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Nikwax – the Hydrophobic Down and aftercare specialists

Did you know that Nikwax has enhanced the performance of nature’s best insulator (down) to create the lightest, most efficient, water-resistant down? Nikwax Hydrophobic Down + and Nikwax Hydrophobic Down Recycled were launched in 2020 to keep people warmer and drier without the use of harmful fluorocarbon (PFC) chemistry…

  • Nikwax Hydrophobic Down (NHD) + is the world’s best performing hydrophobic down! It is up to 250 times more water resistant than standard down, conserving its natural insulating qualities even when wet.
  • NHD+ keeps users warm, dry and comfortable in a wider range of conditions. It will not wet out from rain, snow, or condensation produced whilst exercising or camping. NHD+ also keeps users warmer and drier in extreme cold, making it perfect for use whilst alpine trekking and mountaineering.

  • NHD+ is the first and only hydrophobic down to exceed 10,000 minutes on the industry IDFB 18a Shake Test. That’s 7 days constant exposure to water! (Standard Down lasts a maximum of 20 minutes shake time. To be considered hydrophobic, treated down must reach a minimum of just 40 minutes shake time).
  • Nikwax Hydrophobic Down Recycled was created to support our brand partner Rab®, who wanted to use recycled down with a high performance hydrophobic material, so their customers do not have to choose between high performance and a sustainable product.
  • Nikwax Hydrophobic Down Recycled was the first and only recycled down to achieve 1,000 minutes on the IDFB 18a Shake Test.
  • All down (not just NHD) can be maintained with Nikwax aftercare!

Nikwax has been supplying the likes of Rab, Haglöfs® and Therm-a-Rest® with NHD for nearly ten years. Used in their jackets and sleeping bags, our Partner Brands supply extreme explorers with expedition clothing and gear that must survive arctic temperatures and extreme weather conditions. Here’s what they have to say about us:

“As the Masters of Insulation, our customers expect our products to deliver superior performance for longer. That’s why we chose NHD treatment to dramatically reduce the negative effects that moisture can have on the down insulation and ensure our jackets absorb less water, dry faster, and retain their loft for longer, whatever the conditions.” RAB

“With the Hydrophobic Down water-resistant treatment in our sleeping bag range, Therm-a-Rest’s customers know they are buying into long-lasting quality and performance. Our long-term partnership with Nikwax is vital to the brand and what we stand for.” Therm-a-Rest

“When we heard about the hydrophobic down increased shake time of 10,000 minutes, it felt like the natural way to go. And for us to work with a company that is also driven by sustainability, it feels like the perfect match.” Haglöfs

NOMAD is taking another step forward in the process of creating innovative and sustainable products by working with NHD+.” NOMAD

Did you know that Nikwax down aftercare products have been cleaning and proofing down gear for over 25 years? Nikwax extends the life of down filled jackets and sleeping bags by restoring and protecting their insulating properties and water repellency. Easy to use in a washing machine or by hand, Nikwax is water-based and PFC-free.

Down Wash.Direct® is a technical cleaner that revitalises the durable water repellency (DWR) and insulating properties of both hydrophobic and regular down filled clothing and sleeping bags, without damaging the delicate structure of down. Down Proof is a speciality waterproofer that protects and improves the natural insulating properties of down filled gear from wet and damp conditions. Our high performance down care duo will optimise the performance of down items in wet weather whilst minimising weight gain due to water absorption.

Old gear? Clean it first with Down Wash.Direct before replenishing its DWR with Down Proof, which will cause water to bead up on the outer fabric once more. When used on NHD-filled items, the loft, insulation and breathability are also all maintained.

New gear? If your jacket or sleeping bag is relatively new, or has been recently treated with Down Proof, cleaning it with Down Wash.Direct will not only remove contaminants – such as dirt and body oils that can cause the fabric to attract water – but it will also revitalise insulation, breathability and DWR.

