How to wash your ski jacket and pants

Man freerideer running downhill
An easy guide to sprucing up your best ski jacket and pants (Image credit: Jag_cz / Getty Images)

Been skiing hard this season? Your gear might be starting to get a little ripe. While your ski jacket and ski pants aren’t the type of clothing that requires as frequent washing as your running shorts or fleece jacket, with heavy use they’ll eventually need freshening up to remove those snow and beer stains from fun days on the hill.

Unlike some outdoor gear, your ski gear isn’t all that difficult to wash, but you will want to follow certain procedures to make sure it doesn’t end up damaged by the machine or losing its waterproofing capabilities.

Keeping your outdoor gear clean helps it perform optimally, so whether you just want a fresh set of clothes for your next ski day or you’re packing your kit up for the season, read on for an easy guide to washing your ski jacket and pants.

A person starting the washing mahine

Keeping your outdoor gear clean helps it perform optimally (Image credit: Westend61)

How to wash your ski jacket and pants 

Before you get started, please note that the following instructions are general guidelines for synthetic waterproof ski jackets and pants. If you’re wearing down clothing for skiing, you’ll want to follow our guide to how to wash a down jacket

1. Read the labels 

Before you get started, if your ski clothes still have the care labels (or you can find instructions online), read them and follow them to a T. This will ensure the optimal care for your garment. If you’re not able to find this information, the following should get your gear spruced up without causing any harm. 

2. Prepare your jacket and pants 

Ski pants and jackets are generally heavy in pockets, zips, buckles and velcro straps. Those pockets are usually filled with items like your ski pass, headphones, ski gloves and granola bars – you know, things you don’t want to wash – while fasteners can damage your clothes if they’re not fasteners. 

Before washing anything, empty all pockets, fasten all zips, straps and buckles and turn your clothing inside out.

ski jackets

Unlike some outdoor gear, your ski gear isn’t all that difficult to wash (Image credit: Getty Images)

3. Machine wash 

You’ll be pleased to know that you can usually machine wash your ski gear, but don’t just throw your gear in with all your other clothing and towels on a hot wash. Wash your ski clothes separately on a synthetic cycle (30°C with a low spin around 800). You can probably use normal or gentle detergent, but don’t use fabric softener as it’s bad for the waterproofing treatment on your clothing. 

4. Dry your clothes 

Take your clothes out of the machine as soon as the wash cycle has finished and leave them inside out to dry them. If you have a dryer, you can use a gentle setting (no more than 40°C) to dry them and reactivate the DWR treatment. If your clothes aren’t fully dry at the end of one cycle, hang them up to finish drying them. 

If you don’t have a dryer, hang up and air dry your clothes then use a warm (not hot) iron, without any steam, on your clothes to reactivate the waterproof treatment. Your ski gear is now ready for another day on the mountain, or to be packed away until next season. 

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.