Every skier needs good quality skiing gear to get the most out of the winter sport. But, buying the right skiing clothes is only half the battle; you also have to learn how to properly clean and store your skiing clothes to keep them smelling fresh and extend their lifespan.
The right care and washing techniques can make your ski clothes last for years to come while also maintaining their functionality. For those who do not know, dust, dirt, and grime can affect skiing clothes’ breathability and waterproofing features by trapping the air and water vapors inside.
How to Wash and Care for Ski Pants
While all pieces of ski clothing are important, today we’re going to talk about the item that tends to take the most beating on the mountains – the ski pants. Let’s learn all about cleaning and taking care of your snow pants to make them last as long as possible.
What You’ll Need
Here’s a list of all the materials, equipment, and tools you will need to wash your ski pants:
- Stain remover
- Gentle detergent
- Waterproofing solution
- Soft-bristled laundry brush
- Washing machine
- Drying rack or clothesline
How to Wash Ski Pants in 5 Steps
Now that you know all the items you’ll need to wash your ski pants, let’s get to the main topic and discuss how to wash ski pants the right way.
Read the Manufacturer’s Washing Guidelines
There are several different varieties of ski pants available on the market. Each comes with its own set of instructions on how to wash them. So, your best bet is to find the tag on your snow pants with the washing instructions written on it and follow the directions. The tag is usually attached to the backside of the waistband.
Don’t fret if you can’t find the tag or the instructions on it have become unreadable (the ink often lightens over time, making it difficult to read the text). We have got you covered. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide for you on how to wash your snow pants. Follow these instructions, and your pants will clean up just fine.
Step # 1 – Prep the Pants
The very first step to washing any piece of clothing is to prep the garment. For ski pants, this involves checking the pockets for any pieces of paper, tissues, or anything else. It’s common for people to put various things in the pockets of their pants and then forget to take them out. It becomes all the more likely when you’re in the mountains and have nothing else to store your belongings. Therefore, it’s essential to always check the pockets of your ski pants and remove anything they may have before washing them.
This step may seem insignificant, but skipping it can cause more frustration than you think. If you end up washing your ski pants with tissue inside the pocket, not only the pants but every other clothing item that you had thrown in the washing machine with it will have tiny bits of tissue sticking on them. Those who have had made this mistake know how painfully irritating it can be to remove those tissue pieces from clothes. So, don’t ever skip this step.
In addition to ensuring that the pockets of your ski pants are empty, it’s also important to remove any passes or lift tickets that may be attached to your pants or bibs and close any zippers that they may have. It’s also good to brush away any topsoil that may have accumulated on your snow pants.
If you are washing some other clothes along with the pants, make sure to repeat all these steps with each clothing item. Moreover, if any piece of clothing has removable hoods and/or inner linings, remove them and close any Velcro fasteners.
Step # 2 – Spot Clean the Stains
Snow pants often get their fair share of stains. If yours have them too, spot clean the stains before washing the pants.
There are two ways to do it:
▪ Using a Stain Remover
There are plenty of stain removers available on the market. Get a good quality one and apply it to the affected area(s). Since most stains tend to be resistant, it’s always a good idea to scrub them a bit using a soft-bristled laundry brush. Don’t worry about ruining your ski pants; they are not made of delicate fabrics and can take a little bit of scrubbing.
Stain removers require some time to do their magic, so leave your ski pants for 10 to 15 minutes (or for as long as stated on the package). Give the stains a gentle scrub once again before proceeding to wash them.
▪ Using a Home Remedy
Many people prefer home remedies over store-bought stain removers. If you’re one of them or the stain remover you bought didn’t work, here are some home remedies for cleaning different types of stains on your ski pants:
- For Oil and Grease Stains– Dampen the stained area(s) of your ski pants with water and sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on them. Leave it overnight. The next day, give the stains a gentle scrubbing and then throw your pants into the washing machine. You can also use a dishwashing liquid to get rid of tough oil or grease stains. Simply apply the dishwashing liquid to the stains and leave for 15 to 20 minutes. Gently scrub with a brush and rinse.
