When purchasing your clothes, you usually choose the model that best fits you or the one that you feel the most comfortable in. You might also have a favorite color or material, or even a brand. However, rarely do people pay attention to one very important aspect- how to properly care for the garment you buy.
Believe me; it can sometimes be quite challenging or even impossible to wash certain pieces of wardrobe at your home.
All this is especially evident when it comes to caring for winter clothes, especially jackets. The materials used for making jackets usually require special care or even dry cleaning which can be quite expensive.
Jackets made for outdoor sports are especially prone to getting dirty and thus need to be cleaned more often. For this reason, I have chosen to write a detailed practical guide on how to wash a North Face jacket, since this is one of the most popular brands of this kind of jackets.
What to Consider When Washing a Jacket
First of all, I want to make sure that we are all familiar with basics when it comes to properly washing a jacket.
I guess that a lot of you have sometimes in your life made a mistake and washed some piece of your clothes wrongly. Maybe your wool sweater shrunk, or your dawn duvet cover ended up ruined.
In any case, there are things you should consider when washing any piece of clothes, especially jackets and therefore I want to point out some basic factors worth considering:
- The type of material used will directly influence the method you will be allowed to use to wash your jacket. Some jackets are washing machine-safe, but most require to be washed by hand. The most sensitive materials might even require dry-cleaning. Material will also dictate the water temperature.
- The type of jacket, or to be more precise the type of lining, is another important factor to consider when washing your jacket. Down jackets are especially puzzling for most people. Also, consider all clasps and fasteners and make sure they are fastened and cannot ruin your jacket during the washing process.
- The type of soap or detergent can also play an important role and determine whether your jacket will be ideally cleaned or totally ruined. Some materials or linings require special detergents so make sure you are aware of that before it gets too late
Now, we will discuss how to wash a North Face jacket in more detail, of course, most of the advice I am going to provide can be also applied to other brands as long as their jackets are made from the same or similar materials.
How To Wash a North Face Jacket
There are three main types of jackets this company produces depending on the material they use- fleece, down and a Gore-Tex jacket. We will discuss the best washing methods for each of this type.
How to Wash a Gore-Tex North Face Jacket
Gore-Tex jackets are very popular due to being both wind and water resistant. You can wear them on a number of occasions as well which makes them very practical. They cannot be easily damaged either; quite oppositely, these jackets are considered to be very durable.
The „thing“ that makes them water-proof is usually a DWR coating, which prevents water from penetrating the jacket and getting you wet.
When it comes to washing, these jackets are quite user-friendly as well. First of all, they are washing machine safe. Washing them this way will also benefit the DWR coating since it will protect it.
When washing a Gore-Tex jacket, make sure you first close all the zippers or buttons, which usually means that you zip up the main zipper and the pockets. If there are velcro straps on the cuffs, you should secure them as well.
All North Face jackets will have the tag with instructions concerning the recommended temperature you should wash them on. Make sure you follow this information and set the washing machine accordingly.
Spinning should be set on low, while it is best to rinse the jacket twice.
It is not recommended to use powdered detergents, so it is best to opt for a liquid detergent designated for sensitive fabric and use just a little bit of it.
You should also avoid fabric softeners. Bleach is a definite no-no too!
Gore-Tex jackets have to be properly dried as well, and the good news is that they can be tumble-dried.
Tumble drying actually reactivates the DWR protection and is thus highly recommended, although, if you do not have access to a tumble drier, you can also simply let the jacket dry on a drying line- just make sure that it is completely dry before you return it to your wardrobe.
If you have to use the iron, then set it on a medium or warm. Turn off the steam option. To be sure you will not damage the jacket you can place a protective clothed between the jacket and the iron.
You can wash the Gore-Tex jacket quite often without it losing its properties, but at one point the DWR coating will stop reactivating.
At this point, you have two options if you want to keep your jacket waterproof- to apply the water repellent treatment on your own or let the dry cleaner do it and continue wearing it without worrying about sudden rain or snow.
Discover More: Dress for Success: My Guide on What to Wear on a Hiking Date
How To Wash A North Face Fleece Jacket
Fleece jackets are very comfortable and soft and thus very popular. Although they are light and airy, they can stand a lot of wear and tear and be used in numerous outdoor activities without getting damaged.
Their greatest downside is that they are not water repellent or waterproof.
On the bright side, fleece does not get wet fast or easy. The water usually pools on top of this synthetic fabric and does not get absorbed quickly giving you enough time to get a shelter or acquire an umbrella!
Before cleaning a North Face fleece jacket, fasten all the zippers, Velcro straps, and buttons to prevent the abrasion that can damage it.
Turning your jacket inside out will prevent pilling that is a potential risk when it comes to fleece jackets. In fact, all fleece jackets will pill at some point, But the high-quality ones, such as the North Face, will last much longer.
When washing the fleece jacket use cold water. Use mild detergents or soaps. Bleach is once again forbidden.
It is better to wash them by hand, but you can also use a washing machine with an appropriate delicate wash program.
The best way to dry your North Face fleece jacket is to let it air dry in the shade; too much heat can damage these jackets so avoid tumble driers. Do not take it to the dry cleaner as dry cleaning is not allowed.
How To Wash A North Face Down Jacket
Definitely, the most popular type of the North Face jackets is the down one. It is the all-time favorite option for all the people who love spending time outdoors.
The best assets of this kind of jacket are its light weight, comfort, and feeling of warmth it provides.
Dow jackets, in general, require special care and can be easily ruined. Therefore, especially considering the high price of the North Face down jackets, you should first consider taking your jacket to a professional.
Dry cleaning will preserve the down filling the best, and if you can afford it, it is definitely the best option available.
If you are brave enough to try washing your North face down jacket at home, you have to follow my advice carefully and you should be just fine- and your jacket too!
First of all, you need to buy an appropriate detergent as „normal“ ones can damage the down. There are numerous specialized detergents and softeners you can use to make sure your down jacket will remain wearable longer.
A pure, mild soap can also be used if you are in a hurry or on a tight budget.
If you use harsh detergent, the natural oil that protects the feathers from falling apart will be removed by the strong chemicals. In this way, after a few washing cycles, your jacket will become unwearable.
You can use your washing machine but be extra careful.
First, let the empty machine go through a rinsing process that will remove all the residue of the detergents you have previously used.
Next, set the machine to the delicate cycle and the temperature at thirty or forty degrees Celsius. To avoid too much clumping set the spinning on low too.
When your North Face down jacket is finally washed, your tough jobs will have only begun. Namely, washing is quite easy in comparison to drying the jacket.
If you own a tumble dryer, the process of drying will be much easier and less stressful.
If you do not own one- buy one, or go to your neighbor that has one! Joking aside, I really do not recommend washing a down jacket at home when you do not have a tumble dryer as that is a serious risk.
To dry your jacket in a tumble dryer, you should first try to fluff it as much as possible. Preventing clumps is quite a mission, so you might want to aid yourself with some useful tricks such using as drying balls (or even tennis balls) that will help break them up.
It is best to dry the jacket for twenty minutes, shake the jacket well and then repeat the drying process once again. Continue doing this until you are sure your jacket is 100% dry.
If your down stays clumped, it will not only be an aesthetic problem but also a performance issue. The jacket will not be able to warm you as well as it could as there will be bare spots through which the heat will escape and leave you trembling.
I hope you will be able to use my advice and learn how to wash a north face jacket properly on your own. Always rely on the information on the instruction tag as well. In this way, you will enjoy your North Face jacket for long and „never stop exploring“!