How to Wash Hiking Clothes – An Ultimate Guide for All Beginners


Hiking is fun and adventurous until you have to deal with the trouble of washing hiking clothes. Hiking clothes are specially designed and so are different from normal apparel. As a result, they are to be washed with care if you do not wish to damage the men’s outdoor clothing. Herein, we are to know how to wash hiking clothes. Let’s see.

How to wash hiking clothes?

Hiking clothes have a large amount of dust, dirt, and grease accumulated on themselves due to continuous trekking in wild areas. As a result, hiking clothes are to be washed properly and carefully. If your normal detergent is unable to get rid of the germs and dust from the outdoor hiking clothes, you should use some special chemicals and detergents to make the task easy.

As hiking clothes have a lot of zips and pockets, it is essential to close all the zippers and loosen all the strings before washing the hiking clothes. Further, every garment needs to be rinsed at least twice or thrice before adding detergent to it. The detergent could be a normal one or a gentle one that is suitable for DWR washing. Also, it is suggested that you use a biodegradable soap for washing hiking clothes and gear. Then allow the clothes to dry and your work is done!

Men’s Outdoor Clothing

Now that there are different clothes required for hiking, one needs to understand that the procedure of cleaning and washing every piece of apparel is different. It is primarily because of the material of the clothing and whether the garment is hydrophobic or not also decides the way it is to be washed. Let us understand it better.

Jackets and shirts

Shirts can be given a gentle hand wash or a low machine wash in the normal detergent itself. Shirts are compatible and to be washed easily. They do not require DWR-based detergents. You can even dry a shirt by keeping the dryer set to low. However, it is advised that you allow the shirt to dry under the influence of a natural breeze.

Washing jackets can be troublesome and tiring. Jackets are fluffy and mostly they need to be washed in a DWR-based detergent. Mostly, a hand wash is preferred for jackets, but in case you are washing a jacket in a machine, you have to keep the spin at low and then dry the jacket by rolling it over a towel.


Washing the down parts of your hiking clothes is a troublesome and tricky process. It can take up to 3 hours and careful washing if you have to protect your apparel. Primarily, you should be washing down clothing by hand. All the zips other than the pocket zippers should be closed and a biodegradable soap shall be used to wash the apparel.

Moreover, if you deal with the issue of excessive sweat and the release of body oils, you should use a brush along with the soap to get rid of the enzymes produced. Further, you should be washing the down clothing only when it is necessary because it is a time-consuming process. Ensure to rinse the cloth properly. It prevents the enzymes of the normal detergent from damaging the apparel.

If you are using a washing machine to wash the down clothing, put it in a mesh bag before allowing it to go inside the machine. Keep the settings of the machine at slow and let the down apparel get washed without any other clothing. Once washed, remove the excess moisture with the help of a towel and then let it dry.


Wool or “nature’s tech fiber” has insulation properties and it turns out to be a great base layer on your hiking journey. However, wool or woolen clothes are easily subjected to destruction and they are quite quickly ruined if not taken proper care of. When it comes to washing woolen apparel, a cool and gentle wash by hand is recommended for lightweight wool.

On the other hand, for heavyweight woolen cloths, a slow machine wash is recommended. Ensure to never put the woolen apparel in a dryer else they are to get destroyed very soon. Wool can not tolerate heat or agitation. As a result, you are to lay down a woolen cloth on a flat surface and allow it to dry once it is washed.

Synthetic clothes

Although synthetic clothes are advantageous over woolen clothes for the reason that they do not require frequent washing, they lag in the fact that the microfibers from the synthetic apparel are released in the water when the garment is washed. To prevent that from happening, one should add a fiber filter. Filter bags help to restrict the flow of microfibers into water.

Moreover, you do not need to use any special kind of detergents to wash synthetic clothes. All you need to ensure is that the detergent must not contain bleach. A normal wash and spin are considered to be fine for synthetic fabric. Before washing synthetic apparel close all the zips and use a wash bag to reduce the amounts of microfiber released. Once washed, dry the synthetic on a low setting in a dry tumbler.

DWR-treated and waterproof clothing

For DWR-Treated clothing, it is advised that you use a special detergent so that the clothing ruins the least possible. Give a cool wash to the apparel on a reduced spin cycle. Before washing the waterproof clothing ensure to close all the zippers and tabs properly. Using a DWR-based detergent helps restore the water-resistant capacity of the garment.

When the garment is washed and it comes to dry the clothing, it is first advised that you go through the instructions as some waterproof garments demand a hot dry for the water repellents to get active. In such a case, you can use a tumbler to dry the cloth. Keep the tumbler on a low setting and garments like jackets can also be ironed at low temperature to dry them.

Final thoughts

Hiking clothes last longer than expected if timely and required care is given to them. Understand the type of wash and detergent that is to be used with different types of clothes. Some apparel is washed with zippers open and others with zippers cloths, therefore you need to know the manner of washing hiking clothes as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

14 − one =