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If you're looking to freshen up outer layers and help restore their water repellency with minimal hassle, Grangers Wash + Repel Clothing 2 in 1 is easy to use and does a decent job of cleaning, but doesn't do much to spruce up flagging water repellency.
Washing waterproof and water-resistant bits of kit can be stressful, for fear of stripping out the water repellency with traditional detergents. But, if you don't wash them then a) they stink eventually and b) they stop being breathable. A technical aftermarket wash-in product is usually the easiest and cheapest option for cheering up flagging kit.
This product from waterproofing and garment care specialist Grangers is designed to be as quick and easy to use as possible – simply measure out two capfuls of the liquid into the detergent drawer of the machine for a single garment, wash as per the garment's recommended wash cycle (usually 30 for technical fabrics) and then air dry or tumble dry if that's an option for the fabric. The wash is designed to clean fabrics, refresh their breathability and restore superficial surface water resistance.
In addition to being quick and easy to use, the Wash + Repel Clothing 2 in 1 also aims to be as environmentally friendly as possible. Obviously, you only need to put the washing machine on once not twice, but also it's packaged in a recycled plastic bottle, the product itself is PFC free and Bluesign approved, plus the very notion of improving the longevity of a piece of outdoor kit rather than buying a new one is better for the environment too.
The items I washed came out much cleaner than they went in, with all but the last residual bits of road grot on the rear successfully removed. They didn't smell of unpleasant chemicals and dried quickly on the washing line, as usual.
After drying, the jackets smelt much fresher than they had prior to washing/treatment, although some residual aromas did remain.
Performance-wise, the breathability of the jackets was much improved, although since this is largely down to removing dirt and sweat from the pores of the breathable fabric, it's a job that any detergent will do.
The crunch was that when it rained, there was little change in their levels of water repellency. Prior to washing they had been starting to get a bit tired and water did not bead off as well as when they were new. Unfortunately, after washing with Wash + Repel Clothing 2-in-1, they remained in the same condition. I had hoped that water repellency would be improved; instead, rain soaked in to the treated fabric.
You need two capfuls (100ml) for a single item or three capfuls (150ml) if you're washing two garments together (each additional garment in a wash takes an extra 50ml). At £11.95 for a 300ml bottle, that works out at around £3.98 per garment if treated singly, or £2.98 per garment if you're treating two items together.
Obviously, you're not looking at a two-in-one product there (Nikwax doesn't make one), and adding a 300ml bottle of Nikwax TX.Direct (also tested by George, in 2018) to the equation would up the price by £10. However, as the Grangers has little if any effect on a garment's water repellency, only doing much the same job as Nikwax Tech Wash, it's not looking like particularly good value for money.
In fact, you might be better off going with Grangers' Performance Wash, which costs £7.25 for 300ml. With the latest concentrated formula you get 12 washes per bottle, so that's about 60p per item (though we haven't tested it).
At best, I'd see this as an easy-to-use, benign way of washing technical water-repellent kit in the machine, but an expensive option for that. It won't strip out the water repellency that's already there, and it will freshen up the item to make it more breathable. Just don't expect miracles in terms of refreshing water repellency.
An effective technical wash that cleans and freshens but does little to refresh water repellency
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Grangers Wash and Repel Clothing 2-in-1
Size tested: 300ml
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
It's intended to clean and refresh breathable water repellent technical fabrics easily in the washing machine.
Grangers says: "Cleaning and reproofing takes time and that's not always a luxury when you want to get #outside. This 2-in-1 formulation offers powerful cleaning and durable repellency whilst saving water, energy and time."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Grangers lists these features:
Conserves energy and water.
100% Recycled bottle.
Washed reasonably well (all but the toughest stains) and freshened fabric reasonably well (some residual odours), but didn't do much to refresh water repellency.
It's cheaper than buying wash and reproofing products separately, but it's only really effective as a wash, and more expensive than other technical washes (including Grangers' Performance Wash).
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Washed pretty well and improved breathability, but did little to refresh water resistance.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I liked the convenience of a wash-and-proof-in-one product and it was easy to use.
The environmental concerns are reassuring too.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Despite being an acceptable washing detergent, it did little to refresh the water repellency.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Price per garment wash with this product is about £3.98, but as its performance is only on a par with a technical wash, not a wash and reproofer, it's more expensive than Nikwax Tech Wash, which costs £6 for a 300ml bottle (so about £1 per garment), and Grangers' own Performance Wash at £7.25 for a bottle that gives 12 washes, so around 60p each.
Did you enjoy using the product? It was OK.
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Probably not.
Use this box to explain your overall score
While the environmental concerns are laudable, and the product is easy to use and a pretty effective cleaning detergent, it didn't really do what it claimed to in terms of sprucing up water repellency of the fabric. It doesn't compare favourably with similar products at half the price that are as effective.
About the tester
I usually ride: Liv Invite My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.