- For Coffee or Tea Stains– Make a thick paste of borax powder with water and apply it to the stains. Scrub with a laundry brush and wash immediately.
- Wine Stains– Were you celebrating your first ski and ended up spilling some wine on your pants? Don’t worry; you can treat the stains by covering them with salt and then pouring boiling water over them. Be careful not to burn yourself. Wash in the machine as usual.
- Blood, Urine, Poop, or Vomit Stains– Accidents can happen with anyone. If you or your child happened to soil their ski pants, soak them in cold water for some time. It’s important to use cold water for these stains as warm water will trap in the smell. Add half a cup of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide each directly into the washing machine and wash the pants in the mixture.
Step # 3 – Wash the Ski Pants
Now that you have dealt with the tough stains on your ski pants, it’s time to throw them into the washing machine to get rid of the dust and dirt buildup. Here are a few things to remember when washing your ski pants:
- Wash the ski pants alone or with similar fabrics
- Use cold water to wash your snow pants
- Turn the washing machine’s cycle setting to gentle
In case your pants still have soap left after the rinsing, put them through another rinse cycle.
Step # 4 – Wash with Waterproofing Solution
Once your snow pants are washed, it’s time to rinse them with a waterproofing solution. Use an in-wash waterproofing solution for this purpose. Simply add the solution into the washing machine (follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the quantity) and run your ski pants through another wash cycle. Make sure to use cold water and do not put any other types of clothes in the machine.
If you’re using a waterproofing spray, skip this step and proceed to step number five directly. Let your snow pants dry completely before spraying them with the water-repellent.
Step # 5 – Dry the Pants
The biggest mistake people make when washing ski pants (or any ski clothes per se) is to put them in the dryer after washing. Never dry your ski clothes in the dryer or use any other heat source. You should not even dry them under direct sunlight.
The best way to dry your ski clothes is to hang them on a rust-proof hanger and hang them away from the direct sunlight or any other heat source, such as a fireplace or electric heater. Let them air dry. It will take a long time, but it’s worth waiting than ruining your expensive skiing clothes.
How Often Should You Wash Ski Pants?
Unlike regular pants, snow pants do not need to be washed after every wear. Unless they have got dirty or stained, you do not need to wash them more than a few times every season. On average, you should wash your ski pants at least twice during the skiing season.
How to Store Your Ski Pants?
Never store your snow pants without washing. For this last wash before storing, it’s recommended to use a detergent specially meant for base layers. These detergents are specifically made for such types of synthetic fabrics and help deep clean and deodorize them.
Let your ski pants get completely dry after washing. Give it plenty of time. You do not want even a drop of moisture inside your snow pants. Otherwise, you will find them covered in mold or mildew when you take them out in the next season. So, let your pants dry out completely in the air before storing them.
To store your skin pants, fold them loosely and place on the closet shelf or simply hang them up. Do not fold them too tightly or compress them; it will negatively affect their ability to keep you warm.
Our Final Thoughts
Ski pants (or skiing clothes, in general) are meant to withstand harsh weather conditions and last for a long time. However, just like other garments, they too need some care to maintain their appearance, quality, and functionality. Washing and storing your ski pants the right way plays a vital role in keeping them in good working condition for a long time.
It’s also important to note that you should avoid getting your ski pants (or any skiing clothing) dry cleaned. The chemicals that are used in the process damage the skiing clothes. Washing your ski pants at home may seem like a hassle, but it is the best cleaning method for skiing clothes. Also, you only have to do it a few times during the whole skiing season. It’s worth investing time and effort to wash your ski pants yourself to keep them in good condition for a long time.
It’s important to mention that the washing instructions and storage tips that we have shared above for snow pants can also be typically used for ski jackets. However, always check the label on your jacket first to ensure it doesn’t have any specific washing or caring instructions different from the ones given above.