances and revitalises the natural wicking properties of wool to increase its breathability and keep you feeling fresh and dry in the great outdoors.

Sandal and Sports Shoe Wash is an effective cleaner that freshens and deodorises all non-waterproof footwear, including the insoles and footbeds. It removes the dirt and body oils that build up as a result of warm weather, bare feet and/or sweaty socks, and reduces the growth of bacteria (that can lead to your shoes starting to rot). Sandal and Sports Shoe Wash also prolongs the usable life of your footwear to keep it performing summer after summer.

 

What weather conditions and activities are Sweatproofing products best suited to?
Sweatproofing products can be used year-round and will keep you fresher and more comfortable in both wet and dry weather. However, when putting technical clothing and footwear through its paces during summer – aka the sweaty season – you can rely on Nikwax to prevent odours, boost comfort and maximise the performance of your gear across a huge range of activities, including walking, running, cycling, tennis, golf – and even ultimate frisbee!

Are Nikwax Sweatproofing products environmentally friendly?
Yes! Our Sweatproofing range is designed with the same environmentally conscious approach as the rest of our aftercare products – they are all water-based and contain no harmful aerosols. Nikwax is proud to be the only Outdoor company to have balanced our entire operational carbon emissions since our inception over 40 years ago, protecting tropical forest through EOCA and the World Land Trust. BaseFresh has also received an Outdoor Award for Sustainable Innovation.

Stock up on Nikwax and sail through summer staying fresher for longer…

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Give your ski gear an end of season MOT

As the European ski season comes to a close, we want to highlight the importance of looking after your gear before safely packing it away until next winter. So follow these steps to ensure your gear goes away safely, ready to serve you well again the next time.

Step 1: Clean your outerwear
Your ski jacket and salopettes pick up more dirt than you think. From hard-earned sweat to those après-ski spillages, if left they can quickly degrade the waterproofing properties. First wash in the washing machine with Tech Wash®, making sure to follow the instructions on the care label.

If your gear had been wetting out before the clean, Tech Wash itself can revitalise the durable water repellency (DWR) but if it is still wetting out, it is time to re-waterproof! TX.Direct® can be applied directly in the washing machine in a separate cycle. Alternatively if your gear has a wicking lining, we recommend using the spray-on TX.Direct. Nikwax does not need heat to activate it so you can just hang you gear to air dry after cleaning and proofing, you can of course tumble dry if the care label allows.

For down-filled items, use Down Wash Direct® in the washing machine to clean and follow with Down Proof to add DWR. We recommend tumble drying down items to fluff them back up, this can be a bit of a process as you will need to tease the down clumps apart at intervals in the drying process but it’s worth it. It is vitally important to make sure all gear is completely dry before packing away.

Step 2: Clean your gloves and socks
Like your outwear, your gloves will pick up a lot of dirt on the slopes. Clean gloves will ensure that they stay breathable and waterproof, stopping water lingering on the inside of your gloves and making your hands feel cold. It takes a long time for extremities to warm back up again once they are cold, so it is important to keep them warm. After cleaning, you can apply Glove Proof to synthetic or leather and synthetic combination gloves. For full leather gloves, use Waterproofing Wax for Leather.

In the same way that hands can quickly get cold if they are damp, the same goes for feet. A lot of snow sports enthusiasts use Merino wool socks for their temperature regulating and wicking properties. These types of socks need different care to synthetic ones. Make sure to clean according to the care label and use Wool Wash, our speciality cleaner and conditioner designed to deodorise and enhance the wicking and drying performance of woollen items. For synthetic socks, look to BaseWash and BaseFresh® to gently clean, condition and deodorise leaving them fresh and ready for the next winter.

