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Reviews > Do It Yourself > Grangers Down Wash and Performance Wash > Test Report by Richard Lyon

GRANGER'S DOWN WASH and PERFORMANCE WASH
Test Series by Richard Lyon

Initial Report January 3, 2017
Long Term Report March 13, 2017



PERSONAL DETAILS and BACKPACKING BACKGROUND

Male, 70 years old
Height: 6' 4" (1.93 m)
Weight: 205 lb (91 kg)
Email address: Montana DOT angler AT gmail DOT com
Home: Bozeman, Montana USA

I've been backpacking for nearly half a century, most often in the Rockies.  I do at least one weeklong trip every summer, and often take three-day trips.  I'm usually camping in alpine terrain, at altitudes 5000 to 10000 ft (1500 - 3000 m).  I prefer base camp backpacking, a long hike in with day trips from camp.  Though always looking for ways to reduce my pack weight, I still tend to include my favorite camp conveniences.  I always sleep in a floored tent and like hot meals. Summer adventures are often centered on fly fishing opportunities; winter on downhill skiing or ski touring.

Particular to the Down Wash, I should note that I am a down addict - except when packrafting, upper body gear, even in warmer seasons, tends to be stuffed with down. I have no synthetic sleeping bags or quilts in my closet. I'm always interested in down-specific cleaning products.

INITIAL REPORT - January 3, 2017

Grangers1Grangers is a United Kingdom (UK)-based company that offers ice cleats, custom insoles, and cleaning and waterproofing products for outdoor gear, including both product-specific items (such as the Down Wash) and others for more general use (such as the Performance Wash).  The two products in this Test Series are described by their names. The Performance Wash is "a gentle wash-in cleaner designed to care for all outdoor and technical clothing." The Down Wash is "a high-performance wash-in cleaner designed to care for all down-filled articles."  Each product comes in a plastic container with a screw-on cap that also serves as a measuring unit. Both are water based and bluesign-certified as environmentally responsible.

Grangers was founded in 1937 and is now based in Derbyshire, England.

Facts and Figures

Manufacturer: Grangers International Limited
Website: grangers.co.uk
Contents (per container): 300 ml/10 fl oz
Weight, measured, per container: 12 oz (340 g)
MSRP: UKP 4.99 per container

First Impressions

Definitely these are easy to use. Each is easily handled with one hand, and setting proper dosage using the cap as measuring unit, as described below, avoids having to keep a separate vessel around the washer.

Thanks to BackpackGearTest.org's holiday break and a backlog of gear to clean in anticipation of this Test Series, I have already run one load of laundry using each product. First came my Norrona falketind GORE-TEX Pro Shell Jacket (reviewed on these pages) with the Performance Wash. Instructions are simple: one capful (50 ml/1.7 fl oz)
(to be doubled if a top-loading washer) per jacket or two base layers, full wash cycle, no bleach, dry low in dryer if manufacturer's instructions allow. My washer is a front loader (no agitator), so one capful it was, on a normal cycle (warm wash, cold rinse). Norrona's instructions allow dryer use, on low, and that's what I did. The jacket came out squeaky clean and dry. If I had not recently retreated the jacket with waterproofing treatment I'd then have sprayed it with that product, but I didn't consider that necessary. The jacket looked like new, and I selected it for this trial because before washing it had been neglected - several grass stains and pine pitch spots across the back. Gone, completely.

Now for the Down Wash. The guinea pig was my smaller Nunatak Back Country Blanket, reviewed on these pages in the recent addendum to my earlier Back Country Blanket Owner Review. After a summer and fall of use in a couple's system, half a dozen nights' use for extra house guests, and frequent use as a blanket for reading and lounging around the house, this quilt needed a cleaning, particularly so given my Golden Retriever's constant shedding. Again the instructions are simple: one capful for a jacket, two for a sleeping bag; full cycle (following Nunatak's instructions and my own longtime practice, I used Delicate); dry per product manufacturer's instructions. I rarely dry a quilt or bag other than naturally, so immediately after the wash cycle completed I draped the quilt over the shower door. I detected no residue anywhere on the quilt, and there were no down clumps that needed kneading. More good work, surely.

