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Laundering

Garment Care Symbols

Having trouble deciphering the symbols on the tag of your garment? We’ve got you covered. The Federal Trade Commission’s product care symbol guide will explain everything—and help you keep your gear in great shape.

Washing Instructions

Washing instructions are printed on a white tag inside our garments. Following our garment care instructions will help make sure that your gear has a long, interesting life. In general, washing your gear in cold or warm water with mild laundry soap (non-toxic, biodegradable types preferred) and drying it on the line are the best ways to clean Patagonia® products.

Dry Cleaning

Given the rumpled nature of the road trips that inspire so much of our gear, Patagonia doesn’t make anything that requires dry cleaning. Our clothes are made to be worn and washed with very little fuss. More importantly, the EPA estimates that 85% of the dry cleaners in America use perchloroethylene, or “perc,” to clean garments and textile products. This chemical solvent has significant human and environmental risks. We make clothes that wear and perform beautifully without all that.

Fabric Softeners and Dryer Sheets

Generally, we don’t recommend using fabric conditioners or softeners on our products. Adding fabric softener or dryer sheets to your laundering process can increase softness but it achieves the improved hand feel by depositing waxy agents on the surface of the fabric. This waxy residue left behind on your clothes may: impair moisture wicking and quick-dry fabrics from doing their job; inhibit odor control; reduce the longevity of spandex; and worst of all, stop your DWR from performing its job.

Ironing

In general, Patagonia garments do not require ironing. However, if you’re trying to make a good impression on “the parents” and you want to sharpen the crease down the front of your pants after an afternoon of bouldering, you should check the iron symbol on the care label of your garment first to make sure it can be safely ironed. If the iron symbol has a line through it, don’t iron. The dots on the label correspond to how much heat you should use—fewer dots mean less heat.

For a guide to the product care symbols that you may see on our clothing care tags, click here.

Drying

Line dry your clothing whenever possible. Turn bright or dark items inside out to reduce fading, including jeans. Hang shirts from the bottom, and pants and skirts from the waistband so the clothespin marks are in a less conspicuous spot. Line drying saves energy and reduces environmental impact.

For some items you will need to use a dryer to get maximum performance out of your gear. Drying waterproof/breathable fabrics on a medium/warm setting will help to renew the fabric’s durable water repellent (DWR) finish, which keeps the outer fabric from becoming saturated in wet conditions. If you want to get the highest loft and coziness out of your down pieces, check out Down Cleaning/Down Care section below.

Microfiber Pollution Prevention: Fiber Filters

Putting your synthetic clothing into a filter bag, such as the Guppy Friend Wash Bag, before washing by hand or machine can significantly reduce the flow of microfibers into your drain. The easy-to-use Guppy Friend is available at patagonia.com and our stores throughout the United States and Europe. Another option is a permanent washing machine filter (requires some plumbing expertise). For both options, make sure you clean out your filter bags after a few washes when you can visually see that fibers have collected. Wipe the fibers out with your finger and put the fibers in your trash bin.

Down Cleaning/Down Care

Use a down-specific detergent and follow the directions on the bottle. Traditional detergent can strip down of its natural oils and negatively affect the loft and performance.

A front-loading washing machine is preferred, though a top-loader will work just fine on a hand-wash or delicate setting.

Down items will have better loft, which directly equates to better performance (keeping you warm), if you use a dryer rather than line drying. To help break up clumps and redistribute the down, include 2 clean tennis balls or a large heavy-cotton bath towel in the dryer. Be patient, it will take a few dryer cycles to be completely dry and lump-free.

DWR Revival

Most waterproof/breathable shells on the market are treated with a Durable Water-Repellant finish (DWR) which keeps the outer fabric from becoming saturated so the breathable barrier can do its job of keeping you comfy and dry.

Remember, a clean shell is a happy shell. Be sure to wash your waterproof/breathable garments and regularly replenish their water-repellent coating. Drying waterproof/breathable fabrics on a medium/warm setting will help to renew the fabric’s durable water repellent (DWR) finish.

After many adventures and washings, your waterproof/breathable garment will require more than a simple washing and drying to revive the DWR finish. When water no longer beads up on the garment, it’s time to turn to a spray-on solution which you can find at your favorite outdoor gear shop.

Stain Removal Guides

Alcohol and Dish Soap

A grease-cutting liquid dishwashing detergent can be used for a multitude of stain removal applications: spot cleaning tough stains, removing grease spots and more.

Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) is a great degreasing agent that works best as a spot cleaner and removes tough surface oils that soap or detergent cannot.

Most of your adventure mishaps can be treated and cleaned with just these two items!

Berries

One of the rewards of alpine bouldering is picking delicious berries along the way. Remove berry stains by soaking the stained garment in white vinegar or lemon juice for 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with cool water. Machine wash as normal.

Blood

If possible, immediately rinse blood stains from fabric with cold water. Follow the rinse with an extended soak in cold salt water. Do not use hot water; hot water will set stain permanently. If the blood has dried, try soaking the garment in a solution of ammonia and water before washing as directed by the garment care tag. Use an inconspicuous area of the fabric to test for color fade before applying to the stain.

Butter

Great on toast, not on clothes. And remember, your toast will always fall butter side down! There are a couple of different approaches to tackle greasy, oily stains. Remove all excess butter and treat with a grease-cutting dishwashing detergent. Launder as usual. You can also make a paste of powdered laundry detergent and water. Rub the paste on the stain, let it sit for 30 minutes and wash as directed.

Chocolate

Chocolate goes well with most anything (we think it tastes best after a long, untracked powder run), but not with clothing. Start by scraping away as much of the stain as possible. A grease-cutting liquid dishwashing detergent mixed with water can be used to gently remove the remaining residue. Finish by washing the garment with warm soapy water.