However, don’t just take it from us that our products are the best in the business, see what our customers have to say about Down Wash.Direct and Down Proof:

“I finally got around to using Down Wash.Direct on my Arc’teryx Thorium jacket. I am currently serving as an infantry soldier in the army reserve and have used the jacket for several exercises over the winter. Typically for down time or while on stag (sentry duty) worn under my combat jacket. It has taken a fair bit of punishment and duly picked up a fair bit of mud/sweat/tears along the way. Before using Nikwax in the washing machine, I ran a quite empty cycle to rinse any detergent. The jacket came out fully cleaned and after a cool tumble dry was puffed back up and suitably clean. The outer waterproofing has reactivated well and when last worn in light rain the water beaded up and ran off well in droplets. In summary, I will definitely use this again. I’m always a bit nervous about washing down jackets as they give the impression that they won’t come back to life, but, in this case, Nikwax Down Wash.Direct has performed really well.” James Bees

“Great performing product! Easy to apply either by hand or machine wash and lasts for several months of use or even when stored and not used. The warmth in my jacket and pants have not been lost and the down remains full and fluffed up.” Connor Duckworth

“I feel the protection and waterproofing it gives my outdoor clothing is the best available. The water repellent coating it leaves on my clothing is second to none.” Stephen Reilly

“I find Down Proof to be very effective at keeping my down jackets’ waterproofing in working order.” Gillian Craig

I am always impressed by quality of the products that Nikwax produce, and the current version of Down Proof is exceptional. Alan Cole


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The Benefits of Using Nikwax Polar Proof

When it comes to looking after my kit, I always treat clothing as I would my photography gear; to keep items in prime condition, it’s essential to use recommended cleaning products and follow suggested guidelines. By doing this, I can be sure that they’ll last longer and perform better, even with regular (dare I say, unforgiving) use. 

When it comes to caring for fleeces, it’s a two-part process that I use. First, I clean them using Tech Wash, following Nikwax’s recommendations alongside those outlined on the fleeces’ care labels. You might ask why I don’t simply use regular detergent; well, the quick answer is that with this approach, I know the garments will have the best head start when treating them with Polar Proof.

Polar Proof washing machine

It’s true what they say – Tech Wash really does revitalise garments, and I’m sure this is also part of the reason why they feel so much softer when pulled out of the washing machine after applying Polar Proof. For example, when I’ve compared like-for-like with an untreated fleece, it is noticeable just how much physically ‘flatter’ the untreated one is. Thanks to Nikwax, the fabric is given renewed volume; this equates to improved insulating and breathability qualities. With more air trapped between their fibres, my fleeces feel great when worn next to the skin as base layers.

In terms of how much solution I use, I’ve always followed the recommendation of 1 full cap (50ml) of Polar Proof for 1 item and 2 full caps (100ml) for 2-3 items. The temptation is to think that maybe this isn’t going to be enough, but actually it is plenty. In all the years I’ve used the solution, I’ve never known it to leave any form of residue or fail to deliver on its promise. 

Polar Proof drying naturally

My preference is always to allow garments to dry naturally outdoors. Yes, tumble drying them works very well, too, but why not take the most environmentally-sympathetic route where possible? Besides, on a fine day, they’ll dry in no time at all!

So, what about water repellency?

In my experience, the beauty of wearing a Polar Proof-treated fleece is two-fold. When I’m dashing around, I can be sure that perspiration won’t be unnecessarily absorbed directly into the garment, which would otherwise make me cold and uncomfortable when I finally stop. With added water repellency, the time I can take going about my business in the rain without having to grab a waterproof jacket is considerably extended, too. Oh, and I also get to feel just a little bit smug as I watch the water beading off whilst colleagues suffer in their sponge-like garments!

polar proof nikwax beading

Don’t get me wrong, my treated fleeces are never going to do the same job as a full-on Gore-Tex shell, but they certainly do a fine job of keeping drizzle and sudden downpours at bay until I have the opportunity to reach into my bag for complete wet-weather protection.


Giles Babbidge is a commercial and editorial photographer & writer specialising in the outdoor markets. You can find out more about what he does over at his website – – or catch up with him on Twitter – @gilesbabbidge.


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How to clean and waterproof your winter jacket

We often get asked how to use our products effectively. And while we love answering your questions, we thought it might be useful to create a ‘How To Use’ guide for two of our most popular products – Tech Wash and TX.Direct Wash-In.

