Verdict: 
An excellent way to take waterproof jackets back to their previous best
Weight: 
100g
Contact: 

Nikwax TX.Direct Wash-In is a simple and effective way to restore the water repellency of coats, jackets and other wet weather clothing.

  • Pros: Makes your waterproofs waterproof again, simple to use
  • Cons: Soaked my kitchen floor (in a good way)

This time of year generally demands a good waterproof jacket when out riding, and if you've spent a lot of money on one, you want it to last for years. Unfortunately, regardless of how waterproof they are when you first get them, jackets lose waterproofing as time goes on. Nikwax TX.Direct Wash-In aims to solve that by re-waterproofing them, and improving breathability.

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I tested this out on a Gore jacket I've had for about three years that had fallen out of favour for this exact reason: rather than water beading off, it was just soaking in.

With the TX.Direct you simply put the jacket/garment in your washing machine, and instead of using detergent you just put this stuff in instead. Nikwax suggests washing out all detergents from the machine first.

I used it on both my Gore jacket and another Berghaus non-cycling coat, and when I took them out of the machine they soaked my kitchen floor. I hadn't put two and two together, that through waterproofing a coat it will pool water in the washing machine. However, at least my soaked kitchen floor and socks are testament to the fact that it works.

After I had left them to 'dry' (dripping above the bath), they both work as new. Both jackets did the same thing in terms of soaking up water beforehand, and now water beads off them – even in the heaviest rainfall. My previously redundant Gore jacket is now back to being my go-to.

> Read more road.cc reviews of Nikwax proofing products

This water repellency doesn't just help with waterproofing either, but also assists breathability. When water soaks into a jacket it can lose up to 70% of its breathability. Both jackets are now considerably more comfortable to wear, even in the worst downpours.

With an rrp on a 300ml bottle of £8.25, it's a snip compared with the cost of my previously redundant Gore jacket – north of £120. You should get six washes out of a bottle, which actually puts the price at £1.37 per jacket, making it an even better deal.

Overall the TX.Direct Wash-In lived up to its claims and reinvigorated a jacket that I'd left hanging in my wardrobe for the past six months. There is no patchiness in the coverage either – I haven't noticed any points where water soaks in. This is a genuinely impressive product.

Verdict

An excellent way to take waterproof jackets back to their previous best

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Nikwax TX.Direct Wash-In

Size tested: 100ml

Tell us what the product is for

Adding water repellency to jackets that may have lost it over time.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

From Nikwax:

For best results remove all non-washable parts and always clean item(s) first with Nikwax Tech Wash® in a separate wash cycle. No need to dry item(s) before waterproofing.

Remove all detergent build up from the detergent dispenser.

Place maximum of 2 clean garments in washing machine.

Use 100ml per garment.

Run 30°C synthetic cycle and slow spin.

Do not machine-wash garments if taped seams have become dislodged.*

To maintain waterproofing always wash with Nikwax Tech Wash®. Do not use detergents.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
5/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
10/10

Did exactly what it sets out to do, with water now beading off jackets where it previously soaked in.

Rate the product for durability:
 
5/10
Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

It's around the same price as the similar Grangers product; you get more for your money if you buy bigger containers.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well; it did exactly what I needed it to.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

It is so simple to use yet still does a great job at bringing things back to a useable state.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

It soaked my kitchen floor...

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

This product does exactly what it sets out do with minimal fuss and maximum outcome; it's really impressive.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 29  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

I usually ride: Mercian King of Mercia or Cinelli Gazzetta  My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking

George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc. 

When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.  

4 comments

Avatar
pjclinch [103 posts] 8 months ago
3 likes

Your actual waterproofing is handled by the membrane (e.g. Goretex) which is waterproof with or without a DWR coating applied to the face fabric it is laminated to.  What this stuff (and the original DWR coat a garment comes with) does is help stop water soaking in to and saturating the outer face fabric that the membrane is laminated to.  Once that happens, with what amounts to a wall of cold liquid water up against the membrane, the breathability drops to roughly zip because there won't be enough vapour pressure from body heat to push vapour through the membrane any more, so renewing the DWR is a Good Thing but if your waterproofs are actually leaking then fiddling with the DWR might help them leak a little less in showers, but it won't actually make them waterproof again.  Once the membrane is leaking, and/or the seam tape's had it, then you'd be better off putting the money towards a new one.

Avatar
kevvjj [425 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

Water repellency is not related to waterproofness in a GoreTex jacket. The wetting out is simply because the DWR has worn off or the jacket is really dirty. Your jacket is still waterproof if the DWR has worn off.

The Nikwax treatment will last about three wears - and then the beading will stop once again.

Also, if you are going to use this product you should not do it in the washing machine as it is almost impossible to get rid of detergent completely from a well used washing machine. Best results would be obtained in a bucket or sink.

Is it really necessary to have a DWR on the inside of the jacket? I would think that this treatment would be stopping the sweat vapour moving through the membrane.

Finally, unless your jacket is really old then washing in soap (not detergent) and drying in a warm clothes drier or ironing on a low setting will re-activate the DWR.

Avatar
earth [417 posts] 8 months ago
1 like
kevvjj wrote:

The Nikwax treatment will last about three wears - and then the beading will stop once again.

This is exactly what I find.  Reproofing doesn't really work.

 

kevvjj wrote:

Also, if you are going to use this product you should not do it in the washing machine as it is almost impossible to get rid of detergent completely from a well used washing machine. Best results would be obtained in a bucket or sink.

Finally, unless your jacket is really old then washing in soap (not detergent) and drying in a warm clothes drier or ironing on a low setting will re-activate the DWR.

 

Before machine-washing a waterproof I run a rinse cycle in the machine to clear out residual detergent then wash the waterproof  in liquid soap.  If you are right that residual detergent is impossible to remove from the machine then I guess you are suggesting always washing the garment in the sink regardless of whether you are reproofing.

 

 

Avatar
Duncann [1410 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
earth wrote:
kevvjj wrote:

The Nikwax treatment will last about three wears - and then the beading will stop once again.

This is exactly what I find.  Reproofing doesn't really work.

Also my experience.