The Tech Zone => Gear and Apparel => Topic started by: RBEmerson on April 09, 2017, 12:10:46 pm

Title: I owe Nikwax an apoloogy
Post by: RBEmerson on April 09, 2017, 12:10:46 pm
[OOPS: misspelled "Apology"  :nuts: )

I bought new Nikwax Techwash and TX.Direct, used it, and got "water off a duck's back" results using a hand shower nozzle in the shower (photos Not Safe For Family  :p ).

The differences come down to revised instructions on the Techwash - no more "a capful" but now "100 ml & x cups equivalent". No more "x ounces" with TX.Direct but "100 ml/x cups" per garment. (For the Roadcrafter one-piece, I dosed it as two garments - "jacket" and "pants".)

The failure mode comes down to 1) insufficient TX.Direct and 2) obscure directions from Miele (washer mfg.) about liquid detergent ("secret" liquid insert barely mentioned).

The results are obvious - my Roadcrafter Classic is as waterproof as Nikwax TX.Direct can make it.

Title: Re: I owe Nikwax an apoloogy
Post by: Daniel Kalal on April 09, 2017, 01:40:27 pm

...revised instructions on the Techwash...

This is what Nikwax has on their web site:

Use Nikwax TX.Direct® Wash-In in a washing machine ...
For best results remove all non-washable parts and always clean item(s) first with Nikwax Tech Wash® in a separate wash cycle. No need to dry item(s) before waterproofing.

Top Loading Machine Wash:
1. Place maximum of 3 clean garments in washing machine.
2. After the machine has filled add 10floz/300ml of TX.Direct®.
3. Set cycle to Heavy and Warm, Low water level.

Front Loading Machine Wash:
1. Remove all detergent build-up from the detergent dispenser.
2. Place maximum of 2 clean garments in washing machine.
3. Use 3floz/100ml per garment.
4. Run 30oC Synthetic cycle and slow spin.

I don't know that these have changed (have they?).  I follow the front loading instructions, where the quantity does work out to be 1 capful.  What type washer did you use?  How much liquid did you pour in?

The Aerostich site has contradictory information on using Nikwax, including a direct contradiction of the warning that Nikwax gives about using detergents.

Title: Re: I owe Nikwax an apoloogy
Post by: RBEmerson on April 09, 2017, 07:53:28 pm
The first (ineffective) run started with a full washing (as per Aerostich instructions) with Persil detergent. The suit was downright nasty (particularly the collar). I have a fair amount of tolerance for "doesn't look too bad", but this was way past that point. Way past it... :facepalm: Onward, after washing the suit, I took it through a full rinse and (medium) spin. I then washed it with Nikwax Techwash to a) remove an Persil residue (not likely, but "can't hurt, might help") and b) be sure the suit was primed for TX.Direct. But... I didn't use the secret liquid insert (both my wife and I really didn't know it existed and had no problem with liquid Persil). That probably didn't help things. I took the TX.Direct cap to be 3 oz (see why I flunked chemistry and home ec?). At this point I deliver my (clueless) rant.

Why Scotchguard failed is another day's mystery. The instructions are simple: spray from 6" away, two light coats are better than one heavy coat.  :shrug:

Given the evidence Nikwax really does work, I got more stuff, read the instructions again and, carefully, started with Techwash. Last time around, Techwash was a golden syrup, this time it's a white liquid (almost like skimmed milk?). I used a measuring cup to be sure I had 100 ml, tossed it into the liquid dispenser and ran through a wash cycle (30C and med. spin). The new TX.Direct also uses ml as well as ounces - no "fill the cap" confusion this time. 600 ml (!!!) of TX.Direct went into the washer. At the end of the cycle, the suit went into the dryer and came out at cool and mildly damp (not dripping, not dry) and was air dried. After it dried I tossed some water on a leg and said "Hoooooray!!!!". Or maybe "Yippee, yippee, skippy!!!!" The shower wrote the rest of the story.

The washer is a Miele front loader. Dunno about "detergent contamination". I wiped the dispenser out and went on from there, figuring Techwash would dispose of detergent residue I missed and Techwash wouldn't cripple TX.Direct. Works for me.  :)

Title: Re: I owe Nikwax an apoloogy
Post by: Daniel Kalal on April 09, 2017, 11:14:39 pm

...600 ml (!!!) of TX.Direct went into the washer....a front loader.

Goodness!  The numbers I quoted from the web site would suggest using only 200 ml in a front-loader (assuming a full Roadcrafter to be the equal of two garments), but you are having good results using 3X that much.  I'm quite sure my liquid dispenser won't hold anywhere near that much, but I suppose you could just dilute and dump it directly into the washer and skip the dispenser entirely.

We're talking two full bottles of Nikwax TX.Direct Wash-in for just one single-piece Roadcrafter.