Nikwax Tech Wash

  •  First, remove all detergent build-up from your detergent draw (regular detergent is water attracting so the draw must be cleaned out thoroughly)
  • For cost-effective cleaning, place up to two items in your washing machine
  • Add either 100ml of Tech Wash (soft water area) or 150ml (medium/hard water area) into your detergent tray, or in the drum with a Nikwax wash ball
  • Set your washing machine and wash according to the garment’s care label.

For those stubborn stains that just won’t come out, use Nikwax Tech Wash neat with a sponge or nylon brush and scrub lightly before cleaning with Tech Wash as normal.

 Nikwax TX.Direct Wash-In

  • As with Tech Wash, thoroughly clean your detergent draw
  • After cleaning with Tech Wash, add one or two items to your washing machine
  • Add 100ml of TX.Direct per item to your detergent tray or wash ball
  • Set your washing machine and wash according to the garment’s care label

And voila! Clean and waterproof garments with minimal hassle and great results.

Hopefully this will clear up some FAQs, but feel free to fire across any other question you have. Contact us by:

Twitter: @nikwax


Phone: 01892 768400


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Cut the cost of “Back to School”

Back To School – these are the words that strike fear into some children. And it can be scary for parents too! New school gear costs money, so it is important that you keep your child’s garments fully protected.

That is where Nikwax comes in! Cut the cost of replacing those school essentials such as jackets, fleeces and shoes by stocking up on tried and trusted products such as Tech Wash, TX.Direct, Polar Proof and Waterproofing Wax for Leather.

As you may know, a new pair of school shoes can cost as much as £50. And when a child finds a puddle, they are likely to jump in it. When leather gets wet its breathability is reduced leading to soggy socks and damp feet.  Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather gives immediate protection by renewing the leather’s Durable Water Repellency (DWR). Not only that but Waterproofing Wax for Leather Black restores colour and helps to reduce scuff and abrasion marks for when the kids forget they shouldn’t be playing football in their new shoes!

Waterproof coats and jackets will need to be replaced if they are not looked after correctly. They can begin to soak up rain simply because they are dirty, and using a regular household detergent will leave water attracting residue on the item, inhibiting its water repellency. First, wash your garment with Nikwax Tech Wash, then wash with TX.Direct to maintain breathability and replenish the Durable Water Repellency, help your child stay warm and dry in the rain!

On cold winter days, your child will appreciate their fleece jackets, gloves and hats. Nikwax Polar Proof has been specifically designed and optimised for fleece garments; it leaves a flexible treatment on individual fibres, adding water repellency whilst allowing moisture vapour to pass through it. This maintains breathability and optimises the garments performance in wet weather. Avoid a cold, wet, unhappy child by using Nikwax Polar Proof.

Choose Nikwax to protect and lengthen the lifespan of your child’s school gear this September!

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Once famous for Cheese – now famous for Challenges!

What have a sleeping giant Wild Boar, a mystical standing stone and menacing hills shrouded in a swirling ethereal mist got in common? Game of Thrones perhaps? Why no! – we’re merely Waxing lyrical about features of interest that our army of walking warriors enjoyed as they braved the elements to walk, jog and even run the Caerphilly Challenge Series ‘Wild Boar’ 2014.

A fantastic Saturday in May saw the running (by some) of the third Challenge, a not for profit community event part funded by Ramblers Cymru’s ‘Lets Walk Cymru’ and organised by a partnership of the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Caerphilly County Borough Council and many others.

Caerphilly Image 2

Welcoming a record number of all-comers with our ethos of challenges for people of any ability, routes ranging from 1, 5, 9 and 14 miles, up to a boot-bustin’ 22 mile yomp through some of Caerphilly’s wild and rugged Rhymney (pronounced Rum-nee, we’re in Wales y’know) terrain were on offer, along with some amazing support and goodies thanks to our friends at Nikwax!

Keen outdoor enthusiasts from all over the UK – not only South Wales, but also the Midlands, West Country and Ireland – rocked-up at the very un-Saturday time of 6.00 am, to be greeted by enthusiastic staff and free massages (not from our really enthusiastic staff by the way, from experts of course…) set to a soundtrack of foot-stomping, walking-themed, bangin’ tunes! Could there be a better motivation for our bleary-eyed, hardy Challengees nervously anticipating their various challenges ahead?

