Ready to give your retired gear new life for a good cause? Before you donate it to Cairn's Gear Up, Give Back program, we recommend sprucing up the gear. That way, when it's received and placed for sale at The Gear Fix in Bend, Oregon, it'll fetch the best possible price. Remember, the proceeds of your donated outdoor gear and apparel are matched by Cairn, GEAR AID, and The Gear Fix and donated to Outdoors for All.
Read on to get the basics of cleaning tents, boots, sleeping bags, jackets and more. All you need is a little time, effort, and some GEAR AID care and repair products.
Refreshing old tents after months of storage is recommended to remove dust and smells. Hand wash the tent with warm water and 1 oz of Pro Cleaner, a gentle cleaning detergent designed for technical fabrics. Open all zippers and agitate the tent for a maximum of 5 minutes. Remove the tent and rinse until the water runs clear. Lastly, squeeze excess water and hang your tent to dry. To remove persistent smells, use Revivex Odor Eliminator after cleaning the tent. Learn more.
Clean Boots & Shoes
Cleaning footwear regularly keeps them in good shape and functional for years. To extend the life of hiking boots and footwear made of leather, suede and GORE-TEX® fabric, scrub the dirt off the dry boot/shoe with a soft brush. For a deeper clean, apply a specialized formula like Revivex Boot and Shoe Cleaner with water and scrub to remove embedded dirt, oils and grime then rinse until water runs clear. Learn more.
Wash Sleeping Bags
Washing sleeping bags with a specialized cleaning formula helps maintain its warmth and performance by removing sweat and dirt without harmful dyes and fragrances. Begin by closing all zippers and turning the sleeping bag inside-out. Use a front-loading, commercial washing machine on gentle cycle with warm water then spin twice. For synthetic bags, use Revivex Pro Cleaner and line/air dry after washing. For down bags, use Revivex Down Cleaner and machine dry with tennis balls to break up clumps. Learn more.
Cleaning high-tech jackets is necessary to remove dirt, body oil, smoke, and other residue that can clog waterproof-breathable “pores” and inhibit breathability. Similar to the care of sleeping bags, Revivex Pro Cleaner is best for synthetic jackets, while Revivex Down Cleaner is used for down-filled jackets and vests. Both types of outerwear can be washed at home in a front-loading washing machine and rinsed twice before placing it in a dryer on medium heat with tennis balls for down gear. Learn more.
Reproof Rain Shells & Snow Gear
Restoring water repellency (DWR) on rain and snow gear made of eVent, NeoShell® and GORE-TEX fabric is simple with Revivex Durable spray. When the factory DWR coating wears off and begins to show signs of “wetting out,” it’s time to reproof gear. Pre-clean the rain shell or snow gear and place wet garment on a hanger and spray Revivex Durable on it. Applying it liberally to high-wear areas like shoulders and cuffs. Air dry for 48 hours or machine dry for 30-60 minutes. Learn more.
Reconditioning Leather Boots & Gloves
Keeping leather footwear and accessories clean and conditioned adds years of use. Start by cleaning the dirt off the leather with a brush and wet cloth (shoe and booth cleaner optional). Once the leather is clean, use Revivex Leather Water Repellent gel to restore the look and shine of boots and gloves. Apply the gel and buﬀ into the leather. Allow the formula to soak in and dry overnight to provide a protective solution to rain, puddles and snow. Learn more.
Clean & Lubricate Zippers
Maintaining zippers are essential to keeping gear from failing while outdoors. Often an old toothbrush is enough to keep zippers working by removing the dirt and particles. For extra zipper lubrication and protection from sand and salt deposits use a zipper lubricant. Just unzip tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, and soft coolers and use GEAR AID’s Zipper Cleaner and Lubricant by brushing it onto zipper teeth. After application, open and close zipper to thoroughly and evenly distribute lubricant. Learn more.
Checking a backpack’s contents is a courteous first step, so you don’t accidentally donate old food and junk with it. Opening all the zippers and shaking out any dirt, leaves, and debris is another simple way to prep backpacks. While wiping down the outside with a sponge, and cleaning zippers with an old toothbrush can renew a backpack for many more adventures to come.
These are just a few ways to maintain outdoor gear and keep them out of landfills. Whether you are saving or donating your beloved gear, learn more about how to take care of it by visiting gearaid.com/blog. To donate your well-loved gear to Cairn's Gear Up, Give Back program, visit getcairn.com/gearupgiveback.