GRANGERS DOWN WASH AND PERFORMANCE WASH
TEST SERIES BY NANCY GRIFFITH
March 26, 2017
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Northern California, USA
5' 6" (1.68 m)
126 lb (57.20 kg)
My outdoor experience began in high school with a canoeing/camping group which made a 10-day voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania. I have hiked all of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. My typical trip now is in the Sierra Nevada in California and is from a few days to a few weeks long. Over the past few years I have lowered my pack weight to a lightweight base weight of 15 lb (6.8 kg) while still using a tent, stove and quilt.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
|front of label
Manufacturer: Granger's International Ltd.
|back of label
Year of Manufacture: 2016
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.grangers.co.uk
MSRP: Down Wash and Performance Wash (each) - 4.99 GBP (6.16 USD as of 12/30/2016 conversion rate)
Listed Volume: 10 fl oz (300 ml)
Measured Volume: Verified as accurate with kitchen liquid measuring cup
The Granger's Down Wash and Performance Wash products are designed to wash out dirt, stains and oils from technical clothing and gear in order to restore the original performance. For the Down Wash product this means that removing dirt and oils (from our skin) will help restore the loft and insulation properties of the down. In addition the breathability should be maximized while providing the expected cleaning to eliminate any odors.
The Performance Wash focuses on cleaning and removing odors from base layers and maximizing breathability while also maintaining water-repellency of rain gear. For rain gear this cleaned condition then allows for the optimum starting point to re-waterproof using their Repel product (not reviewed here).
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
The product bottle provides washing instructions while the website provides more details and videos.
The product cap conveniently holds 50 ml (1.7 oz) of liquid which is the amount needed for most washing.
The basic instructions are as follows.
One capful will clean one jacket or two capfuls will clean one sleeping bag.
One capful will clean one jacket or two base layers.
Both products state to wash in a full wash cycle and tumble dry or drip dry based on garment care instructions. Recommended wash water temperature is 86 F (30 C).
|a little extra
The Granger's Down Wash and Performance Wash products seem as-advertised on the website. I'm excited to try out the new wash products. I have used several products in the past of another brand and am sold on the value of these specialized detergents for protecting and preserving my expensive technical gear while continually restoring it to the original performance characteristics.
The Granger's Down Wash and Performance Wash note that they are bluesign approved which I found is a standard for environmental health and safety in the manufacture of textiles. I'm not exactly sure how that translates into a cleaner but it certainly is a responsible and ethical approach which I support. Both products are listed as free from the perfumes, optical brighteners, and heavy cleaning agents found in regular laundry detergents.
I dispensed and measured both products and found the advertised volume to be accurate. It was spot on (based on the accuracy of my kitchen measuring cup) for the Performance Wash and slightly overfilled for the Down Wash. Both products looked and smelled similar. They look like water with no color and no cloudiness and both have almost no aroma at all except a slight chemical smell. The aroma is so light that the chemical nature of it isn't offensive to me. Although they look like water, when I rinsed out the measuring cup, both products left a soapy residue that provided a fair amount of soap suds.
Based on the bottle volume and required number of capfuls to wash gear, it should allow for six capfuls of product per bottle. So with two bottles of Down Wash, I should have enough product to wash the following items over the test period:
Two down jackets
One down double-wide quilt
One down double-wide sleeping bag
I'll plan to use double the recommended amount for the double-wide bag and quilt or four capfuls per each large item since they are twice as big as a standard bag or quilt.
For the Perfomance Wash, I plan to dig out my many base layers made of wool, silk and synthetic and give those a good cleaning. I'm also interested to see if I can find any synthetic shirts that have that body odor aroma that just won't come clean with normal laundry detergent and see if the Granger's can knock out the smell. I've had those types of shirts in the past but may have thrown them away. I also plan to wash multiple rain jackets and pants made of Gore-Tex, eVent and Pertex and see how the water repellency fares.
The instructions on the bottles seem to favor washing in a machine. However, the website notes that top-loading washing machines may damage down garments so hand-washing may be recommended. Since our washing machine is capable of literally tying clothing in knots, I'll be washing my garments by hand. I noticed that there is no warning or recommendation to wear rubber gloves if washing by hand. Although the products are listed as environmentally safe and bluesign approved, I'll still plan to wear gloves when doing my washing.
The price on the website seems lower than the usual price that I find for the other brand that I use. I'm curious to see how readily available the Granger's brand is and at what price I'm able to find it. Will I have to order it online and pay for shipping and will that negate any lower price?
The Granger's Down Wash and Performance Wash products are specifically formulated to protect and restore my technical gear to its maximum performance.