Step 3: Clean your base layers
Sweat, oils from your skin and dirt will build up on your base layers after working hard in them on the slopes. This can cause the technical wicking to become less effective, making temperature regulation more difficult. Regular detergents can build up on clothing and have the same effect, so it is important to use a speciality cleaner to ensure your gear is performing at its best. BaseWash will gently clean and deodorise synthetic base layers, whilst Wool Wash will do the same for your woollen pieces. BaseFresh is the only fabric conditioner designed to deodorise and enhance the wicking and drying properties, rather than regular conditioners which can attract water to give the soft feel. Using these types of cleaners and conditioners will ensure you are dryer, warmer and more comfortable whilst smelling fresh too!

Step 4: look after your equipment
If you are lucky enough to own your own boots and ski’s or snowboard, it is a good idea to service them at the end of the season so they are set and ready before being packed away. Clean the inners of your snowboard or ski boots with Sandal & Sports Shoe Wash to remove any unwanted odours and to improve their wicking quality. As with your socks, wet feet very quickly come cold feet!

Servicing your skis and board can include a re-wax and edge sharpen, but if ski touring is your thing you can waterproof your ski skins with Ski Skin Proof. This treatment is designed to prevent ice build-up on the fibres and to reduce saturation on all ski skins to improve glide and reduce kick.

Following these steps will safeguard the technical qualities of your snow sports gear for future use, enhancing their properties and extending the life of the garments. The longer you can use the gear for, the less you will have to purchase and the more sustainable your use would be. Our last tip and perhaps the most important – make sure all your gear is thoroughly dry before packing away until next season!

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Iwan Thomas prepares for ultra-marathon

 

We are excited to announce Nikwax’s sponsorship of a moving video following athlete Iwan Thomas MBE, preparing for his first ultra-marathon. Iwan holds the current UK 400m sprint record with a run time of 44.36 seconds.

Covering 100 miles, which is the the equivalent of 400 x 400m races, Iwan completed the gruelling ‘Centurion Running South Downs Way 100’ race during last summer’s heatwave, raising around £25,000 for Group B Strep Support, the world’s leading charity working to eradicate Group B Strep infection in babies. See if you can spot our Nikwax products in the video here…

 

Earlier this year, Iwan also participated in series 4 of the hit Channel 4 show Celebrity Hunted, which follows a group of celebrity contestants on the run for 14 days. Iwan successfully avoided capture by the Hunters – a team of elite athletes, police and intelligence personnel – and was crowned the show’s winner after a gruelling two weeks.

Did you know Nikwax Sweatproofing products will clean and condition your next-to-skin clothing and footwear without compromising its performance? They are the must-have products for all budding ultra-marathon runners! Next-to-skin clothing works brilliantly to control sweat and regulate body temperature, however, did you know household detergents and conditioners can leave behind residues on the fabric that impair their ability to evaporate sweat? This causes them to retain moisture. Added to this, body oils and bacteria can build up over time, so they start to smell. Regular household detergents mask the smell rather than removing it, so as soon as you start to use your base layers again, the smell returns very quickly.

Nikwax’s Sweatproofing wash-in cleaners, BaseWash® and Wool Wash, gently clean, remove embedded odours and prevent the build-up of odour-causing bacteria. They also accelerate the ability of the fabric to dry, to help regulate your body temperature when sweating.

Our wash-in conditioner, BaseFresh® can be used in place of standard fabric softener in a washing machine. It deodorises and improves wicking, keeping your base layers smelling fresher for longer.

Sandal & Sports Shoe Wash is great for cleaning and freshening all non-waterproof footwear – from sandals and sports shoes, to insoles and footbeds.

 

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Enjoying life on the road…

Spring is officially in the air and up and down the country, motorcycling enthusiasts are dusting off their bikes ahead of drier, warmer conditions in which to enjoy the open roads. One such biker is our very own Marika Nicholson, Nikwax Export Sales Account Manager, who will soon be making the most of the sunshine and longer days on her HD Sport Glide…

How long have you been motorbiking and what inspired you to take it up?
I really got into it by accident. My husband kept going on about wanting a motorbike until one day I said, “If you are having one, I am having one”, and that was it, I had no way out and got my license and my first motorbike!

