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Dirty Laundry: How to rid dirt, grime and other funk from your layers

[Photo] Counrtesy Wesley Nitsckie

[Photo] Counrtesy Wesley Nitsckie

Leaning against the car for a round of tailgate après beers, you realize your pants are completely covered in mud. And your baselayers stink. And your down jacket is matted. What to do? For some, nothing, but for those looking to improve their layers’ longevity and functionality (and looks) a wash is in order. Cleaning tech wear is more intricate than washing dirty ski socks, however, since generic detergents can harm certain synthetics and leave outerwear less waterproof.

For the ecologically minded, good old mild-temperature water is one option, but for those needing an industrial clean, Nikwax has a host of tried-and-true additives and soaps that clean, condition and re-waterproof literally any type of layer. Proper care and regular washing ensures ski clothes’ longevity—just be sure to read washing and drying instructions carefully.

In general, avoid heated dry cycles for base- and midlayers—they can shrink, pill or even melt. For outerwear, some heat in the dryer is essential for re-upping waterproofing. And for puffies, keep them puffy by adding a tennis ball or two into the tumble-dry cycle.

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