Coffee

Coffee fuels pre-dawn alpine starts and late-night drives across Nevada but spill it down your shirt and you’ll have a different kind of wake-up call. Soak the area immediately with cold water. Repeat until the stain disappears. For more stubborn stains, treat with liquid detergent or a paste of powered detergent and water. Let sit for about 15 minutes. Rinse completely. Don’t dry until the stain is out.

Grease or Motor Oil

Whether you’re working in the shop or commuting on your bike every morning, there’s a good chance you and your clothes will come into contact with some type of grease.

Luckily, grease comes out of fabrics quite easily. Spot-treat the area by using a grease-cutting liquid dish washing soap. This treatment will usually remove the stain. Launder as usual.

Gum

If you find yourself on the losing end of a bubble gum blowing contest, freeze the gum until it hardens, then scrape it from the fabric. If necessary, use some rubbing alcohol to remove the stain. Then wash as directed.

Ink

Ink wants to stay put, so don’t be discouraged if your first attempts to remove it are unsuccessful. Try blotting (not rubbing) the stain gently with a cotton ball or clean cotton cloth dampened with a few drops of rubbing alcohol (this may take several tries). Test the alcohol first on an inconspicuous part of the garment and allow the fabric to dry. If there’s no discoloration, wet a second cotton ball and blot the stain, but do not saturate the fabric. Allow to dry. Using a toothbrush, clean the stain with a drop of dishwashing detergent and scrub until the stain has disappeared. Wash and dry per the garment care instructions.

Pine Sap

Have you hugged a tree today? If so, rejoice—and read on. To remove the pine sap, use an ice cube to freeze the area until it’s completely frozen. Scrape off any remaining residue. Use a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol to remove the stain, then rinse with cold water. If the stain persists, try spot treating it with some liquid detergent. Let it soak for 5 minutes, then follow the washing instructions. Don’t dry your item until all the sap is removed.

Red Wine

As quickly as possible, apply a solution of 3 parts hydrogen peroxide to 1 part liquid dish soap. Blot with a clean dry cloth to lift the stain and continue until the stain disappears. Do not rub, as this will set the stain. Once the stain is out, launder per the garment-care label. If the stain doesn’t come out, open another bottle!

Fabric Care

Cashmere

Wash cashmere by hand in cool water. Use mild shampoo with a bit of mild fragrance-free, dye-free detergent. Let the garment soak in the basin or gently swish the garment, but don’t twist or rub it. After soaking, rinse with fresh water until the water runs clear. Gently squeeze excess water from the garment.Dry your cashmere garment by laying it flat on a dry towel and stretching it to the correct size and shape before leaving it to air dry.

Cotton

Wash your organic cotton gear in cool-to-warm water with mild laundry detergent (non-toxic, biodegradable types preferred) and dry it on the line if possible. You may also use a dryer on the low-heat setting. When in doubt, read the clothing care label on your garment.

GORE-TEX® and H2No® Fabrics

Waterproof/breathable fabrics from GORE and Patagonia will provide years of optimal performance if kept clean and free from dirt, sunscreen and oils from your skin.

Machine-wash waterproof/breathable garments in warm water (86˚F/30˚C) using a ‘technical wash’ specifically formulated for waterproof/breathable garments.

If you don’t have a technical wash solution in your laundry room, you can use a biodegradable fragrance-free, dye-free detergent. If you are using a standard detergent, be sure to give the jacket an extra rinse cycle to ensure a residue-free garment.

Drying waterproof/breathable fabrics on a medium/warm setting will help to renew the fabric’s durable water repellent (DWR) finish, which keeps the outer fabric from becoming saturated in wet conditions. This step will keep you comfortable longer.

After many adventures and washings, your waterproof/breathable garment will require more than a simple washing and drying to revive the DWR finish. When water no longer beads up on the garment, it’s time to turn to a spray-on solution which you can find at your favorite outdoor gear shop.

Hemp

Wash any garment made from hemp in cold or warm water with mild laundry detergent (non-toxic biodegradable types preferred) and dry it on a clothesline if possible. You may also use a dryer on a low heat setting. When in doubt, read the clothing care label on your garment.

Lambswool

Wash lambswool garments by hand in cool water with a bit of mild fragrance-free, dye-free detergent or Wool specific detergent. Let the garment soak in the basin—don’t twist, rub or wring out the garment. Then rinse with fresh water until the water runs clear. Gently squeeze out excess water.

Dry your lambswool garment by laying it flat on a dry towel and stretching it to the correct size and shape before leaving to air dry.

Merino Wool Baselayer

Merino’s natural odor-resistant properties allow you to wear your garment multiple times between washings (ideal for road trips). That said, when even your dog refuses to share your sleeping bag, machine wash your merino baselayer in cold water. We recommend washing your merino garment with Wool specific detergent then tumble drying at low temperature—or laying it flat on a dry towel to save energy and reduce environmental impact.

PrimaLoft® Insulation

Machine wash your Primaloft® garment with a mild detergent on a gentle cold-water cycle. Tumble dry on low or line dry.

Recycled Polyester

Machine wash polyester in warm water on the “permanent press” setting. Use a mild laundry detergent (nontoxic biodegradable types preferred) and dry it on a clothesline if possible. You may also use a dryer on a low heat setting, just make sure to remove it from the dryer immediately to prevent wrinkling.

To remove stains from polyester, try a few drops of dishwashing liquid directly on the stain and rub until the stain starts to lift. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Recycled Nylon

Machine wash your recycled nylon garment in cool-to-warm water with a mild laundry detergent (non-toxic biodegradable types preferred). Line dry or tumble dry on low heat.

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