Being asked to test wash products can be something of a double edged sword. Having something of a tech gear fetish (I struggle to pass an outdoor shop without fingering fleece and ‘oohing and aahing’ over the latest in hard-shell technology), I’ve always appreciated the difference that dedicated tech wash makes to the longevity and performance of technical outdoor clothing compared to normal washing powders. As such, I jumped at the opportunity to test products from a company that places a high value on sustainability and environmental awareness. However, part of me secretly wondered whether this test wasn’t resident grumpy Mark’s less than subtle hint that I am a soap dodger and need to clean up my act (groan! – Ed).
Given the amount of shite that we pump into the environment, it’s good to have the option of a product that is part of the solution rather than the problem.
As a dyed in the wool Nikwax user, I wasn’t really aware of Fibertec. However, a quick scan of their website revealed a company that works hard to strike the balance between manufacturing effective impregnating care and proofing products and being environmentally sound. Being free of fluorine agents, the products on test are not bioaccumulative (meaning that they don’t build up in your body over time and use) and don’t leave persistent residues as they biodegrade. Given the amount of shite that we pump into the environment, it’s good to have the option of a product that is part of the solution rather than the problem. Two thumbs up so far but how do the products work in the real world? Read on and you’ll find out.
Pro Wash and Green Guard RT Wash In
- From: fibertec-waterprrofing.de
- Price: £8 (Prowash) – £13 (Green Guard)
- Size: 100ml and 250 ml
Applying Pro Wash neat did a good job of removing much of the ground in dirt. Impressive
As any wearer of hard-shell jackets will attest, there comes a point at which the DWR coating wears off and the jacket starts to wet through as water no longer beads up on the outside. Cue an increased build-up of sweat on the inside and you are on the slow boat to Soaksville. Keeping your jacket clean, particularly for the likes of eVent, is an important part of keeping your jacket working effectively. Dropping them in the wash with a non-bio detergent might seem like a good option but in my experience, they tend to reduce the effectiveness of the jacket and are false economy. Step up Fibertec’s Pro Wash. For the purposes of the test, I decided to try it on my Patagonia Gore Active running jacket. It comes in a vibrant fluoro colour which tends to show the dirt. With the hem particularly grubby, I applied some Pro Wash neat onto the jacket before washing. Using 25ml of liquid in my washing machine, the jacket came out a lot cleaner that it had been in a while. Applying Pro Wash neat did a good job of removing much of the ground in dirt. Impressive.
Of course, being a hard-shell, I wanted to ensure that it continued to be water repellent meaning that I reached for the bottle of Green Guard RT Wash In. The washing and drying instructions were easy to follow. RT stands for room temperature with Fibertec claiming that 85% of the coating activates at room temperature with the final 15% achieved by applying a low heat. I can’t comment on the percentages but the end result was my jacket beaded again properly when it was next worn in the rain and has continued to do so for several wears. Ignore the technobabble, Pro Wash and Green Guard RT Wash In work!
- Price: £3.99
- Size: 100ml
Putting several hundred pounds worth of down gear into a washing machine always leaves me with a feeling of trepidation
Washing a down jacket or sleeping bag can be something of an anxious affair. Putting several hundred pounds worth of down gear into a washing machine always leaves me with a feeling of trepidation. Will the down loft as well as it did before it was washed? Will the cleaning agent leave any unwelcome residue or odour? Will it actually clean properly? First world problems eh? So that you don’t have to suffer from such decision anxiety, I took one for the team and did this for you with my North Face down sleeping bag. Having run a rinse cycle first, I then followed the wash instructions on the bottle. Low heat, 35 ml of cleaner (you can squeeze out three washes from the 100ml bottle) and wash. Once out of the wash and properly dried, I could discern no difference in the loft nor warmth of the bag.
Overall, it’s not particularly sexy or exciting but the Down Wash delivers exactly what it promises on the label.
- Price: £3.99
- Size: 100ml
Smart Wash is Fibertec’s take on the one soap to rule them all conundrum when living outdoors. Normally, soap that is kind to your skin isn’t necessarily the best for washing dishes or cleaning your clothes. On skin, the lack of perfumed fragrance was a very welcome feature. Being clean is important but to paraphrase James Bond in “Diamonds are Forever”, I don’t necessarily want to smell like a tarts hanky! A small amount went a long way in getting rid of oily deposits on my hands. In the shower, in soft water, it did a decent job of foaming up and getting me clean while for clothes, it effectively removed odour and ground in dirt when used in a wash hand basin. It took a bit of elbow grease but it got there. For washing dishes, with the application of a scouring sponge, it got dirty cooking pots clean.
Overall, as an all-round cleaning product, Fibertec’s Smart Wash is now my go to soap for travelling at home and abroad.