Somewhat lower price than other brand I use
WHAT I WASHED
Over the test period I washed the following items:
Base Layers - 1/2 capful per garment - hand wash:
Synthetic base layer pants
Wool base layer pants
Synthetic base layer long-sleeved shirt
Wool base layer long-sleeved shirt
Rain Gear - 1 capful per jacket or pants - mixture of hand and machine wash:
eVent rain jacket
Gore-Tex rain jacket
AQUAPRO rain jacket
Pertex Shield rain pants (2)
Pertex Shield rain jackets (2)
Hats - 1/4 capful per hat - machine wash on hand wash setting:
Brimmed Sun Hats (2)
Light ball caps (2)
Backpacks - 1 capful per pack - hand wash:
Lightweight nylon packs (2)
DOWN WASH - 1 capful per jacket, 4 capfuls per double-wide - hand wash:
Down jackets (2)
Double-wide down quilt
Double-wide down sleeping bag
I hand wash much of my technical gear due to the fragile nature of some of the fabrics. The Granger's bottles and website talks mostly about machine washing, so I e-mailed them to see if gloves needed to be worn while hand washing. I received a quick response that it was not necessary to wear gloves while using their products unless I had a particular allergy or sensitivity to detergents. Ok, so the gloves are off and I'm ready to start washing! Not having to wear gloves really is a nice feature and makes me feel better about the lack of toxicity of their ingredients.
|Washing base layers
I hand-washed two base layer shirts and two base layer pants as my first project. I used 1/2 capful of Performance Wash per garment and washed them individually. I was glad that I had chosen to hand wash them because my brand-new burgundy shirt bled color into the wash water. After washing I spun the clothes in the washing machine on low spin and then laid them flat to dry. Everything smelled clean afterwards with no chemical or perfume smell.
|Dirt had to be scrubbed
Next I decided to wash two rain jackets that were showing dirt using one capful of Performance Wash per jacket. Again I decided to hand wash them but quickly wished that I had machine-washed them instead. It was difficult to remove the dirt and I had to use a scrubber to get it off. I dried them by hanging in the shower.
|Rain jacket drying
For the next wash of a rain jacket and rain pants, I was ready to put the machine to use. I put both in one load with two capfuls of Performance Wash detergent. The pants were fairly dirty and everything came out nice and clean. I hung them to dry in the shower.
|Prepped for down jacket wash
I typically wash my husband's and my down jacket once per year during the winter, so they were ready for a wash. They are too delicate to wash in our top-loading machine, so I hand washed each one individually using one capful of Down Wash per jacket. The Granger's website recommends one capful for machine wash and 1/2 capful for hand wash, but I decided to use the larger amount to ensure a clean garment. The detergent sudsed nicely in the water but as I added the jacket it felt more like 'washing' in water. There is a very slight chemical smell to the Down Wash but is not very noticeable and certainly not offensive. I then rinsed each jacket in cool water, spun them on low in the washing machine and tumbled dry on low heat. During the drying I frequently removed the jackets to de-clump the balls of down that form from being wet. After a few hours of drying in the machine on the air fluff setting they were as good as new.
|Wash on left, rinse on right
I then washed our double-wide quilt in Down Wash in the bathtub using four capfuls of detergent. Two capfuls are recommended for a sleeping bag, so since this is double-wide, I doubled the detergent. The quilt is a DownTek product so it takes some time and effort to get the down to finally wet out. But eventually I had a ball of wet feathers and the normal scare when washing down that it'll never be the same again. After a low spin in the washing machine and hours of machine drying on air fluff, we had a gorgeous puffy quilt!
|Washing down quilt
The last Down Wash project was to wash our double-wide winter sleeping bag again in the tub using four capfuls. The process and results were the same as with the quilt. It's so nice to have clean sleeping gear.
Next I got serious about washing all of my gear and washed one load of sun hats in the machine on the hand wash setting. I used one capful of Performance Wash for two sun hats and two light caps. They all came out looking great! I then washed two Pertex Shield rain jackets and one pair of Pertex rain pants in the same load using three capfuls of Performance Wash. I dried them by hanging them in the shower.
I ended up with two more capfuls of Performance Wash left over and decided to wash our backpacks individually in the bathtub using one capful of detergent for each pack. I realize that this product isn't specified for gear, but I was on a roll and all of my clothing was already clean. The Granger's did a great job getting the packs perfectly clean.
So, in the end I had a gear closet full of clean down products and drawers full of clean technical clothing. The Granger's was easy to use, doesn't have any chemical smell and leaves a fresh clean 'non-scent'. There is no perfume to mask any residual odor so I know that my gear is genuinely clean. The detergents create some suds but it dissipates and rinsing is easy. I found that all residual cleanser was gone with just one rinse cycle.
One small nitpick was that when replacing the cap onto the bottle, the residual detergent runs down the cap and onto the outside of the bottle making a bit of a mess. I had to ensure that I cleaned out and dried the inside of the cap prior to replacing it in order to avoid this. I wish that the lid was more like typical laundry detergent that has a rim around the bottle opening to allow any excess detergent to run back in to the bottle.
I saw the Granger's products for sale at an outdoor store but they were much more expensive than the retail price on the website. I'll have to weigh out buying it online with the added shipping cost versus this inflated retail price.
The Grangers Down Wash and Performance Wash products are easy-to-use, safe-to-use and did a great job with cleaning all of my technical clothing and even some gear.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.
Don't need to wear gloves
No perfume or chemical smell
Lid drips when replaced on bottle
This concludes my Long-Term Report and this test series. Thanks to Grangers and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to participate in testing this product.
Read more reviews of Granger gear
Read more gear reviews by Nancy Griffith