What is your favourite model of motorbike and why?
I started with a Kawasaki ZXR 400, after that a Vulkan S and then a Sportster 1200. I most definitely prefer the cruiser. I like the relaxed riding style and the possibility of loading it with gear for further afield touring. I recently acquired a HD Sport Glide, which I customised to suit my requirements.

What has been your most memorable motorbiking adventure so far and what ones are still on your bucket list?
I have been on quite a few touring holidays in the UK and abroad, and I enjoyed all of them, even those where it rained so much the roads became rivers! The Hardknott pass in the Lake District was a bit tricky. A tour through the Alpine region is on the cards for next year, I think. I have not done the Stelvio Pass in northern Italy, bordering Switzerland, yet, so that will need to be done at some point. A touring holiday in the USA needs to be arranged too! Still so many roads to ride….

How do you stay safe on the roads?
By looking ahead, being aware of my surroundings, always anticipating what other road users might do, and riding within my own capabilities.

 

Why is it important to look after your motorbike kit and what products do you use to keep your leathers, gloves and helmet consistently performing?
Good motorcycle clothing does not come cheap, so it is important to take good care of it. If you look after your gear, it will last and look good for much longer. For my all-season synthetic gear I use Nikwax Tech Wash® for cleaning and TX.Direct® for reproofing. For my leather clothing I use Nikwax Leather Cleaner and Leather Restorer, and for my boots Waterproofing Wax for Leather. For my visor I use Visor Proof and for my gloves, Glove Proof.

What advice would you give to those who are keen to take up motorbiking?
Just give it a go! It is a liberating feeling being out on the open road. You can ride alone or join other bikers. Whatever type of riding you prefer, it is up to you – just always be alert and ride safe.

Motorbike camping is now a popular way to immerse yourself in two great passions – motorbikes and nature. What packing advice would you give to people planning a trip, and what key items should they not leave home without?Make sure your insurance and breakdown cover is up to date, fit for purpose and you have the correct documentation with you when going abroad. Always pack as light as possible, as you do not want to add too much weight to your bike (don’t forget your security devices, which are heavy but necessary). A travel tube of BaseWash® or Wool Wash may help with this, as you can quickly hand wash some items of clothing rather than packing too much if away for longer. Pack evenly to keep the balance of your bike. I always have rain gear, an extra layer of clothing and a tool pouch, including zip ties and tape, in my saddle bag.

Being outdoors is beneficial for all of us. What physical and/or mental benefits do you personally get from motorcycling?
Because I need to be aware of what is going on around and ahead of me on the road I enjoy being in the moment, the countryside and the scenery of where I am at that point in time. It is great for switching off from work and the worries of everyday life.

 

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Nikwax retailer Nevisport on planning your walking outfit…

Founded in 1970, in the shadow of Ben Nevis, by climbers Ian A. Sykes MBE and Ian D. Sutherland, Nevisport has grown to become one of the country’s leading outdoor speciality retailers, with a strong tradition of quality, value for money and genuinely caring for their customers.

Here, they share their tips on how to put together your perfect walking outfit – and how to care for it using Nikwax…

Finding the perfect walking outfit doesn’t need to be complicated; if you follow these simple steps, you will easily put together an outfit that works for you. You will need:

  • Breathable base layer
  • Insulating mid-layer
  • Waterproof outer layers
  • Waterproof walking footwear
  • Good quality accessories

Base layers
It is a misconception that base layers are only for insulation! Actually, their purpose is to wick away moisture and keep you dry, even during exertion so you don’t get clammy. You should avoid cotton tops for this initial layer (cotton naturally absorbs and retains moisture) and instead choose a garment designed specifically for moisture wicking.

Once your base layers have been worn a few times and are starting to smell, clean them with Nikwax BaseWash® to deodorise, freshen, soften, and enhance their drying and cooling performance.

