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Muddy Faces

Waterproofs care guide

Waterproof clothing, if maintained in the correct way, should last for a long time, giving good value for money. However, you can very quickly reduce the effectiveness of waterproof material, so it is important to understand the clothing and how to care for it correctly.

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Caring for your waterproof clothing is a bit of a balance

Dirt and residue can build up on your waterproof clothing, affecting the garment’s breathability and waterproof efficiency.

the tag of a red school shirt with text: waterproof clothing care advice

Washing the garment too frequently reduces the effectiveness of waterproofing clothing

Our experience at Muddy Faces is that incorrect washing is the most common reason for waterproof clothing failure.

Clothing is better left muddy than machine washing

Even if you are following care guides exactly, the waterproofing of a garment will be reduced each time it is machine-washed. We have set out below washing and care guidelines for waterproof clothing.

Please remember

... to refer to the care labels for each specific garment and carefully follow the instructions.

Washing & care guidelines for waterproof clothing


The way you clean your waterproofs can make the difference between them lasting a few weeks to lasting a few years.

We try not to wash our waterproofs in the washing machine at all. We leave them muddy and brush the mud off when it dries, or use the bucket cleaning technique (see below). The clothing rarely looks as clean as it did when brand new but we prefer our waterproofs to last for as long as possible rather than looking pristine.

How to bucket wash waterproof clothes

  • Fill a bucket with cool water
  • Before washing the garment brush off any loose mud or dirt
  • Close zips, velcro fastenings and flaps on jackets and trousers
  • Put the waterproofs into the bucket and slosh them around
  • Two buckets may be necessary if garments are particularly dirty
  • Hang up to dry in a position that allows air movement


Waterproof clothing should never be washed using ordinary detergent or fabric softener. The chemicals in detergent can break down the composition of the fibres with each wash and strip the fabric of its waterproof coating.

Machine washing

Washing waterproof clothing in a machine, even if following care instructions carefully, can reduce their waterproof lifespan. If you do wash items in a machine make sure the detergent compartment of your washing machine is clean of any detergent or softener. If you run a hot wash program whilst the machine is empty, prior to washing the waterproofs, it will clear any residue from detergent or softener.

Remember to always check the label of your garment for exact care details.

After washing the garment hang it up to air dry, or tumble dry on a low or medium heat, IF garment care instructions allow.

Low heat

Heat can affect waterproof materials. Most garment care labels will state NO HOT WASH AND NO TUMBLE DRY. Heat can delaminate certain types of materials.


  • Make sure all waterproofs are dry before storing away, to avoid them becoming mouldy or musty
  • Avoid storing in direct sunlight
  • If you notice that the fabric of your jacket or trousers is absorbing rather than repelling water you may need to re-waterproof your garment

For brand specific care and sizing guides go to:

Didriksons Size and Care Guide

pdf, 439.50 KB

Dry Kids Size and Care Guide 2020

pdf, 445.33 KB

Highland Size and Care Guide

pdf, 375.19 KB

Muddy Puddles Size and Care Guide

pdf, 361.77 KB

Ocean Size and Care Guide

pdf, 464.64 KB

Result Size and Care Guide

pdf, 382.04 KB

Splashtex Size and Care guide

pdf, 436.68 KB

These guides are also available as free pdf downloads:

Waterproof clothing care advice

pdf, 250.08 KB

Outdoor clothing practioners guide

pdf, 860.54 KB

Dressing for the outdoors parents information

pdf, 425.74 KB

Outdoor clothing buying guide

pdf, 670.59 KB

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