Waterproof Expert

Waterproofing tips & tricks


Can I Wash Waterproof Items in the Washing Machine?

Many washing machines have a clear warning against washing waterproof, water-repellent, or water-resistant items. However, some people disregard this warning and choose to wash their outdoor gear in the machine for the sake of convenience.

Can I Wash Waterproof Clothes in the Washing Machine?

You can wash waterproof clothes in your washing machine, but avoid using regular detergents and fast spinning. Regular detergents and fabric softeners, combined with fast spinning, can strip the waterproof coating from your clothes.

After a few washes, your clothes will completely lose their waterproofing capabilities.

Another issue to consider is the potential impact on the washer itself. Waterproof clothes and other water-repellent items may unbalance the load and cause excessive vibrations in the washer.

Over time, this vibration can damage the washer, floor, or even the walls surrounding your washing machine.

Here are some examples of waterproof items that should not be washed in the machine: rain covers, fishing vests, ski pants, sleeping bags, car and boat covers, shower curtains, outdoor jackets, and so on.

Instead, use a dry cleaning spray.

Now that you understand why it’s best to avoid washing waterproof items, let’s explore how you can wash water-repellent clothing.

| Read more: How Long Does Waterproofing Spray Last?

How to Wash Waterproof Clothes

Clean the items that you want to wash and remove any traces of dirt or mud using a soft brush.

Ensure that you clean out any regular detergent from the detergent compartment of your machine.

Pour a special detergent that both washes and reproofs your waterproof clothing items.

Pour the cleaner into the detergent compartment.

Place your waterproof items in the drum. Avoid overloading your washing machine, ensuring there is enough room for the items to spin properly.

Do not mix your water-repellent clothes with other items.

Select a gentle cycle and use cold water.

Once the washing cycle is finished, take out the items and air dry them.

Garments can be left to air dry.

I personally don’t recommend tumble drying your waterproof items. This can sometimes crack the waterproof coating and your clothes will start soaking in water.

For me, air drying works best.

| Read more: How to make your T-shirt waterproof | 3 simple methods

Why Can’t I Wash Waterproof Items in My LG Washer?

If you checked your LG washer manual and it clearly states that you cannot wash waterproof items, it means that your washing machine does not have a dedicated waterproof cycle.

Failure to follow these instructions may result in damage to your washer, the waterproof items, and even objects surrounding your washer due to excessive vibration.

If you don’t have an alternative and you truly need to wash the respective items, then opt for a low-spin cycle.

However, please note that there is no guarantee of a balanced load during the washing cycle.

Can You Wash Waterproof Clothing in the Front Load Washer?

It is not recommended to wash your waterproof clothing in a front-load washer.

Front-loading washing machines spin 30% faster than top loaders.

While this effectively removes more water from your clothes, it can also lead to a faster breakdown of the waterproofing coating.

What Does the Waterproof Cycle on a Samsung Washer Do?

The waterproof cycle on a Samsung washing machine is a dedicated cycle on that you can use to wash waterproof items. Use this cycle solely for washing waterproof materials, and avoid using it for regular clothing.

What Can I Wash a Waterproof Jacket With?

To wash a waterproof jacket, use a special detergent for waterproof fabric, and select a gentle cycle on your washing machine. Do not add any fabric conditioner and air dry it outside if possible.


When washing waterproof clothes in the washing machine, use a special detergent for waterproof clothes. Avoid using fabric softeners and fast spinning. Check if your machine has a dedicated cycle for washing waterproof clothes, and use it.

There you go! I hope this post answered your questions. All in all, you can wash your waterproof items using a washing machine, but make sure it’s a top loader and select a dedicated waterproof cycle.

If you have any additional questions or suggestions, let me know in the comment section below.

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Last updated in July 2023 to add additional information.

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