Gear Rx: Our favorite Nikwax gear care products

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Published 27 October 2022 15:00

Having the right products to care for your equipment goes a long way. Although Nikwax isn’t the only option on the market, and we also often recommend products from Gear Aid, today we’re focusing on some of our favorite Nikwax gear care products. The products we mention below are only the tip of the iceberg. Nikwax offers a wide range of products for cleaning, conditioning and waterproofing outdoor equipment.

While gear repair is important to understand and know how to do, gear maintenance is arguably more important in the long run. Keeping your gear clean is easy to extend their life and prevent dirt, grime and salt from wearing away at compromising materials or fabrics. Other maintenance may include conditioning the leather or re-waterproofing after washing.

See all of their equipment care options on the Nikwax website.

For cleaning

nikwax technological washing

Nikwax Tech Wash is the easiest way to clean outdoor gear and technical clothing. It is a washing solution that is safe for synthetic materials. Tech Wash does not damage waterproof clothing like DWR (standard detergents do). This can be used in the washing machine for some items, but for things like tents, add to a tub of water for hand washing. If you plan to use a waterproof treatment, use Tech Wash beforehand for best results. Nikwax Tech Wash is PFC-free, water-based and biodegradable.

For Conditioning

nikwax leather conditioner

Nikwax Leather Conditioner

All leather boots should be cleaned and conditioned regularly to ensure the leather does not dry out or crack. Nikwax Leather Conditioner is a great option for full grain leather that is quick and easy to use. It insulates the leather while also restoring the breathability of the boot. The sponge applicator makes application easy, and we love that it’s water-based and PFC-free.

Water-based conditioners aren’t always the first choice for conditioning leather, so if you want other options, consider Limmer Boots Animal-Based Conditioner.

For waterproofing

waterproof nikwax

Help restore waterproofing to outerwear and shelters with TX.Direct Wash-In Solution. For best results, wash the item first with Tech Wash and then use TX.Direct. Both solutions are machine washable, but keep in mind that not all items are machine washable. This product is designed for use with synthetic materials. Nikwax offers other waterproofing solutions for various materials and fabrics. Like Tech Wash, this solution is PFC-free and water-based.


Q: Can you wash a tent in a washing machine?

No, we never recommend machine washing or drying a tent. High load washing machines are particularly bad as the detergent can easily tear, stretch and damage the tent fabric. Dryers are often too hot for the fabric and will also damage the fabric. Learn more about how to properly wash a tent.

Q: Can you use detergent to wash rain gear?

No, the detergent leaves behind a hydrophilic residue that destroys the rain-proof properties. Use something like Nikwax Tech Wash designed to wash rain gear.

Q: Should you condition leather boots?

You don’t have to condition new leather boots, but with wear, leather needs care. Cleaning and conditioning leather boots regularly prevents the leather from drying out and cracking, helping them last longer and making them easier to slip on when needed.

Q: How do you re-insulate outdoor equipment?

The easiest way to re-insulate gear such as rain jackets and umbrellas is to use a washed waterproofing solution. These are a quick and easy way to add a waterproof layer to devices that have lost some waterproof capabilities. Other options include spray solutions. Learn how to re-insulate outdoor equipment.

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