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As you continue to seek out new adventures, your clothing and shoes will get exposed to elements like mud, sand, water, gravel, grass, snow and salt which can degrade your clothing and shoes. We’ve put together some instructions for you to get the most out of your gear in the most environmentally friendly manner possible.
General tips to extend the life of garments:
Washing and caring for Columbia fleece products:
Washing and caring for a Columbia rain jacket:
Washing and caring for a Columbia windbreaker:
Washing and caring for Columbia clothing with natural down insulation:
Washing and caring for Columbia clothing with synthetic down insulation
Special Care Instructions for Columbia Technologies
In addition to the product care instructions on our website and on the care label of your garment, the following instructions will help to enhance performance for Columbia technologies:
Do not bleach, use fabric softeners or stain removers as the chemicals can degrade the cooling performance of Omni-Freeze Zero.
To best maintain Omni-Shield’s stain resistant properties, do not wash in hot water or iron.
Omni-Shield Blood ‘N Guts
To best maintain Omni-Shield’s stain resistant properties, do not wash in hot water or iron.
To best protect the OutDry water repellent membrane, make sure your gear is clean and dry before storing.
Best way to regularly clean your Columbia shoes
If your footwear becomes damp and covered with mud, clean them immediately after use, do not leave them dirty to dry. Corrosive natural chemicals such as acids and alkalis which are found in different soils and dirt can work their way into the material and start to slowly decay and rot them thus weakening the overall strength of the boots. This also prevents damage to any waterproof linings and membranes that are inside. The most effective way to clean your footwear is to immediately rinse them under clean tap water with a soft bristled brush. If possible, remove the insole inside the shoe and let them dry naturally. Do not under any circumstances put them in a clothes dryer, on top of a heater, near an open flame, or leave in direct hot sunlight.
Removing stains from Columbia shoes
Generally a mild dishwashing detergent can remove most stains. For oil, grease, ink, sap or gum, denatured or isopropyl alcohol is considered a degreasing agent and works best as a spot cleaner and can safely remove stains from many fabrics and leather that aren’t affected by soap or detergent.
To remove stubborn stains, moisten a cotton cloth with a few drops of denatured alcohol. First test the alcohol on an inconspicuous part of the boot and allow it to dry. If there isn’t any discoloration, repeat and rub the stain, but do not saturate the fabric. Allow it to dry. Using a toothbrush or light bristled brush, clean the stain with a drop of dishwashing detergent and scrub until the stain disappears. Rinse the boot in warm water and damp dry with a clean towel. Fully let dry naturally!
Reapplying waterproof finishes on Columbia shoes
Most waterproof / breathable materials are treated with a water repellent finish, which keeps the outer material from becoming saturated with water so the breathable barrier can do its job. This coating needs to be reapplied every so often. A simple water drop test can be performed to see if the boot should be recoated. If water no longer beads up on the outside of the boot, it’s time for another surface treatment. There are several spray products on the market that can restore water repellency. Whichever you choose, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Before these treatments can be applied and effectively work, the footwear should be clean and dry.
Repairing Columbia rubber boots
If a pair of rubber boots is damaged during wear, they generally can be repaired with a simple rubber repair or stick-on patch kit. These patch kits are available at any footwear retailer. First the boots must be clean and dry. Then follow the directions of the repair patch kit.
Repairing Columbia rubber outsoles
Over time, rubber outsoles can separate from the foam cushioning midsole or upper part of the footwear. This also can be repaired with a simple adhesive solution. Many footwear retailers offer various types of adhesives that can help repair this issue. Urethane adhesives work by coating both sides of the separation, letting it dry for a period of time and reactivating it with a heat source such as a blow dryer. A rubber based adhesive is used more as a contact cement. The adhesive is applied to both sides of the separation and allowed to dry for a short period of time and then is pressed together. Again, the area should to be clean, dry and prepared. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions.
Repairing leather or synthetic materials in Columbia shoes
There are leather repair kits available on the market that can repair rips, burns, cuts, and tears. Some can even touch up and re-dye worn or faded spots. There are specific kits for footwear. Upholstery repair kits can also work on leather boots and usually come with colored dyes to help mask the repair.
