No secret recipe: wash, dry, waterproof
When biking, our clothing primarily comes into contact with three kinds of "opponents": Sweat, body fats and dirt. Okay, lubricant under certain circumstances, but in everyday cycling it is actually reduced to the first three. Care, in practice this means: washing, drying, impregnating. All three care steps can be done right, but also wrong. In order:
Washing rain gear - a must with moderation
Rain jackets and pants - also known as "hard shells" - are genuine high-performance gear. Wafer-thin, extremely light and astonishingly robust. Their main function is to keep out rain and splash water, but to let sweat moisture pass to the outside to stay as dry as possible under the jacket. To be able to fulfil this function, modern hard shells are equipped with so-called semi-permeable membranes, which in turn are "baked" into laminates with supple inner and resistant outer materials. The water molecules from our sweat must somehow get through the membrane. This usually works very well as long as they have a clear path. But the more often we use a rain jacket, the more intensively it comes into contact with the above-mentioned "enemies" in addition to water. As a result, body fats and salts clog the membrane from the inside, and mud residue from the outside. A superficial wipe of trail and road dirt removes only a fraction. Unfortunately, the rumour still persists that you shouldn't wash your membrane rain jacket made of GORE-TEX and other materials. Wrong - the opposite is true! Because if you do not free your hard shell from dirt, fats and salts, you destroy it in the long run.