Every skier needs a good pair of ski pants. Though the items take a beating on the mountain, they can last for years with the proper care. That durability is important because pants are the first line of defense against cold weather and falling snow. You want to keep them intact for as long as possible.
Even though ski pants can last quite a while under steady use, it’s still a good idea to take care of them. It isn’t hard to ensure they stay intact over time, but they do take some extra care beyond what you would do for a normal pair of pants. Cleaning your ski pants at least a few times a season can help them look great and last longer. We’ll break that down below.
Before we get into the specifics of how to wash ski pants, you should know a bit about these garments and why they require a little extra care. As I’m sure you already know, ski pants are designed to be fully water-proof and wind-proof. That helps them keep out any snow and wind you may encounter while skiing, and it’s the reason they are made with treated synthetic materials.
Ski pants are often made with things like nylon and Gore-Tex. Those materials are durable and have great water-repellent and weather-resistant properties. That makes them a great foundation for just about any ski pant. That goes double when they’re treated with additional useful substances.
Many brands work water-proof materials into the fabric on the ski pants. Not only does that give them a shiny look, it also helps them repel the snow. Many pants also help you breathe by providing ventilation that allows moisture to escape. Even when snow isn’t getting in, you still need a way to let out sweat so you don’t overheat.
Both of the above properties are essential for a great pair of ski pants, but they don’t matter if you don’t take care of your clothing. When your pants get dirty, they won’t have the same ability to keep you dry and comfortable as when they are clean. That’s why it’s important to wash them on a regular basis.
How to Wash Ski Pants
Step 1: Read the Tag
First things first, you should always read the tag of the pants before you wash them. Every pair of pants has a tag that instructs you on the proper cleaning method. It’s usually found on the rear inside section of the waistband. You want to locate this tag and follow the instructions as recommended by the manufacturer for the best cleaning methods. The tag will have instructions on what temperature to use and how to dry the pants.
If your ski pants happen to not have a tag, don’t worry. The instructions for washing most ski pants are similar. If you follow the general instructions below, your pants should clean up just fine.
Step 2: Prep Your Pants
Before you actually throw your ski pants in the wash, you need to prep them. That means you need to check all of the pockets and remove any loose items that may be still inside. I’m sure you have encountered this before, but if you leave a small item like a pen, stick of gum, or chapstick in your pants while they are being washed, it can cause a big mess.
In addition to removing everything from the pockets, make sure you remove any belt or suspenders that may be attached to the pants as well. If you have any large stains that require the use of a stain treatment product, you can apply that during this step.
Step 3: Put the Pants in the Wash
Once your ski pants have been prepared for the wash, it’s time to throw them in the washer. You can use the washing machine at your house or head to the laundry mat to get the job done. After your pants and any other ski garments, such as a jacket, are placed in the washing machine, you can add detergent and program the correct settings.
It’s important to use a gentle detergent when washing your ski pants. Once you have a pant-friendly brand, add it to the wash and set the machine to a gentle or delicate cycle that uses cold water. Those are always the recommended settings.
Step 4: Double Wash with a Waterproofing Solution
After your pants have run through a complete wash cycle on cold, you are going to want to run them again with a waterproofing laundry cleaner to make sure they stay clean. If your pants are new, you might be able to skip this step. However, if they are a few years old or have already seen heavy use, it’s a good idea to double wash them with this substance to help them retain their water-proof properties.
Step 5: Dry Your Pants
After you’ve washed your pants and sent them through a double wash with water-proofing laundry cleaner, it’s time to dry them. Some pants can be put into a dryer on a gentle tumble dry cycle, but I would always recommend letting your pants hand dry on a clothesline. Sometimes the heat of a dryer can affect the waterproof wash you just put them through. Letting them hang can help to avoid this situation.
Washing your ski pants is an easy task. Even though some skiers may never really wash their pants, it’s good to do so at least once a season to make sure they are clean for storage and function properly the next time you get them out. Always make sure to follow the instructions on the tag inside of your pants and always use cold water if there is no tag to be found.
One other quick piece of advice is to never dry clean your ski pants. The chemicals used to dry clean can be really bad for the materials and ruin all the properties that make them great on the slopes.
How often do you wash your ski pants? Are there any other methods you use? Let us know in the comments below!