Gore-Tex gear can be prone to develop odors. This is not necessarily due to the Gore-Tex fabric itself, rather that these garments are frequently used and stored in environments known to cause odors.
The most important way to get odors out of Gore-Tex is to keep it clean and dry, thus preventing moisture and bacteria from developing and causing bad smells.
There are a couple of different ways to get rid of any nasty smell on your gear, so follow along for some tips and tricks to remove any bad odors.
How To Get Smell Out of Gore-Tex
Follow these steps to make sure your Gore-Tex always smells clean and fresh and doesn’t have any lingering odors!
Wash and Dry Your Gore-Tex
The first step to get any smells out of Gore-Tex is to clean the material. Gore-Tex can be found in footwear, gloves, and outerwear. We will cover what Gore-Tex recommends to wash and dry all three:
The first step is to remove the laces in your shoes or boots and shake off any dirt or debris that’s inside. If you have a removable insole you should remove that as well.
You should then use lukewarm water and liquid detergent to scrub the outside material. Be sure to avoid using bleach, washing machines, or dryers.
Turn your gloves inside out before shaking them over the sink. They can then be hand washed in lukewarm water.
After they’ve been washed you should gently squeeze out extra water before leaving them to air dry completely. Avoid leaving them in the direct sunlight, ironing them, or putting them in the dryer.
Your Gore-Tex outerwear products should be machine washed in warm water with a small amount of liquid detergent. Avoid using any fabric softeners or powdered detergent.
After using the rinse cycle up to two times, hang dry or tumble dry the product on the lowest setting. You should always check the care instructions on the clothing tag before placing it in the dryer.
Revive Your Gore-Tex
Most Gore-Tex products are coated with an outer waterproofing called Durable Water-Repellent (DWR). This coating causes water to bead up and roll off the surface. After a while, this coating can wear off, causing moisture to seep into the Gore-Tex layer. This potentially can cause odors to develop. You can replenish the DWR in a few ways that we go over below.
Footwear and Gloves
Apply a water-based restorative such as Nikwax or Revivex, which can be found at local sporting goods stores. If you have leather materials, find a product that works for leather care as well.
Once your garment is dry from the steps above, you can dry for an extra 20 minutes on medium heat to help revive the DWR. Another option if it’s safe to iron your gear is to use the warm setting and go over it with an iron.
Properly Store Your Gore-Tex
A key component of keeping Gore-Tex odor-free is storing it correctly. Because Gore-Tex is used mainly in activewear, it often gets damp and sweaty from use. Bacteria can easily grow in that damp environment and create unwelcome odors.
You need to make sure your gloves, footwear, and outerwear are stored in a dry area with room to breathe. Here are some tips to help when storing.
- Hang the clothing in a warm dry closet and be sure to avoid crowding the gear.
- Use closet fresheners such as baking soda or cedar chips to help with dampness.
- Do not keep footwear in a garage, mudroom, or anywhere conditions may be cool and damp.
- Place dryer sheets inside footwear and gloves when storing.
- Sprinkle baking soda inside footwear when storing (if you don’t want to get baking soda all over your shoes, put it in a sock first, then put the sock inside your footwear).
- Do not store your gloves until they’re completely dry.
Use a Specialty Product To Get Odors Out of Gore-Tex
When all else fails and you still have odor on your Gore-Tex, you can try a specialty odor-removing product. There are many on the market, from inexpensive (baking soda) to more expensive, technical wear products.
When in doubt, you can always contact the manufacturer of your Gore-Tex garment to make sure the product you’re about to use will be safe and effective. Here are some popular products that can help get the job done.
Nikwax is probably the most well-known technical clothing care brand. They have a variety of products that help keep Gore-Tex clean and odor-free.
Gear Aid Revivex Odor Eliminator
Revivex Odor Eliminator can be used as a spray or as an additive to your machine washing.
Available as a liquid detergent, Defunkify can be used in place of regular detergent to wash your Gore-Tex.