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Conflicting Castelli Washing Instructions.

Dougal EntendreDougal Entendre Posts: 4
edited February 2016 in Road general
Hi Everyone, my first post, bit of a dull topic, but thought it might be useful.
Having recently ordered a Castelli Gabba, and Nanoflex armwarmers, I thought it would be a good idea to learn how to wash and care for these clothes properly, as they are not cheap, and I want them to work effectively for as long as possible.
I looked at the Castelli Care Information webpage, and the Care Guide page on the Castelli Cafe website.
Unfortunately these two pages offer washing advice that couldn't be more conflicting if it tried :!:
One tells you to wash Nanoflex products with liquid, and not powder.
The other tells you to wash Nanoflex products with powder, and not liquid. :shock:

Even though it may well not matter too much, my guess is that liquid (without fabric conditioners.....etc. ), is the best option, however I'd like to know for certain given that on both pages it does say NOT to use the other option.
I've emailed Castelli to point out this contradictory advice, and to ask for clarification.
If they send me a reply, I'll post the answer on this forum.
If there is anybody out there who knows what sort of detergent would be the best to use, please let me know.


  • MikeWWMikeWW Posts: 723
    I use liquid
    Had a Gabba for a couple of years
    Just wash it with everything else and bang it in the tumble dryer
    Occasionally retreat it and its been great
  • 964cup964cup Posts: 1,359
    NikWax TechWash. Doesn't wreck the water-resistant coating, also doesn't ruin merino, so I use it for everything. Not that expensive if bought in 5L bottles from Amazon.
  • foggymikefoggymike Posts: 862
    Yep, +1 for nikwax
  • Thanks for the replies everyone,
    I've had a reply from Castelli, and they thanked me for pointing out the conflicting advice, and said they'd get Castelli Cafe to change it. Apparantly liquid is the way to go.
    Since my first post I've sat down for a long time reading up on the subject on different forums.
    The obvious no-no's are fabric softener, powerful stain remover and bleach.

    One slightly confusing area is the differing opinions on whether to use soap based, or detergent based cleaners. :?
    I think Nikwax is meant to be soap based, and therefore, it's less likely to have an adverse effect on the water resistant coating (supposedly). Some people like to just use Granny's Soap Flakes, disolved in some water, and then either hand wash, or machine wash, (being careful not get the soap bubbles everywhere :!: ).

    However some people argue that soap flakes don't do a good enough job of breaking down the grease and oil that builds up over time from sweat, and that you need detergent to do this, especially if the garment has a GoreTex type of membrane.

    As far as I can tell pretty much everyone agrees that it isn't a good idea to let your waterproof/water resistant/wind resistant/breathable/make you a cup of tea, technical fabrics remain unwashed when they've had a good bit of sweat/dirt attached to the garment.

    My conclusion so far is this. :idea:
    After use rinse off any layer of dirt before attempting to wash. As I plan on washing my technical clothing regularly, I'll use a very small amount of soap flakes disolved in luke warm water, and wash stuff by hand, and then rinse thoroughly. If the garment starts to smell, or is loosing it's water/resistant qualitiy, I may them consider using a small amount of detergent, any then, use something such as Nikwax techwash (basically making sure the garment is properly clean, and free of any traces of detergent).
    At this stage I'll check to see if the fabric is letting water flow off it instead of soaking in. If it's soaking in I'll try the "20 mins in tumble drier on low heat", or "carefully iron, with cold iron and towel in-between" techniques to try and reactivate the water resistance. If this doesn't work, then I'll consider using spray on (not wash in) re-proofer of the Nikwax/Grangers variety.... And if this doesn't work I'll cry.

    My nice new short sleeve Castelli Gabba, and Nanoflex armwarmers (in red, because it makes me go faster), arrived today, so I've plenty of time (I hope), before needing to worry about re-proofing. If in-between now and then I manage to gather some profound new insights into the esoteric world of technical fabric care, I'll try and remember to post them here. :wink:
  • 964cup964cup Posts: 1,359
    I wash mine after every use. The deal with TechWash is that it contains no "wetting agents" so does not penetrate the DWR (durable water repellent) coating, allowing it to last longer. NikWax also do wash-in (for GoreTex shells and the like) and spray-on (for softshells like the Gabba) reproofer which works well and is vastly cheaper than the Rapha etc equivalents.

    Now if someone could suggest how to remove latex stains from my Castelli San Remo winter skinsuit, I'd be delighted. My hot tip: if your tubeless tyre turns out to have a puncture and dried-out sealant with five minutes to go before a 6am ride, shove a tube in it - don't try replenishing the sealant in the dark with sleep-fuddled fingers. The suit looks like Ron Jeremy got over-excited. It's not a good look.
  • "The suit looks like Ron Jeremy got over-excited. It's not a good look"

    I'm not usually a kill joy, I mean who doesn't like I good party, right? 8)
    ...BUT.... :evil:
    If Ron Jeremy was looking suspiciously frisky in the near vicinity of my expensive cycle clothing, I'd definitely put a limit on the level of excitement that I thought it was acceptable for him to have (enforcing it is a different matter though :shock: :oops: ).
  • I found this out the hard way. I bought Nanoflex bib tights in November, wore them a few times in the dry, handwashed them with a normal powder detergent. All it says on the wash label is "no bleach, do not tumble dry, do not iron, do not dry clean".
    First wet ride, after 15 minutes of light rain driven by a headwind the rain was p*ssing through. I looked on the Castelli website and this says not to use powder detergent but to use liquid and avoid bleach.
    With the benefit of hindsight I'm not even sure about using a liquid detergent (the one I've got contains "optical brightener"). My experience of washing mountaineering waterproofs tells me I should have used Nikwax Techwash.
    I tried a cool tumble dry, as suggested on the Castelli website, (contradicting the wash label) to restore the water resistance but this didn't help. Tried a cool iron, with a cloth between fabric and iron, but haven't tested the effectiveness of this yet. As a last resort it will be a spray on DWR treatment.
  • 964cup964cup Posts: 1,359
    cneifion wrote:
    As a last resort it will be a spray on DWR treatment.
    This. Use the NikWax product. Tumble drying and/or ironing works for GoreTex, whose water-resistance is a product of the fabric's structure (the heat tightens the fabric, reducing the pores below the size of water droplets), but is not so effective on coated fabrics like nanoflex and other softshells. Make sure the tights are clean (use TechWash) and wet first. I've used the NikWax product to reproof a number of items, including my Rapha softshell, with good results.
  • stueysstueys Posts: 1,332
    On my skiing and cycling stuff that is DWR treated, I run the same routine, it's worked well for me;

    - Wash in a purpose made cleaner for DWR treated clothing, I use Grangers Performance Wash but there are others out there. It's a liquid, wash at 30, definitely don't use conditioner (don't use conditioner on anything you want to breathe, base layers, jerseys, etc, etc, basically all sports stuff)
    - I don't use a wash in treatment like NikWax, my logic is that I want the outside to be waterproof and the inside to be breathable. So I use a DWR treatment spray (again Grangers) and do the outside only. I tend to retreat every 2 or 3 washes.
    - Dry in the tumble dryer on a warm setting, the heat activates the DWR treatment
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