How should I wash my BUFF® accessory?
For most BUFF® products, we recommend handwashing in warm water with mild soap. Due to its quick-drying fabric, it can simply air dry. Do not use fabric softener as it clogs the fabric pores. Do not dry clean. Do not use bleach and use only mild soap. It cannot be ironed.
Care Instruction for Julbo
Properly cleaning your eyewear can prevent damage and prolong its lifetime. Avoid using solvents, chemical cleaners, paper-based products, gloves and other abrasive materials that may damage the lens.
1. Gently wash the frame and lens in soapy water.
2. Rinse the frame and lens thoroughly with clean water.
3. Wipe away moisture with a soft microfiber cloth or non-abrasive material. Let the glasses air-dry.
4. Store glasses in their microfiber case/pouch. Avoid direct sunlight or leaving next to a heat source.
EXTEND THE LIFESPAN OF YOUR BACKPACK WITH THE RIGHT CARE
Your backpack is your trusty companion on so many adventures. But with regular care and cleaning you can make sure that it lasts for as long as possible. So here are some practical tips on washing, drying, waterproofing and storing your backpack.
WHEN IS IT TIME TO WASH YOUR BACKPACK?
Although backpacks are not worn against the skin like our clothes, over time and on longer hikes they will get dirty. If your pack is very dirty or sweaty, then washing it is essential. But if it’s only lightly soiled, or the dirt is superficial, like specks of mud or a dusting of pollen, then you can just spot clean it using a damp cloth. Note: It’s easier to remove dirt when it’s still fresh, straight after your hike.
WASH YOUR BACKPACK GENTLY AND REMOVE ANY DIRT
If you’ve been out hiking lots over the summer months, then it’s normal for your backpack to be dirty and sweat stained. If you want to remove dirt from your deuter backpack, there are a few things you should bear in mind: You should never wash a backpack in a washing machine. That’s because the abrasion places stress on the material (and PU coating) and can damage it in the long run. Also, there is often residue left behind from detergents, which can lead to skin irritation if you have sensitive skin. The chemical reaction that occurs between sweat, detergent residue and UV rays also speeds up the decomposition of materials.
HOW SHOULD I WASH MY BACKPACK PROPERLY?
This is how to clean your backpack as gently as possible: depending on its size, place it in a bowl or bathtub full of water and wash it with pH-neutral soap or shower gel. Dirt on the backpack can be easily removed with a brush. Rinse out salt stains on the carrying system by squeezing it several times by hand with soap and plenty of water. After that, your backpack must dry completely. Store it in a well-ventilated, dry place.
Our back systems are not designed to be mounted and removed, so we do not recommend that you remove the frame or linkage for cleaning. From experience, the removal and installation of the back system itself is not professionally possible. This could cause irreparable damage to your backpack/product.
IN THE WASHING MACHINE? TIPS ON HOW TO CLEAN YOUR BACKPACK
Here’s how to wash your pack gently: Depending on the size, submerge it in a bucket or bathtub of water and wash with pH-neutral soap or shower gel. Stubborn dirt can be removed with a brush. Salt deposits on the back system can be removed by squeezing soap and lots of water through the padding by hand, over and over. Then leave to dry in a well-ventilated, dry place.
1. Empty your backpack completely after each use. Get rid of any dirt with a brush and soapy water.
2. Never machine-wash your backpack or put it in the dryer, as this will damage the PU coating.
3. Backpack materials should not be ironed.
4. Always make sure any zippers are dirt free.
DRY YOUR BACKPACK THOROUGHLY AND STORE IT CORRECTLY
Drying your backpack properly is not just important after you’ve washed it, but after a long day out too. Because it will have absorbed sweat and might have even been through rain showers. And so, it’s important to air it properly.
1. Open all the zippers and place your pack in a dry place or hang it up, upside down.
2. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight or near a heat source, like an electric heater or open fire.
3. Store your backpack in a dry place like a cupboard — avoiding damp basements — and with all buckles and straps fastened.
DO I HAVE TO REPROOF MY BACKPACK AFTER WASHING?
