We all know the importance of cleanliness, especially when it comes to our clothes. But when it comes to snow gear, how often should we be washing it? Will washing it once in two weeks suffice? Or should I wash it after every wear? Here are a few guidelines to help you decide how often to wash your snow gear.
First, take a look at how often you actually wear your gear. If you only hit the slopes a few times a year, then you can probably get away with washing it less often. However, if you’re an avid skier or snowboarder, you’ll want to wash your gear more frequently. This is because sweat and body oils can break down the waterproof barrier on your gear, making it less effective at keeping you warm and dry.
Next, consider the type of activities you’re using your gear for. If you’re mostly just doing casual activities like walking around in the snow or playing in the backyard with the kids, then you won’t need to wash it as often as someone who’s out hiking or climbing in the backcountry. Again, this is because sweat and body oils can break down the waterproof barrier on your gear.
Finally, take a look at the care instructions for your gear. You may find that some gear ought to be washed more frequently than others. For example, down-filled gear may need to be washed more often than synthetic-filled gear.
So, How Do You Wash Your Snow Gear?
Now that you know how often to wash your gear, you’re probably wondering how to actually do it. Here are a few tips:
- Separate Your Gear From Your Regular Clothes. While you’d want to save time by washing all your dirty laundry in one load, it’s better to wash your gear separate from your regular clothes. This is because snow gear can be a lot bulkier and require different care than your regular clothes. Plus, your gear’s material is often different from that on regular clothes, so it’s best to wash them separately to avoid any damage.
- Make Sure the Pockets Are Empty. Before you wash your gear, make sure to empty all the pockets. This includes things like your phone, wallet, and keys. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing them in the washing machine! Most importantly, these items can damage your gear or the washing machine itself.
- Use a Mild Detergent. Detergents are not created equal. Some detergents are too harsh and can damage your gear. That’s why using a mild detergent specifically designed for outdoor gear is important. This will help ensure that your gear lasts for years to come. In the same light, avoid using fabric softeners as they can also damage your gear.
- Wash in Cold Water. With the cold weather, it’s tempting to want to wash your gear in hot water. However, this can damage the material of your gear. So, it’s best to stick with cold water when washing your gear. Washing in cold water will not only help protect your gear, but it’ll also save you money on your energy bill!
- Hand Wash Your Gear. Whenever possible it’s best to hand wash your gear. This is because hand washing is gentler on your gear’s material and can help prolong its life. However, if you’re short of time, you can machine wash your gear on the delicate cycle. Just make sure to wash on a gentle cycle as it’ll help protect your gear from any damage that the washing machine could cause.
- Dry Your Gear Properly. Once you’ve washed your gear, it’s important to dry it properly. The best way to do this is to hang it up to dry in a well-ventilated area. Avoid using a clothes dryer as the high heat can damage your gear. If you’re in a pinch, you can put your gear in the dryer on the delicate cycle. Just make sure to remove it as soon as the cycle is done to avoid any damage.
These tips apply to all types of snow gear, including jackets, pants, gloves, and hats. As for boots, you’ll want to clean them with a mild soap and water solution after each use. This will help remove any salt or chemicals that can damage the material. And be sure to stuff them with newspaper or towels when not in use, so they keep their shape.
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