Keep it clean
Remove any stains that could clog the garment fabric or waterproof membrane. Rinse the stain out with clean water and hang to dry.
Keeping you gear clean is the key to it staying waterproof. However, because of the destructive nature washing machines have on synthetic fabrics we recommend washing the garment only when necessary. Wash in cold water using a gentle cycle and a liquid detergent designed for delicate fabrics. Avoid detergents that contain abrasive stain removing crystals or bleach.
A safe bet is a detergent specifically designed for gear, such as Tech Wash from NikWax. We do not recommend putting technical gear in an electric dryer. Even on a cool setting, dryers are too hot for synthetic fabrics and this might lead to performance degrading damage. Warning: Latex gaskets cannot be dried in a dryer. The latex will melt. For safe results, always hang your gear to dry.
This is what happens if your jackets surface fabric becomes saturated with water. When you are wearing your paddling top and it will appear shiny over the entire surface and feel very heavy.
Paddling Gear takes a greater beating then gear designed for other activities. That is because it is designed for a very wet environment. Paddlers find that first areas on a paddling top to wet out are:
Area 1: Shoulders. Cause: Friction with your PFD shoulder straps.
Area 2: The Underside of the Sleeves. Cause: Because this area repeatedly rubs against the side of the kayak, as well as the right and left side of the lower chest of the dry top, this area suffers from a lot of adverse friction. The wear and tear on the surface of the fabric makes the DWR applied here wear out first.
Area 3: Kidneys. Cause: Friction from the contact with the sleeves can make this area, from the armpit to the waist tunnel, wet out as well.
Area 4: Cuffs. Cause: This part of the jacket does the most work and gets exposed to a lot of water and dirt.