If, during colder months, you choose to wear woollen base layers, then keep these performing with Nikwax Wool Wash. Unlike household detergents that cause wool to retain moisture, Wool Wash maintains the delicate, natural properties of wool. When you get hot, sweat will spread quickly and dry faster, whilst Wool Wash also deodorises to keep garments smelling fresh.  

Mid-layers

Your mid-layer should keep you warm, and fleeces and micro-fleeces are the best insulators for your top half (although you can definitely go old school with a thick wool jumper in extra cold conditions). Fleeces are also lightweight, so you can pack them away easily when the weather warms up.

Nikwax PolarProof® leaves a flexible water repellent treatment on individual fleece fibres that allows moisture vapour to pass through, maintaining breathability and optimising performance in wet weather. It also inhibits pilling of fleece fabrics, so your fleece stays newer for longer.

For your bottom half, we recommend quick drying walking trousers or running tights as these won’t get damp and leech the heat out of your legs. Avoid wearing jeans, which can stay wet and heavy for a very long time, leaving you feeling damp and very uncomfortable!

Outer layers
These will protect you from bad weather and a technical walking jacket paired with over-trousers (optional) are best for the job as your windproof and waterproof layers. In dryer weather however, you might prefer a softshell water resistant option. Look out for jackets with breathability vents (especially in the armpit areas), comfortable hoods, and good pocket space.

Nikwax Tech Wash® is an easy-to-use and highly effective cleaner that will also revitalise the Durable Water Repellency (DWR) of your jacket and maintain its breathability. When Tech Wash alone does not revitalise the DWR, re-proof with Nikwax TX.Direct®.

Footwear
Good quality walking boots are the best choice for most hiking trails, though you can go with lighter, more comfortable walking shoes on well-maintained paths.

Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel will remove dirt and bring life back to your waterproof footwear, whilst Nikwax Fabric & Leather Proof will replenish Durable Water Repellency on fabric and leather combination footwear, ensuring your feet stay dry and your footwear lasts longer.

Accessories
Finish off your outfit with hiking accessories to ensure you stay as comfortable as possible. Choose moisture-wicking walking socks that provide cushioning, without being so bulky they crowd your toes, and seek out windproof gloves – incredibly important on cooler days. In cold weather, mittens are better at trapping heat.

You should also cover your ears with a water resistant hat for protection from wind chill and wear a snood to protect your neck, which will also allow you to cover the lower part of your face in harsh wind.

Lastly, a good quality, fully adjustable walking rucksack can make a world of difference, allowing you to easily distribute weight and reduce rub, which can be a lifesaver on longer walks.

Shop the full walking and hiking gear range at Nevisport today!

Photo: toomas-tartes – Unsplash

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EcoSki: How to make your ski kit last

Our friends at Ecoski raise awareness about how we can all meaningfully reduce our impact as skiers, help protect the very thing we all love and make it easier for snow sport enthusiasts to make better choices. 

They have brought together key figures from the world of sport, environmental activism and fashion, to help them as advisors, in their journey towards a more sustainable way of life. This panel of advisors provide crucial insight, expertise and guidance through their first-hand experience and commitment to positive change. When these advisors include 4 times Olympic skier and host of Ski Sunday, Chemmy Alcott, and Polar Adventurer and Explorer Martin Hartley, you know they are serious about what they do and want to achieve.

Here they share their tips on making your ski or snow-sport kit last.

Make it last
Ski kit is not cheap and until very recently has essentially been made of some form of fossil fuel derived plastic. This means that the ski pants you wore once but don’t like any more, or the jacket that your child has outgrown, will take somewhere in the region of 500 years to decompose when it ends up in landfill.

Research has shown that extending the active life of one item of ski kit leads to a reduction in the carbon, water and waste footprint by up to 10 per cent — so taking care of your ski kit to make it last as long as possible is the best policy for both your pocket and the planet.

But, how to go about it?

Buy well and wear well
Begin with buying quality, not quantity. While not everyone can afford top-of-the-range kit, the more expensive a garment, generally the better it will be manufactured and the longer its life. As with fast fashion, if you avoid anything that you think you might not like the following season, or in two years’ time — for example, a bold print or colour, or a fur trim — you’re more likely to wear it time and again.

