How to Wash a Ski Jacket

There is no doubt that skiing is a great time whether you are with friends or just going solo. Unfortunately, it isn’t always the cleanest of activities.

After a long day of falls and traversing difficult and potentially messy trails, there is a good chance that your gear is a little dirty, smelly, or simply a little worn out.

If you want to get the most out of your ski jacket and the rest of your ski gear, you need to make sure they are clean. Cleaning your ski jacket will help it last longer and keep you looking great on the hills.

With that in mind, this guide is going to walk you through a few different tips on how to wash your ski jacket and ensure it stays in great condition for years to come.

1. Know the Materials

First and foremost, before you wash anything, be aware of the different materials your jacket is made of.

Some can be washed normally, some might need to be washed in a more gentle setting and others should be washed by hand. Different materials have different washing guidelines.

For example, if your jacket has Merino in it, be sure to use cold water and wool-specific liquid. Without doing this, you might end up washing it wrong and damaging the jacket.

This video should be able to tell you the correct way to care for any kind of fabric successfully.

2. Be Aware of How to Prepare the Jacket for Washing

When you wash your regular clothes, you can essentially just toss them all in the washer together and turn it on. That is not the case with ski jackets.

You need to prepare the garment ahead of time. You need to make sure there is nothing in the pockets and need to ensure that all flaps, zippers, and other compartments are completely closed.

If not, the jacket could end up getting caught and ripping or tearing. Also, when preparing the jacket, it is a good idea to check out the washing instructions on the tag. This should give you at least a general idea of what the specific jacket requires.

3. Use the Right Products

While any old detergent may work for your standard laundry, the same isn’t true for your ski jacket. These jackets often have a DWR (durable water repellent) coating, and using liquid detergent can sometimes harm this coating.

As a result, many jackets wash better with powdered laundry detergent. Of course, this will vary from jacket to jacket.

Also, try your best to use eco-friendly detergents that are made for outdoor gear with less perfume, chemicals, and other additives. These will leave less residue on your jacket, which will ensure its waterproof qualities aren’t impeded.

Be sure to use the right amount of product as well. If your jacket is extra filthy, that isn’t a reason to add more than the recommended amount of detergent.

4. Wash Using a Machine

For most ski jackets, you will be able to wash them in a standard washing machine. Most can be washed in cold or warm water and you should give it time to run a full cycle to ensure it is as clean as possible.

Once again, make sure to use the right detergent for the type of jacket you have. Don’t add any extras like fabric softener or whitener.

When washing your ski jacket, you should wash it alone or with another piece of ski gear like ski pants. Putting it into an already-full load won’t have the same results.

Once washed, some jackets can be put in the dryer on low or medium heat, on a gentle setting, and others may be able to be air-dried. Once again, refer to the specific care instructions on the tag for the optimal way to dry the garment safely.

5. Wash By Hand

You don’t always need to use a washing machine. Ski jackets can be washed by hand, but it is a more labor-intensive process.

First, you’ll need to fill up a sink or large bowl with some water and mix in the correct amount of cleaning detergent or powder. Then, submerge the jacket in the water and use your hands like the agitator, moving the water and cleaner around.

Next, be sure to rinse the jacket multiple times to ensure all of the cleaner is gone. If it is left, it could harm the jacket or the coating.

Then, gently squeeze the water from your jacket without wringing it out. The jacket can then often be air-dried or tossed in the dryer for a little on low to medium heat.

Do you have any other tips for washing a ski jacket that I didn’t cover in this article? If so, be sure to let me know in a comment down below!

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  • Todd

    I think you have it backwards! I have always heard that Powdered detergent should not be used on technical fabrics because they have surfactants designed to do the opposite of DWR’s.

    • Christine

      Hi Todd,

      It really just depends on the jacket, and it is always best to check the tag or with the manufacturer on what type of detergent is best. Some technical fabrics can be affected by detergents, and others do OK with mild detergents. And you can always just wash them with water if you are unsure. Thanks for the reply, and hope you have a great winter season!