A backpack is easily affected by moisture. Follow our tips for waterproofing to make sure your belongings stay dry. Your backpack fabric should remain waterproof for the first few years. Sustained downpours will however result in some moisture seeping through the zippers and seams. On alpine tours, or when climbing or ski touring, it’s best to pack the contents inside waterproof bags/dry bags inside the pack to prevent them from getting wet. The advantage of this, as opposed to a rain cover, is that all the straps remain accessible e.g. for attaching an ice axe, trekking poles or snowshoes. For hiking and trekking backpacks it’s best to use a rain cover.
But sometimes, especially after a thorough wash, your backpack may need reproofing. It’s easy to check if this is the case, by simply dropping a few water droplets onto the fabric of your backpack. If it doesn’t bead up, and penetrates the fabric, then you should waterproof your backpack. For older models, applying waterproofing agents only helps over a shorter period of time. Beware that waterproofing agents (spray or wash-in) can penetrate into the shoulder strap fabric and cause skin irritation.
When does a backpack need to be washed?
If your backpack has gotten a lot of sweat or dirt, for example after a long hike, washing is unavoidable. If you only notice light, superficial dirt such as small splashes of dirt or pollen, it is sufficient to clean the backpack directly after the tour. All you need is a damp cloth. If there is more dirt, you may have to wash the rucksack properly.
Can I clean my backpack in the washing machine?
If you want to remove dirt from your backpack, please note the following: Backpacks should not be washed in the washing machine. This puts abrasive stress on the material and the PU coating and will cause damage in the long run. Also, detergent residues often remain. For sensitive skin types, this can lead to skin irritation on the shoulder straps, for example. A chemical reaction of sweat, detergent residues and UV radiation also promotes faster degradation of the materials.
Can you impregnate backpacks?
Especially in the first few years, our high-quality backpack material and the DWR impregnation still keep it sufficiently waterproof. However, sometimes - especially after a thorough wash - a re-impregnation may be necessary. You can easily test this by dripping a small amount of water on the upper material of your backpack: if the water does not bead up but penetrates, you should impregnate the backpack. In heavy rain, we also recommend a rain cover to prevent water from penetrating through the zips and seams.
CARE TIPS FOR YOUR SLEEPING BAG
If you have chosen a deuter sleeping bag, you will want to keep and use it for as long as possible. Proper care and storage are therefore crucial! Here we share some tips on how to store and care for your sleeping bag.
WASH SLEEPING BAG IN WASHING MACHINE ONLY IF NECESSARY
You should wash your sleeping bag as rarely as possible. In general, synthetic sleeping bags can be washed more often than down sleeping bags. If down is washed too often, it loses its fat layer and thus its insulating performance. However, washing your sleeping bag also has its advantages: With normal use, the sleeping bag automatically loses loft (bulking power). If the sleeping bag is washed properly, it can regain some of the bulk. We recommend that you look at the care label inside the sleeping bag before washing it. Usually it is enough to wash your sleeping bag every two to three years. Small stains and sweat residues can be removed by hand. All you need is a sponge, some washing-up liquid and lukewarm water.
HOW DO I WASH THE SLEEPING BAG CORRECTLY?
While we recommend hand washing for down sleeping bags, the synthetic fiber sleeping bags can be washed gently in the washing machine - with a capacity of at least 5 kg. But down sleeping bags can also be washed in the washing machine, if necessary. No matter what your sleeping bag is made of, always follow the instructions on the sewn-in care label, which can usually be found in a pocket or on the hem.
WASH DOWN SLEEPING BAGS CORRECTLY: WITH HAND WASH
• Fill a bathtub with enough warm water (about 30 degrees).
• Your sleeping bag is best washed with functional or mild detergent. Attention: Do not use fabric softener or bleach!
• Immerse the sleeping bag under water.
• Gently massage the detergent into the sleeping bag and let it soak in (up to one hour, depending on the degree of soiling).
• Then rinse the sleeping bag thoroughly with cold water.
• Gently squeeze the sleeping bag. Caution: Do not knead and wring out the sleeping bag, otherwise seams may tear!