Look after your kit
Washing outdoor clothing in regular detergent and fabric conditioners inhibits its water resistant properties, making it less effective and at risk of degrading faster than if using appropriate aftercare. Sponge off marks or stains when they appear to help reduce the build-up of any oils or contaminants that can mask the water repellency.

Remember sunlight will degrade the properties of technical clothing too because of the harmful UV rays that can reduce fabric tear strength.

Re-proof to revive
If your kit is starting to ‘wet out’ rather than water beading up and running off the fabric, don’t despair – you just need to give it some TLC with Nikwax. Dirt, body oils, and even smoke, can all mask the water repellent coating on your gear, meaning it will soak up water. That’s why it’s key to use a technical cleaner like Nikwax Tech Wash®. Tech Wash is the best performing technical cleaner on the market that effectively cleans away dirt while maintaining the water repellency and breathability of your jacket.

Should cleaning alone not revitalise water repellency you should then re-proof your ski garments with  TX.Direct®  

Care for your base layers

If you have smelly base layers, don’t chuck them away! Nikwax has a cleaner and conditioner formulated specifically to remove odours from synthetic base layers and other items worn next to the skin. BaseWash cleans away all body oils and bacteria and deodorises at the same time, so you stay fresher for longer. There’s even a gentle version for woollen base layers – Wool Wash – designed to be kind to the natural properties of wool.

Nikwax Sweatproofing products also enhance the ability of your base layers to wick sweat away from your skin so you stay comfortable and your body temperature is regulated during activity. Find a selection here.

Nikwax also have the following ski related products: Glove Proof, Visor Proof and Ski Skin Proof. Rather than buy new each year, use Nikwax products to enhance the performance of your gear and you will be helping prevent the addition of textiles into landfill.

A stitch in time
Extend the life of your kit by mending any tears. Gore-Tex patches are easily bought online or, contact the original manufacturer to get a colour and fabric match. A good top tip for mending tears in down jackets is to use a sailing spinnaker tape — you literally cut a circle of the fabric, peel off the backing, place it over the hole and rub vigorously to bond the glue to the jacket. If you’re not skilled enough to replace a zipper yourself, most manufacturers have a repair service, but you could also try the local high street or EcoSki offers a repair service, too.

Don’t bin it!
At the end of the day, don’t bin it! Skiwear is designed to be durable and hardwearing so if your children have outgrown their kit or you decide it’s time for a change, why not sell your ski gear to someone else? “Preloved” ski kit sells well; just make sure it’s clean and you’re honest about any wear and tear. EcoSki sells mens’, womens’ and childrens’ pre-owned skiwear. If your kit really isn’t worth re-selling it can it be shredded and used as insulation in building materials or recycled via EcoSki’s recycling partners. Anything to keep it in circulation and living a full life.

 

 

 

 

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Maintain the performance of your Nikwax Directional Textiles® for longer

Nikwax is the global leader in safe, high performance waterproofing, cleaning and conditioning for outdoor gear, but did you also know that Nikwax manufactures a range of high performance waterproof fabrics? Páramo Clothing has been using our Directional Textiles for nearly 30 years and we’d like to introduce them to you…

OUTERWEAR
Nikwax Analogy® Waterproof fabric combines Nikwax Analogy Pump Liner® – which mimics the action of animal fur by pushing liquid water outwards to protect you from rain, condensation and perspiration whilst protecting your insulation – with a directional microfibre to deflect wind and rain. The fabric is soft, strong and durable, is effective in both high humidity and very cold conditions, and its water repellency can be easily renewed for the lifetime of the garment.

Nikwax Analogy Insulator combines Nikwax Windproof closely woven microfibre outer with Nikwax synthetic, water resistant fill to cut windchill and provide excellent insulation for overlayering with other Nikwax fabrics. It retains body heat very effectively to warm the body quickly and deflects rain whilst providing excellent moisture vapour transfer. It packs down small, giving a high warmth to weight ratio, and the fill gives a down-like feel and performance, with the benefit of still working well when wet.

