How to Maintain Your Waterproof Gear
Most waterproof garments have what is called DWR or (Durable Water Repellency). This prevents water absorbtion while maintaining breathability. In order for the DWR to work correctly it needs to be clean. Before you try waterproofing or re-waterproofing your gear you need to make sure that your gear is cleaned properly, remvoving dust, dirt, grease and anything else you may have gotten on it.
There are several brands of detergent that are designed to do this without leaving any detergent or chemical residue. Examples would be Sport Wash or Nikwax Tech Wash. Be sure to clean the detergent dispenser before washing with the special detergent so that the regular detergent won't mess up your DWR by leaving a residue. Wash only 1 or 2 articles of gear at a time and follow the instructions with regards to how much special detergent for each garment. Then make sure it gets an extra rinse or two in the cycle so that there is no residue left behind on the garment. The wash will help clean
After your gear is properly cleaned, THEN proceed to waterproof your gear with something like Nikwax TX. Direct Wash-In or Spray On which will leave a DWR treatment on the fibers of your clothes allowing them to be waterproof and breathable again. Follow the directions for whatever product you use. Let your gear air-dry or dry on low to medium heat if the caretag says you can.
Make sure to regularly clean your gear for optimum performance. Stay dry my friends