Sealskinz offers a huge range of waterproof and windproof gloves, socks and hats. As with any clothing item the time will eventually come to clean them. But how do you clean waterproof accessories? We will go through the best ways to get the most out of your Sealskinz and prolong their life.
How do sealskinz work?
While being 100% waterproof, Sealskinz are also highly breathable. How is this possible? Sealskinz uses a 3 layer construction. A comfortable inner layer usually made from merino wool, a waterproof membrane in the middle and a long lasting outer layer. The hydrophilic waterproof membrane as the middle layer releases perspiration steam and warm air from the body. Not only does this make wearing Sealskinz socks, gloves and hats extremely comfortable, but it also prevents rain, mud, and sand from getting inside.
How can something be waterproof AND breathable?
*SCIENCE CONTENT WARNING*
Hydrophilic membranes are actually solid structures that stop water droplets from migrating through the membrane from the outside in. It creates an extremely waterproof barrier keeping water from the outside from getting past the membrane and near the skin. This membrane, which when translated literally means 'water loving', is made up of hydrophilic groups that attract water vapor molecules.
The heat from your foot then pushes the moisture from one molecule to the next (think of it like skipping stones,) until it is pushed out of the sock. Therefore, with a hydrophilic membrane, the hotter your feet get, the drier they become, keeping you dry and warm from both the inside and outside. Hence this membrane's true superpowers.
Is it possible to damage the waterproof membrane?
As the socks contain a waterproof membrane, always wear them with appropriate footwear. Avoid standing on stones and sharp objects that could puncture it. With gloves, avoid thorns and other very sharp objects that could also puncture the membrane.
What washing detergent should I use?
Unlike most waterproof clothing, like jackets or salopettes, that have the waterproof layer on the outside, Sealskinz items have the waterproof layer in the middle. This means they are far easier to clean. Ideally you should use a Non-Bio washing powder but there is no need to separate the gloves or socks from a regular wash. Throw them in the wash with the rest of your gear.
Machine or hand wash?
While you can hand wash Sealskinz products there is no necessity to wash them this way. Then can easily be washed in a machine with your regular washing. It’s important to note the different recommended temperatures for the different products
Waterproof Socks - 40ºC/105ºF
Waterproof Gloves - 30ºC/85ºF
Waterproof Hats - 30ºC/85ºF
Can I use a tumble dryer?
Yes and no. Some Sealskinz products can be put in a tumble dryer and some can’t. Below are some examples but you should always refer to the instructions on any individual product.
Waterproof Socks - Low Tumble Dry or Drip Dry
Waterproof Gloves - Drip Dry
Waterproof Hats - Drip Dry
Never place any product on a radiator to dry. Allow them to dry naturally. You should also never dry clean, iron or bleach any Sealskinz accessories.
Will I need to re-waterproof over time?
Since the membrane is a solid barrier, you’ll never need to re-waterproof
Should I wear regular socks under my Sealskinz waterproof socks?
There is no need to wear additional layers under your Sealskinz socks. In fact you will lower the overall breathability by wearing extra layers. The 3 layer construction means you'll have a comfortable layer next to your skin and enough warmth from the additional layers to keep you warm. Likewise with the Sealskinz gloves. If you find that you need additional warmth then we would recommend a merino wool based liner. They are both warm and have excellent wicking properties