Nikwax Windproof, Windproof Stretch and Windproof Denim are closely woven, resilient microfibre fabrics that cut wind chill and protect your insulation whilst still allowing movement of water away from the body. Comfortable when worn next to the skin, they are extremely breathable and highly resistant to degradation in ultraviolet (UV) light. They also fold and compress without damage so are ideal for ‘pack and carry’.

Nikwax Fleece is both water repellent and wind resistant, actively pushing liquid water – rain and perspiration – away from the body to keep you dry. It performs in all temperatures and humidity conditions whilst also trapping still air to provide superior insulation when needed.

Nikwax Cotton+ is a lightweight yet tough fabric that blends cotton with modern synthetic fibres to provide rugged comfort. By combining the best of the properties of both fibres, the fabric offers easy wear and easy care qualities ideal for outdoor activities and travel. It is quick drying and UV and wind-resistant.

What cleaning products are best for my Nikwax outerwear garments?
Designed and optimised to treat breathable waterproof fabrics, Tech Wash® is an easy-to-use and highly effective cleaner that also revitalises Durable Water Repellency (DWR) and maintains breathability. Regular cleaning of your gear will keep it performing at its best, however, when  Tech Wash alone does not revitalise the DWR it is time for a thorough re-proof.

TX.Direct® is the No.1 high performance waterproofer that is quick and easy-to-use in your washing machine; treating the seams, tapes and cords of your garment, as well as the fabric. The product develops on air drying, leaving a flexible water repellent treatment on individual fibres that allows moisture vapour to pass through, maintaining breathability.

Nikwax Cotton+ garments should be cleaned first with Tech Wash, as above, followed by Cotton Proof, which delivers the same waterproofing result as TX. Direct.

 

BASE LAYERS
Nikwax Parameta® base layers are made from incredibly versatile and lightweight polyester fabrics that provide either cooling or insulation as needed. They wick very effectively and spread perspiration over a large area, which dries out rapidly.

Parameta G has a raised grid pattern that traps air for insulation when covered with a windproof layer. Worn alone, the fabric allows air to circulate next to the skin for cooling.

Parameta A keeps you cool at higher temperatures and blocks out virtually all damaging UV rays, making it ideal for warm weather activities and travel.

Parameta T provides light insulation, making it excellent for cooler conditions. Its soft feel is very comfortable against the skin, even when worn for prolonged periods.

Parameta T+ is a reversible, asymmetrical fabric that directs water from one face to the other and provides two levels of cooling. It is also very robust and resists the ‘pulls’ that base layers are often prone to.

What cleaning products are best for my Nikwax Parameta base layers?
Once your base layers have been worn a few times and are starting to smell, clean them with BaseWash® to deodorise, freshen, soften, and enhance their drying and cooling performance.

Not only is BaseWash easy-to-use as it cleans and conditions at the same time, but it outperforms conventional household detergents and fabric conditioners, which can impair the wicking qualities of base layers and cause moisture retention. Additionally, over time, a build-up of bacteria and body oils can lead to your base layers smelling, which conventional detergents and fabric conditioners will simply mask rather than remove.

If you have just a few dirty base layers and want to clean them in a regular laundry load without compromising their technical attributes, BaseFresh®, will deliver the same results as BaseWash. Used instead of a fabric conditioner, BaseFresh allows your regular detergent to clean away dirt and stubborn stains, whilst it will deodorise, inhibit the build-up of body odours, improve wicking and accelerate drying.



 

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Staying dry and warm in base layers

During this current pandemic, the time we get to enjoy the outdoors feels more important than ever. However, during the freezing winter months, you may be tempted to stay indoors because of dreading getting cold or wet if you venture outside. Right now, fresh air is vital for us all in terms of health and mental wellbeing, so don’t be put off. All you need is the right clothing and, at this time of year, it’s all about layers.

