PH wrote:andrew_s wrote:. You can do a fair amount by good care - keeping it clean, and reproofing occasionally (i,e, restoring the DWR using Nikwak or Grangers etc) , but it will never be as good as new.
There is unfortunately a bit of a conflict there, as the reproofing bonds better to any already existing on the fabric. So if you do a good job of the cleaning... you've just washed it all off.
I don't think there is a right answer, I'm currently washing in a very mild soap solution, which isn't enough to do a thorough clean, then reproofing, it's working so far and I can accept the jacket looking a bit grubby.
On the other hand, DWR with dirt on top doesn't repel water very much.
I believe that current manufacturer advice is a normal plain detergent (without fabric softeners or such nasties), on the grounds that it gets the fabric cleaner than things like a mild soap.