How to Wash HARD-TEX® Gear

You’ve invested in quality waterproof gear, and now you want to know how to enjoy it for the longest possible time. You’re in the right place. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to wash Hard-Tex® gear, how to replace the waterproofing, and how to fix tears.

clean membrane riding gear hard-tex

Is it Bad to Wash Hard-Tex®?

Some people may ask can you wash Hard-Tex® or believe it’s bad for technical fabric. It does seem different than other clothes.

The truth is that you need to wash Hard-Tex® gear so mud, chemicals, and sweat don’t degrade the waterproofing or fabric. It is necessary to wash waterproof gear for it to stay waterproof and for the material to last a long time. Continue reading to learn how to wash and dry Hard-Tex®.

Hard-Tex® Washing Instructions

So, the next obvious question is can you put Hard-Tex® in the washing machine? With any waterproof fabric, you should check the label to be 100% sure. Hard-Tex® fabrics are generally able to be washed in the washing machine if you follow certain rules. The best waterproof and Hard-Tex® detergent is special detergents for membrane fabrics. You should also choose cold water, wash on the gentle cycle (“Membrane fabric” or “Hand wash" mode), and rinse twice.

Do not use laundry detergents, conditioners and bleaches. Avoid washing Hard-Tex® fabrics with other gear that is dirtier than it is because the dirt can weaken the integrity of the waterproof membrane.


You want to be sure not to let your Hard-Tex® gear get tangled up or creased. That’s why the best way to clean Hard-Tex® is on the gentle cycle. You should also remove it promptly from the washing machine. If you let waterproof gear crease, it can weaken the fabric, leading to leaks and premature wear.

You can also handwash your Hard-Tex® gear. That’s the best way to make sure it doesn’t crease, but you will have to make sure you get all the nooks and crannies in the pockets.


Hard-Tex® gear comes with a lot of pockets. This is very convenient on the trail when you can keep everything you need handy and dry, but it can cause problems when it comes to how to wash Hard-Tex® gear. They could get creased or tangled and see premature leakage and wear. Lessen the chance of damage by making sure they are all secured with their closure, whatever it may be. This is a great time to check the pockets for things you don’t want to wash.


Sometimes there are things that won’t come out after a wash.

Don’t use spot removers or bleach on Hard-Tex® or any other waterproof fabric.

You can put your gear in the pre-wash cycle if your washing machine has that feature. Or you can soak your gear in the sink.

Drying Hard-Tex® Gear

Hard-Tex® gear will dry by hanging it in a well-ventilated space. First, turn the gear inside out after washing and hang it to dry. Then, after drying the inside, turn it inside out again and leave it to dry completely.

Do not use dry cleaning and do not dry your membrane gear near bonfires, heaters or in direct sunlight. If you have any doubts, make sure to read the label for instructions on your particular piece of riding gear.

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Replacing The Waterproof Barrier

Sometimes you need to replace the water-repellent coating on your Hard-Tex® gear, since it doesn’t last forever.

You may have discovered that your gear needs some help the hard way: it just felt heavy and clammy. The best thing to do is test your fabric after your wash so you can catch a weakened barrier before it causes you a problem.

Take a spray bottle and spray a little water on the gear. It should bead up. If it doesn’t bead up or the beads disappear really quickly, you are losing your water-repellent barrier.

Purchase a DWR treatment and follow the instructions to rejuvenate your gear.

You Found a Tear!

While you’re washing your Hard-Tex® gear is a pretty common time to discover a tear. If you do, don’t assume the worst. In case of minor cuts, you have a repair kit. It comes with every Finntrail waders. If you’ve got more serious issue, contact us to see if the tear can be repaired.

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