WASH SYNTHETIC FIBER SLEEPING BAGS CORRECTLY: IN THE WASHING MACHINE
• Fill only one sleeping bag in the washing drum.
• Use only functional or mild detergent. Attention: Do not use fabric softener or bleach!
• Set 30 degrees and the gentle wash cycle. Attention: Follow the instructions on the care label of the sleeping bag!
• For synthetic fiber sleeping bags, put at least three tennis balls in the washing drum.
• After washing, run several rinse cycles so that no detergent residue remains in the sleeping bag.
HOW DO I DRY THE SLEEPING BAG PROPERLY?
DRY DOWN SLEEPING BAG CORRECTLY: IN THE DRYER
• For down sleeping bags we recommend drying in the dryer, so that the down is better distributed after washing.
• For this, throw the down sleeping bag in the dryer only after it has air-dried for a few hours. Attention: Do not put a wet sleeping bag lump in the dryer, because this can damage the sleeping bag.
• Put at least three tennis balls in the dryer with it, at a maximum of 30 degrees. This will give the sleeping bag its air back. Clumped down loosens in the dryer and becomes nice and fluffy again.
• Attention: After washing, do not iron the sleeping bag, do not steam it, do not expose it to direct heat.
DRY SYNTHETIC FIBER SLEEPING BAG PROPERLY: IN THE AIR
• It is best to lay the sleeping bag lengthwise/horizontally on a stable clothes horse. Important: Do not hang on one side, otherwise the filling in the sleeping bag will be distributed unevenly. Caution: Wet sleeping bags can be really heavy!
• Store the sleeping bag in a sheltered place in the fresh air, out of direct sunlight.
• Turn and shake out the sleeping bag every few hours until it is dry. It can take up to 3 days for the sleeping bag to dry.
PACK & STORE THE SLEEPING BAG PROPERLY AFTER WASHING
BEFORE PACKING IT AWAY: AIR YOUR SLEEPING BAG AFTER EVERY USE
Even when it is cold, people sweat at night. That can soon lead to unpleasant smells. We therefore recommend using a liner or wearing functional underwear. That way you protect your sleeping bag from sweat and dirt. Even so, it is still necessary to shake out and air your sleeping bag regularly - after every use. Find a dry place, such as a branch, a car door or your tent. Then turn your sleeping bag inside out and open it up.
Did you know?
The loop at the foot of the sleeping bag can be used to hang it up.
PACKING AWAY YOUR SLEEPING BAG: ROLL OR STUFF?
Out of habit, you tend to roll up your sleeping bag and put it in its stuff sack - after all, this makes it neater and more compact. Here, however, it’s fair to say: you can stuff it! This method is good for the material of both synthetic fibre and down sleeping bags. When a sleeping bag is rolled up, the fibres always get bent in the same places. This means the material loses thickness and insulation capacity. Moreover, rolling up can damage the zip. That’s why you should unzip your sleeping bag before packing it away.
NEVER STORE YOUR SLEEPING BAG IN ITS STUFF SACK
The stuff sack is extremely practical for transporting your sleeping bag in your backpack or car. It also protects it from dirt, mud and spray. However, once you reach your destination its job is done. When you get to where you are going to sleep, you should take your sleeping bag out of its stuff sack in good time and give it a shake. This is the only way to loosen the filling and distribute it evenly. Otherwise you will not get the full benefit of its insulation capacity.
STORING YOUR SLEEPING BAG BETWEEN TRAVELS
To ensure that your sleeping bag can recover between trips, you should take it out of its stuff sack as soon as you get home. The compression can damage the sleeping bag, making it lose its function. To still protect it from dust, you can put your sleeping bag in a storage bag (included with Exosphere and Astro models) or use a simple pillowcase. The sleeping bag should be lightly folded or stuffed inside. Do not store it away in a damp basement, but in a dry, dark place such as a wardrobe.
Disclaimer: Please check with the Warranty Department before submitting previously repaired garments for warranty claims. Repair done outside of the Columbia Warranty Department may void Columbia’s Limited Warranty applicable to your product.