Author Topic: Best machine for gear care?  (Read 286 times)

El Principe

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Best machine for gear care?
« on: 19:07:16, 08/11/19 »
Hi all

Bit of an odd topic here... but currently in the market for a new washer, partly motivated by a desire to keep my gear as immaculate as possible, for as long as possible.

Perhaps there is a kindred spirit or two here who might be able to advise?

I've accumulated quite a set of gear over the past couple years, for hiking / trail running (I do both): poly-merino tops, nylon-merino leggings, goretex jackets inc. goretex "shakedry" technology, windshells, softshells, fleeces, micro-fleeces, etc etc.

I have a bog-standard Bosch but now I see there's a lot of newer drum technology designed to care for fabrics better.

I'm looking at the Miele for their "honeycomb" drum technology, Siemens for their "wavedrum", or Samsung for their "diamond drum".

Any experiences / thoughts?

Mel

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Re: Best machine for gear care?
« Reply #1 on: 19:25:04, 08/11/19 »
Get a twin-tub! 


But seriously though, if it was me looking, I'd pay more attention to the wash programmes available - can you control the temperature, wash time, spin speed, etc or do the pre-set programmes offer what you're looking for. 


On the rare occasions I machine wash anything "technical" I use the gentlest wash with the slowest spin possible.  My rationale being, the hotter the water and the longer the material is in it being sploshed around, the softer the glues and laminates become (taped seams and the like) and that, coupled with a high spin speed will ruin the structure of the garment regardless of what you wash it in (tech wash, etc).


In an ideal world I'd want a dedicated machine just for technical gear so the machine doesn't get "polluted" with ordinary wash powder and fabric softener as I'm never convinced it totally gets out of the machine's tubes or dead fluff reservoir, even after an empty cycle or "tea towel" boil wash with no detergent.



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El Principe

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Re: Best machine for gear care?
« Reply #2 on: 19:30:34, 08/11/19 »
Thanks for the input!

Yeah I use the "Delicates" program on my current machine to wash pretty much all my clothes. My merino blend garments are washed on Hand Wash. Both 30 degrees. I always air out my gear on a rack after wear so it dries completely.

But it'd be good to have a bit more flexibility.

Personally I don't think hot water is needed for anything except multiple-use cottons (bed sheets, towels etc) - modern detergents are efficient enough!

I don't think you need to worry too much about "pollution" - maybe just rinse the drum empty before loading - just don't use fabric softener, that stuff is the devil!

Mel

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Re: Best machine for gear care?
« Reply #3 on: 19:42:14, 08/11/19 »
I mainly just hand wash technical items that need the waterproofing keeping in tact or replenishing.  Everything else isn't harmed by normal detergent and softener and I like the nice girly smells  :D



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fernman

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Re: Best machine for gear care?
« Reply #4 on: 20:38:11, 08/11/19 »
if it was me looking, I'd pay more attention to the wash programmes available - can you control the temperature, wash time, spin speed, etc or do the pre-set programmes offer what you're looking for.

Good advice! My 15 months-old all-singing all-dancing Hotpoint washer dryer allows you to reduce temperature, reduce spin speed, or add extra rinses if you want, and it has a range of drying options.

Having said that, I wash my outdoors gear on a standard synthetics program without any of the above adjustments, using Ecover Delicates liquid and no fabric conditioner.

Was going to comment on Mel's "nice girly smells" but I think I'd better keep my mouth shut  :) .

vghikers

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Re: Best machine for gear care?
« Reply #5 on: 10:46:56, 09/11/19 »
We've not paid any attention to things like drum technology, I can't believe it makes much difference. As others have said, the important things are wash temperature, possibly special 'delicates' settings (we don't bother) and no fabric conditioner - ever!. We consider the cleaning agent important too.

We never wash technical gear in the usual supermarket products and wouldn't let detergents anywhere near it. We always use Nikwax TechWash at 30 and air-dry the gear.
Gore-tex waterproofs get special treatment. First they get a standard 30 wash cycle with TechWash to get them thoroughly clean, then a 30 synthetics slow-spin cycle with TXDirect wash-in.


El Principe

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Re: Best machine for gear care?
« Reply #6 on: 20:58:15, 09/11/19 »
I'll use tech detergents on items with a DWR (jackets, some trousers) but I use standard colour-care detergent (usually persil colour bio) for tech fleeces, baselayers etc made of poly. You get a better clean with a bio and I don't see any adverse effects.


I use a non-bio wool/silk specific detergent for merino stuff (grangers has a merino wash, but its not very economical, so persil silk&wool is good)

I see some newer washers have a "reproofing" cycle but this is just a gimmick IMO. I see top brands like Arcteryx recommend not to use a wash-in reproofer, which makes sense, since you just want to apply a DWR to the outer face of a jacket.