Wearing a number of layers traps air between them, providing additional insulation to that provided by the garments alone. The other big benefit is increased versatility: layering enables you to add or remove layers according to changing conditions, ensuring maximum comfort at all times.

What layers do I need?

Every good layering system, when stripped back to basics, is made up of three essential components: the base layer, the mid (or insulation) layer, and the outer (shell/waterproof) layer. Each fulfils a specific role in ensuring you stay warm, dry and comfortable in winter conditions.

Why are base layers so important?

Base layers are often overlooked when it comes to layering systems. Walkers, climbers and even mountaineers frequently focus on insulation or waterproofing pieces when, in fact, many of the most important issues they face can be combatted by a good base layer. Whether you’re cycling, running or just out for a stroll in the hills, moisture management and temperature regulation are key to keeping you comfortable and safe.

So what are the key base layers and how can Nikwax Sweatproofing aftercare keep them performing for you this winter?

Next-to-skin base layers
Layering systems start with moisture management. Base layers are there to help wick away sweat from the skin when you get warm whilst active – they become your second skin. You should ensure that whilst close fitting, a base layer provides enough flexibility for comfortable movement.

If sweat accumulates against your skin, you will get damp and swiftly feel a chill when you stop being active, this will affect the regulation of your body temperature. Merino wool or synthetic next-to-skin base layers are designed to wick moisture away from your skin. Sweat will spread over a large area and then dry fast, to prevent you feeling clammy.

Many people are not aware that fabric conditioners and some laundry detergents leave behind a residue which impairs the wicking performance of base layers, leaving you damp and clammy. This can also lead to the build-up of bacteria on the base layer leaving it smelling of sweat even after it’s been washed. Using the right cleaning and conditioning products on your base layers will keep them performing at their best so that you can enjoy your time outdoors and stay warm and dry on the inside.

Synthetic base layers
Synthetic layers are great for high-energy activities, such as running or cycling, as they are fast drying and lightweight. However, synthetic layers are susceptible to the build-up of body odours and your kit could soon start to smell.

You can banish the odour from synthetic layers by using Nikwax BaseFresh® when you wash your kit. When used alongside your household detergent, BaseFresh ensures that you can clean your layers without the detergent impairing the technical properties of the fabric.  BaseFresh effectively removes body oils from synthetic fabric and prevents the build-up of bad-smelling bacteria, maintaining freshness. Fabric will become more resistant to stains and day-to-day soiling. BaseFresh enhances performance, improving wicking to spread sweat and dry fast. You stay comfortable and your base layers will smell fresher for longer.  

If you use a lot of synthetic base layers and sportswear, we’d recommend Nikwax BaseWash® a specially designed detergent with added conditioner which will clean your base layers effectively, leaving them smelling fresh and performing at their best.

Woollen base layers
Garments made from wool, such as Merino, make for naturally warming next-to-skin layers. Woollen base layers are naturally wicking and antibacterial, whilst also providing insulation in winter and cooling properties in warmer months. Air pockets within wool will pull excess heat away from your skin whilst trapping heat within the natural fibre, so you remain comfortable without either overheating or getting too cold.

You can wash wool less frequently than synthetic base layers, but they still need to be cared for properly. Nikwax Wool Wash will both clean and condition your garments at the same time, caring for the fabric to maintain its natural properties. Wool Wash deodorises your base layers, preventing any odour build-up and keeping you smelling fresh. You can restore performance of older base layers with Wool Wash, with the fabric retaining its natural softness and wicking enhanced, so that sweat can spread and dry fast.

Nikwax Wool Wash is also perfect for other woollen garments such as socks and jumpers, giving them the gentle cleaning care that this delicate natural fibre needs.

All Nikwax products are water-based, and made with care for the environment. They are also super easy to use in your washing machine or by hand!

Care for your base layers with Nikwax Sweatproofing and be safe knowing that you can enjoy your daily exercise this winter without feeling cold or uncomfortable.