I like Nikwax. I really do. I think it is really good value stuff, especially when you consider the value of the outdoor clothing and equipment it protects.
Every so often we like to do a little write-up about the manufacturers of outdoor equipment, simply to show you why we choose to sell the one’s that we do. And this time, lucky Nikwax has hit the limelight.
Nikwax for Protecting your Gear and Outdoor Clothing
Nikwax helps ensure that your clothing continues to do what it was supposed to well after you bought it. Over time, and wear and tear,
The item I like the most from the range of Nikwax Gear Care products is the Nikwax TX Direct Spray or Nikwax Wash-in. There are a load of other gear care produts in the shape of wax, sprays, lofters, proofers, etc, etc, but these are the most used by me.
Like most, I’m a big fan of breathable waterproof jackets – got a couple for different outdoor sports – mountain biking, running and general/other use. I think this works best, but I have to say, it’s my mountain bike jacket that get’s put through the worst of it. The biggest test is the abrasion from the dirt that sprays-up I find…this kind of abrasion can do some serious damage and reduces the water repellancy of my jacket.
How Nikwax Works
OK, the techy geeks are going to love this, hold on to your hats! Here’s a bit of blurb on how Nikwax was developed and why it works:
Many years ago, Nick Brown the inventor of Nikwax, developed and patented the Nikwax TX.10i water-repellent elastomer. The TX.10i elastomer was based on EVA, the same material found in the flexible soles of footwear. The patent also involved altering the molecular structure of mineral wax which is typically brittle. This strengthens the molecule making it very elastic and resilient. This TX.10i polymer was the primary active ingredient in all Nikwax footwear and fabric treatments.
Nikwax treatments coat fabric and leather fibres with a network of elastic TX.10i water-repellent molecules. They bond to anything that is not water-repellent, but leave the spaces between fibres open and breathable. Nikwax treatments can flex and move with the fabric and leather fibres. That is why Nikwax treatments can withstand several washings and remain whereas the competitors must be re-applied after each wash.
The TX.10i elastomer adds tear strength to fabrics as well. Enhanced tear resistance is achieved through lubrication of the fabric which allows the fibres to slide easily over one another. the treatments also coat the fibres with the elastic polymer that is resilient and allows the fibres to flex a limited amount and return to their original position. This reduces the stress at the intersection of the fibres adding tear strength to the fabric.In 2004-5, Nikwax introduced a new and improved active elastomer. The culmination of several years research, these new class of formulations bring better value for money due to increased number of doses from one bottle and an even more durable finish. Unlike fluorocarbon products, you do not need to heat garments to activate the waterproofing treatment. This new class of formulations is being carried across the range so watch out for even greater performance from Nikwax in the future.
Now, I’m not a Scientist, but that makes Nikwax one tough cookie.
More reasons to love Nikwax
- As proofers go they are amongst the best in their field
- Safer to the environment so ticks lots of eco-boxes too
- Easy to use, just a few instructions – even I can follow them!
Nikwax’s environmental stance:
If Nikwax were manufacturing petroleum-based or aerosol products, there would be an additional 500 tons of organic solvents and propellant gases evaporated into the atmosphere. Nikwax’s commitment to WaterBased emulsions does a lot to reduce global warming and ozone depletion. The so-called ozone friendly solvents and propellants used in aerosols are very powerful greenhouse gases. Weight for weight, petroleum solvents contribute far more to global warming than carbon dioxide.
In addition, Nikwax improves the performance and extends the life of outdoor clothing, footwear and equipment, thereby reducing the consumption of materials and energy that would be needed to replace these items. Fewer things in land-fills too!
Nikwax also doesn’t use fluorocarbons either, and as some research has suggested that they are persistent chemicals (i.e. they do not break-down in the foodchain), then we think that this is a good thing.