I have a number of other down garments in the queue for further testing of the Down Wash, and many GORE-TEX or similar pants and jackets for the Performance Wash. Most (though not all) waterproofing treatments perform better with frequent washing - so long as the soap cleans naturally, without leaving a detergent residue. I'm hoping that the Performance Wash will fill that bill.

LONG TERM REPORT - March 13, 2017

Cleaning Diary

Since filing my Initial Report I have used the Performance Wash to launder two pair of performance pants and three jackets. All of these garments have some waterproofing fabric or fabric treatment, among them GORE-TEX Pro, GORE-TEX, and eVENT. I have followed Granger's instructions - one capful for a jacket - to a point. My washer is rather large and I've cleaned two garments at a time, using two capfuls. For these I used a full normal washing cycle. All were dried in the dryer, as that was allowed by each manufacturer's instructions. One jacket was my Bergans Storen Jacket (reviewed on these pages), which I often wear on errand trips to town and on dog walks as well as in the backcountry. The photos below show how the accumulated dirt from brushing against the car, trees, and assorted dog park inhabitants is gone after a bath with Grangers Performance Wash.

After a backcountry weekend my hiking companion stopped over at my house and we used the Performance Wash for the base layers we'd worn in the woods. Grangers says a capful will handle two base layers, so I poured two capfuls for two base layer tops (both merino wool) and two pairs of long johns (one merino, one synthetic). I used a full cold wash cycle for these, and hung them up to air dry. I have also used the Performance Wash (one capful) on two weeks' worth of wool socks.

I've washed four more sleeping bags (one bag per wash cycle, using two capfuls) and two down jackets (one cycle, two capfuls). I used a delicate wash cycle for these. Either a brimming capful is more than 50 ml300 ml in the container.

Performance

Both products performed very well indeed. Upon emerging from the washer each guinea pig was clean from top to bottom. Only one item, a pair of eVENT pants that I use for cross-country skiing, was particularly dirty, with streaks from brushing pine trees and some oil spots from who knows where. Those trousers are now as clean as new, as are every other garment or sleeping bag subjected to the Granger's products. Below are before and after shots of my Storen jacket, showing some of the grunge removed by the Performance Wash. 
Grangers beforeGrangers after
















Just as importantly, no garment held any residue from the soap. This has more than cosmetic significance, particularly for GORE-TEX and similar surfaces. Many waterproof-breathable fabrics depend on a clear path for their water repellency and breathability, hence the frequently seen manufacturer's instruction to "Wash Me Often!" A clean, residue-free surface also aids application of treatment to repair or restore water repellency, at least according to those products' manufacturers' instructions and my experience.

I detected no scent on any of the test items after washing or drying. That's to my liking. It's another indication that the Granger's products leave no residue. Particularly for sleeping bags it also means that the product is clean. In the backcountry I always sleep in a floored tent or better (cabin or yurt). My sleeping bags rarely pick up visible spots or stains. But the interior is exposed to a sweat-stained body night after night. The bags don't go into the wash odor-free. That they emerge odor-free means they're clean, not just that the aromas have been masked.

After the testing described above I still have almost a full container of Performance Wash and a bit of Down Wash remaining. I should note that eight capfuls of Down Wash emptied the first container.
Either a brimming capful is less than 50 ml or there was more than 300 ml in the container. Having both products on hand encourages this careless laundryman to keep my outdoor gear clean.

What I Like

Both Granger Products work. Can't say either is a breakthrough product, but each does, and does very well, what it's supposed to do. That's intended as a very high compliment.

It's priced comparably to similarly-purposed products I've used.

Room for Improvement

I've never seen either product in stores, including specialty stores pitched to outdoor activities. Then again, the product I've been using prior to this Test Series I have purchased over the Internet. The only downside to this is paying for delivery in effect adds to the price.

Acknowledgment

My Test Report ends here, with thanks to Grangers and BackpackGearTest.org for this testing opportunity.

 




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Reviews > Do It Yourself > Grangers Down Wash and Performance Wash > Test Report by Richard Lyon



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