Boise Valley Fly Fishers
Since 1971


It's Time to Wash Your Waders!

16 Oct 2022 10:21 AM | Troy Pearse (Administrator)

Did you know that your Gore Tex waders will perform better and last longer if you wash them? The same goes for your Gore Tex (and other waterproof fabric) rain jackets. In fact, hanging your Gore Tex raincoat up while it is dirty is a recipe for disaster as the accumulated body oils will break down the Gore Tex membrane and cause it to fail.

Fall is a good time to wash off the summer load of sweat, sunscreen, bug spray and gink. It's easy--here is how I do it. I've listed links below to specific wader manufacturer recommendations. Note that Simms cautions about using old agitator-style washers. As an alternative you can hand wash your waders with a little rub-a-dub-dub in the bath tub.


Step 1: Examine your waders for damage, like seam-seal tape that is coming off. If you find that, then you should repair it with some Aquaseal first before washing them.

Step 2: Look at your waders to see if they have a tag with washing instructions and follow the recommendations.

Step 3: Empty all the pockets! If you have a zipper, then zip it up! If you can, take off the suspenders.

Step 4: Use a small amount of a mild detergent without any bleach or fabric softener. Even better, use some Nikwax Tech Wash which is designed for breathable materials and will help revive the DWR.

Step 5: Set the washer to a hand-wash or delicate setting, and turn OFF the spin cycle. It helps to set the washer to a "full load" to make sure you get the waders fully immersed and I like to put a cotton towel on top of the load, to help keep the waders submerged.

Step 6: When you go to pull the waders out, be prepared for them to have some water trapped in the booties. Turn them inside-out to flush out excess water and hang them upside-down outside to dry (avoid using the dryer as the heat can do damage). After a few hours turn them right-side out to finish drying.

Oh, and it's a good idea to check inside your washer for any tidbits left over. Even though I carefully check my pockets there is usually a piece of monofilament or a split shot that I missed.

SIMMS Wader Care


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