Caerphilly Challenge WalkingWell, maybe the promise of an energy boosting cream tea, winning a box of Nikwax delights and a further free massage at the finish!

The relentless weather proved to be no deterrent to our intrepid ‘Boarers’, with the first 14 miler returning in 2.5 hours. However ‘’shower-proof’ was no deterrent to relentless weather either, as some of our more soggy strollers found out!  If ever there was a reason to invest in supporter Nikwax’s products, then this was proof – no pun intended of course ; -)

Thankfully the goody bags that went home with our booted ‘Boar-bashers’  included a fantastic complimentary wash of TX.Direct, whetting (and waxing) the appetite for next year’s event.

Bringing us Cheesily to that very subject… 

Saturday May 9th 2015 is set to see the Caerphilly Challenge Series return to its spiritual home, Twmbarlwm (pronounced tum-bar-lum, another free Welsh lesson for you guys). Whether its a 1 mile stroll along the Monmouthshire Brecon Canal or tackling the challenge of the 22 mile Twmbarlwm Trek, yet again we will be throwing down a walking, jogging or running Challenge to suit you – no matter how fit you are!

A £10 entry fee, with £8 early bird and further £2 off for under 18’s – checkout the website for updates on when to enter: 

So come on Nikwax fans, are you ready to ‘Take on the Trek’ in 2015?

This Guest Blog was written by Gavin Jones, Caerphilly County Borough Council.


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Nikwax signs with GB Rowing Team

Top-class technical cleaning and waterproofing for clothing and equipment are a daily necessity for a successful rower.

And, for the next year, the GB Rowing Team will rely on Nikwax as its provider of high quality cleaning and waterproofing products after the company signed as an official supplier.

Nikwax, founded in the UK in 1977 and today operates from a town in Sussex, is a global leader in high performance, environmentally friendly waterproofing, cleaning and conditioning for outdoor gear. Nikwax sells to over 50 countries worldwide and the company has won awards in the UK and Europe for its environmental and conservation work.

The GB Rowing Team topped the medal table at the Olympic Games rowing regatta in 2012 and has continued its success in 2013 by leading the Olympic classes medal table at the 2013 World Championships.

“We are delighted to welcome Nikwax to our performance team”, said Sir David Tanner, Performance Director for the GB Rowing Team. “We train daily in testing conditions, rain or shine, and being able to keep our kit dry, safe and clean is extremely important to the rowers, coaches and technical support staff’.

“As fellow British organisations who share a passion for the outdoors, we are pleased the GB Rowing Team has chosen to partner with Nikwax as their official cleaning and waterproofing supplier. We look forward to helping the team achieve the very highest performance from their kit, in order to fulfil their training needs…whatever the weather!”, said Nikwax Commercial Director, Richard Moyle.

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Sudan refugees get a helping hand from Nikwax!

Nikwax was approached last year by TchadSolaire, an NGO working to improve the lives of Darfurian refugees in the Chadian desert. The growing refugee camps and the need for cooking fuel has put pressure on the surrounding ecosystem and women leaving the camps in search of wood risk being attacked and raped. The NGO provides refugees and local people with simple but effective solar cookers. Not only do the cookers mean women can feed their families without risking their safety collecting firewood, it also protects the local environment as scrubland is not being destroyed to fuel fires.

These solar cookers are simply made from cardboard and aluminium foil and moisture from spillages and condensation was reducing the lifetime of the cookers. The charity approached Nikwax asking if they could advise on a waterproofing solution. Nikwax has gone one step further and invested time and money developing a new solar cooker waterproofing product. It’s already been delivered FREE to the refugee camps to help waterproof the solar cookers. The unique waterproofing formulation can more than double the lifetime of the cookers and reduce the amount of replacement stoves required.

Nikwax founder, Nick Brown said, “TchadSolaire is doing an amazing job helping to make a real, and lasting, difference to the lives of the Sudanese refugees and we are only too pleased to help. We will continue to help them to waterproof their solar cookers for as long as they need.”