As you continue to seek out new adventures, your gear will get exposed to elements like mud, sand, water, gravel, grass, snow, and salt, which can degrade your clothing and shoes. We’ve put together some instructions for you to get the most out of your gear in the most environmentally friendly manner possible.
General tips to extend the life of garments:
COLOR: To improve the color fastness of your clothing, add vinegar to the first wash load of dark colors for natural fibers or cotton/poly blends.
STAINS: To reduce permanent stains, treat as quickly as possible. Start by blotting or sponging the stain to remove as much as possible before treatment. Never rub the stain as it can cause the stain to spread or force the stain deeper into the fabric. Rubbing can also cause abrasion damage to the fabric.
WASHING: To reduce wear from washing, do not wash clean clothing. Excessive washing causes clothing to wear out faster, so wearing a garment multiple times before washing extends the life of the garment. To reduce snags and damage from washing, ensure that garments are completely closed up; zip-up all zippers, secure any hooks or loops, and close all snaps and buttons.
DRYING: To reduce heat damage from drying, hang dry your garments or dry flat. Heat and agitation in the dryer environment can cause clothing to wear out at an accelerated rate. If you do use a dryer, use the lowest heat setting advisable.
STORAGE: To keep your gear safe for next season, store in a clean, dust-free and dry environment.
Washing and caring for hiwalk fleece products:
WASHING: Wash in cold water on the delicate or hand wash cycle. Separate wash loads by color and fabric weight. Washing light and dark colored clothing separately will help to maintain color integrity. Avoid washing lightweight clothing with heavyweight clothing to avoid friction and damage to lighter weight fabrics.
CLEANING SOLVENTS: Use mild detergent, preferably non-toxic and biodegradable. Do not bleach or add fabric softener, the strong chemicals can degrade the fleece over time.
DRYING: To reduce shrinkage and reduce energy usage, hang dry or dry flat. If a dryer is used, dry on low heat.
IRONING: Do not Iron 100% poly fleece. Iron on low setting if needed for cotton-majority fleece.
Washing and caring for a Columbia windbreaker:
WASHING: Wash with cold water on the delicate or hand wash cycle. To avoid friction and pilling, ensure all hook and loop (velcro) are closed.
CLEANING SOLVENTS: Use mild detergent, preferably non-toxic and biodegradable. Do not bleach or add fabric softener, the strong chemicals can break down the waterproofing elements that keep you dry and happy.
DRYING: When drying, hang dry or dry flat in areas with plenty of ventilation.
IRONING: DO NOT IRON. The inner coating and seam sealing is applied by heat and will melt if it comes in contact with high heat, and may ruin your iron.
STORING: Make sure to hang your jacket until dry after use. Storing a wet crumpled garment can cause mold and mildew.
Best way to regularly clean your hiwalk footwear
If your shoes becomes damp and covered with mud, clean them immediately after use, do not leave them dirty to dry. Corrosive natural chemicals such as acids and alkalis which are found in different soils and dirt can work their way into the materials and start to slowly decay and rot them thus weakening the overall strength of the shoes. This also prevents damage to any waterproof linings and membranes that are inside. The most effective way to clean your shoes is to immediately rinse them under clean tap water with a soft bristled brush. If possible, remove the insoles and let them dry naturally. Do not under any circumstances place shoes in a clothes dryer, on top of a heater, near an open flame, or leave in direct hot sunlight.
Removing stains from hiwalk footwear
Generally a mild dishwashing detergent can remove most stains. For oil, grease, ink, sap or gum, denatured or isopropyl alcohol is considered a degreasing agent and works best as a spot cleaner and can safely remove stains from many fabrics and leather that aren’t affected by soap or detergent. To remove stubborn stains, moisten a cotton cloth with a few drops of denatured alcohol. First test the alcohol on an inconspicuous part of the shoe and allow it to dry. If there isn’t any discoloration, repeat and rub the stain, but do not saturate the fabric. Allow it to dry. Using a toothbrush or light bristled brush, clean the stain with a drop of dishwashing detergent and scrub until the stain disappears. Rinse the shoe in warm water and damp dry with a clean towel. Fully let dry naturally.
Reapplying waterproof finishes on hiwalk shoes
Most waterproof / breathable materials are treated with a water-repellent finish, which keeps the outer material from becoming saturated with water so the breathable barrier can do its job. This coating needs to be reapplied every so often. A simple water drop test can be performed to see if the shoe should be recoated. If water no longer beads up on the outside of the shoe, it’s time for another surface treatment. There are several spray products on the market that can restore water repellency. Whichever you choose, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Before these treatments can be applied and effectively work, the footwear should be clean and dry.
Repairing hiwalk rubber boots
If a pair of rubber boots is damaged during wear, they generally can be repaired with a simple rubber repair or stick-on patch kit. These patch kits are available at any footwear retailer. First the boots must be clean and dry. Then follow the directions of the repair patch kit.
Repairing hiwalk rubber outsoles
Over time, rubber outsoles can separate from the foam cushioning midsole or upper part of the footwear. This also can be repaired with a simple adhesive solution. Many footwear retailers offer various types of adhesives that can help repair this issue. Urethane adhesives work by coating both sides of the separation, letting it dry for a period of time and reactivating it with a heat source such as a blow dryer. A rubber based adhesive is used more as a contact cement. The adhesive is applied to both sides of the separation and allowed to dry for a short period of time and then is pressed together. Again, the area should to be clean, dry and prepared. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions.
Repairing leather or synthetic materials in hiwalk shoes
There are leather repair kits available on the market that can repair rips, burns, cuts, and tears. Some can even touch up and re-dye worn or faded spots. There are specific kits for footwear. Upholstery repair kits can also work on leather boots and usually come with colored dyes to help mask the repair.
Disclaimer: Please check with the Warranty Department before submitting previously repaired garments for warranty claims. Repair done outside of the Columbia Warranty Department may void hiwalk's Limited Warranty applicable to your product.