But, if this works, then who is to say otherwise?  We could all wish that the good folks at Nikwax would address a single-piece Roadcrafter by name and not fuss about with something as vague and unknown as a "garment."  Why are they so coy?  It might be the case that a single-piece Roadcrafter is the equal of six "standard Nikwax garments."

anyway, thanks for your comments.

Title: Re: I owe Nikwax an apoloogy
Post by: RBEmerson on April 10, 2017, 07:59:16 am
To make sure I have my head screwed on right, I just re-read the instructions. 100 ml/garment in a front-loader. That's 2/3 of a bottle for a Roadcrafter. The bottles hold 300 ml.

What's a little odd is that hand washing only needs 50 ml/garment. Go figure... :shrug:

Dunno about the state of my head...  ;)

Title: Re: I owe Nikwax an apoloogy
Post by: RBEmerson on April 26, 2017, 01:33:56 pm
Well, I'm grumpy at Nikwax. I haven't had a chance to ride in the rain. Last night, in heavy rain, I went for a walk in my Roadcrafter suit. While it's hardly 60+ on the road, it's better than nothing.

Most of the rain rolled off the suit. Yea! But water soaked into the fabric at the sleeve cuffs and along the edge of one, exposed, pocket. (The coating has been in place for what? Three weeks?) Not so yea. I've sent a note to Nikwax, going through what I did and what happened. What's anyone else's experience here?

Title: Re: I owe Nikwax an apoloogy
Post by: kver on April 27, 2017, 08:01:16 am
I've never tried waterproofing a motorcycle suit, so I can't much except to say that Nikwax probably thinks o "a garment" as a very thin summer weight nylon or polyester rain jacket or set of rain pants.  I've done lots of those with great success....  The tight weave on those requires much less DWR than the coarser tougher cordura used in motorcycle gear.

If I had a cordura motorcycle suit that I wanted to waterproof, I'd probably siliconise it and lose a lot of breathability - but waterproof the hell out of it.  

Title: Re: I owe Nikwax an apoloogy
Post by: kver on April 27, 2017, 08:48:48 am
Oh  -- I should add..  Scotchguard spray used to work wonders but they discontinued it in the early 2000's because the stuff was really nasty to people's lungs and people used it indoors.   I haven't tried their outdoor upholstery spray, but it may be a similar formulation to their backpacking gear stuff from 2 decades ago.  It might work really well for a motorcycle suit -- BUT wear a mask if you decide to use it...  aerosolized polyurethane isn't good to breathe....  

Title: Re: I owe Nikwax an apoloogy
Post by: RBEmerson on May 01, 2017, 11:49:30 pm
I had a chat with Nikwax. They tried to buy me off with free Techwash and TX.Direct. I'm bought off and glad of it.  :p

The other benefit was input on the washing process. Nikwax thinks hand-washing is preferable to a washing machine. I think the reasoning is most American machines use way too much water, diluting the TX.Direct far too much. Hand-washing for 5-10 minutes in about 30C / 85F with enough water to cover the suit is more effective. That could well be. But the dose is cut in half. I don't see the gain there.

We have a German Miele front loader which is low volume. The full wash cycle runs 1:44 (includes a rinse or two and a spin).

I think what happened is basically it's a good idea to start out with two treatments as a base point, and then a single treatment to keep the suit from wicking up water.

- - - -
Some chuckleheads on another site seem to think I'm talking about "oooooohh, I'll get wet if I don't have full treatment". Not at all. First, Nikwax stuff isn't cheap (which is why I can be bribed by promises of free Nikwax). If the directions are followed and the results aren't 100% for 100% of the money, it's time to figure out what the problem is.

Second, assuming gear with Goretex, if the gear gets wet, the water evaporating off will cool the suit. On a sticky hot day, this is probably welcome. On a cold day, not so much.

Third, walking in out of the wet, trailing water draining out of the gear, isn't likely to please spouses, friends, or people running motels, hotels, or pretty much anything but a flop house. But why would you be there?

DISCLAIMER: While I can be bought for the right price (which isn't low), I don't have any skin in this except I bought a lot of Nikwax products.

Title: Re: I owe Nikwax an apoloogy
Post by: sleazy rider on May 05, 2017, 07:05:32 am
I've ridden the last two weeks straight, 8 of the 13 days in rain ranging from drizzle to downpours with my suit.  The outer shell gets damp, but not saturated and the inside is dry as a bone.  I haven't even suffered the dreaded crotch leak!  By the time I leave work for home, it's dry and ready to get damp again.  I've also treated my HD leather gauntlet gloves with their glove treatment and it's working fine there too.  

It'll be happening again today.  Ride with the thing.

Did I mention it's been in the low 40s most of that time?  A sweatshirt under is all I needed to stay warm along with the heated grips.

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