In addition to repairs, we offer laundry services for outerwear and sleeping bags here at Rainy Pass Repair, so we see plenty of interesting stains.

If you are sending something in for spot cleaning, it is very helpful if you can mark the area and note what made the stain- this helps us to determine which method to use to remove it.

White, Light Grey & High Viz Fabrics

Bright yellow, orange, and green gear is very popular, and these colors are great for keeping you safe and visible out on your adventures. However, stains will stand out more on bright fabrics, and it is harder to remove stains from these bright colors. We often see dirt and dust buildup along the seams and on the collar and cuffs. White and light grey fabrics have the same issues- any little stain will be much more noticeable on lighter colored garments.

white coat with dirty collar

Stains from regular dirt, dust, and body oil usually come out very easily during our standard wet wash process. Light colored and high-vis items just need to be laundered more frequently to keep them looking fresh.

How Do I Remove Tree Sap from My Gear?

dripping tree sap

photo by pfly

Tree sap is a serious problem for anyone who likes chilling the woods- and who doesn’t? The best way to remove pine sap is with isopropyl alcohol or even hand wipes that contain rubbing alcohol. We have heard that mayonnaise and peanut butter are effective in a pinch, and this might be okay for using on your hands or hair, but we don’t recommend this for garments unless you prefer a food stain to the sap stain.

How Do I Remove Wax from a Garment or Gear?

Wax is especially tricky to remove from fabrics because it sinks deep into the fibers. First you must scrape off any excess wax with a butter knife or similar dull tool. The safest method is to heat up the area with a hair dryer and dab it with cotton cloth or paper towel to absorb the wax as it melts. Another way is to sandwich the fabric between two paper towels or two cotton cloths and rub with a iron set to LOW. Be very careful to not heat it up too much, as you risk damaging the fabric.

How Do I Remove Superglue?


We generally recommend Tenacious Tape for fabric repairs on the fly, but superglue is great for emergency repairs out in the field. However, it can quickly get out of hand and all over your other gear if you aren’t careful. We have found that the easiest way to remove superglue is to run the item under very hot water. Another way is to use some acetone and an old toothbrush to scrape it off.

duct tape sleeve

Duct tape is another great emergency repair tool but it can leave a sticky, nasty residue. We can remove this using a high-powered citrus adhesive remover. The product has a strong citrus smell so we usually need to wash the garment after anything sticky is removed

How Do I Remove Stains from My GORE-TEX®?

Because GORE-TEX® is a porous membrane, it can be very difficult to remove stains. Dry cleaning is not recommended for water-proof breathable fabrics because the chemicals can cause the fabrics to delaminate or otherwise compromise breathability. We use several in-house products to deal with stains, but Oxiclean spray is a good all purpose stain remover that does not compromise the fabric. Always follow stain treatment with a regular wash and DWR treatment.

Food stains are usually easy to deal with- we have had good results removing coffee, BBQ sauce, chocolate, and other food stains with Oxiclean spray followed by a wash and DWR treatment using McNett GearAid products.

Makeup and sunscreen stains are easily removed with a bit of Dawn Dish Soap- Dawn is very gentle and can be used on many types of greasy stains. Be sure to remove sunscreen from fabrics as soon as possible because some sun care products can cause the fabric to weaken and eventually deteriorate.

Ink can be a challenge to remove, but there are some commercial cleaning products available to deal with regular pen ink. Sharpie ink is much more difficult, and often cannot be completely removed. Paint can sometimes be removed by soaking the area in rubbing alcohol, then blotting with a towel- success often depends on how long the paint has been on the fabric to dry, so deal with paint stains as soon as possible. Do not use turpentine or paint remover, as these solvents can damage the fabric.

Bloodstains can be a literal pain- especially if they were caused by an unpleasant accident! The good news is that blood is pretty easy to remove from garments. Try running the fabric under cold water to remove the stain. You can also soak it in very cold water, or hydrogen peroxide, for stains that have set for a while. Oxiclean also works well on blood. If you send us something with blood stains, please send it in a plastic bag and mark clearly that there is blood- we need to wash anything with blood stains (human or animal) before we can give to to a technician to sew.

Grease from the ski lift is one of our most common stain challenges. We can sometimes remove grease stains completely, but on bright or light colored fabrics, even our best efforts often leave a slight grey stain. Be careful getting on and off the lift, and if you notice it when you are still at the mountain, ask the pro shop if they offer cleaning services or reimbursement.

Can I Dye My Gore-Tex garment?

It is theoretically possible to dye GORE-TEX®, but it is not recommended. Since GORE-TEX® is a porous fabric, the dye can effect breathability. Additionally, the DWR coating on the fabric can make it difficult for the dye to bond correctly so you might not get the color result that you expect. Most dying processes require very hot water, which can potentially damage the laminate or seam tape on a GORE-TEX® garment. Typically the outer fabrics are dyed and finished before the laminate layer is added, which is why GORE-TEX® comes in so many lovely colors but the inner laminate pretty much looks the same across the board.

bleached fabric

NEVER use bleach to lighten or sanitize GORE-TEX® or other waterproof breathable fabrics. Bleach will damage the fabric and can even burn a hole straight through the fabric.

My Cat Peed on My Sleeping Bag! What Do I Do?

Some cats love nothing more than to claim your gear as their own. Although it is unpleasant to deal with, this does not mean that your gear is garbage. We recommend a great product called Mirazyme for treating cat urine and any other unpleasant odors on your gear- sweat, smoke, skunk, etc. It is safe to use on down sleeping bags, packs, tents, and waterproof breathable garments. This product is an enzyme treatment that will neutralize odors and it will also kill mold.

A beautiful maine coon cat with tennis ball

Awaiting the purrrfect opportunity.

We offer stain treatment and odor treatment as part of our laundry service here at Rainy Pass Repair- feel free to give us a call with any questions!

Related Posts:

What NOT to do to Preserve Your Gear!

Duct Tape Repairs

UV Damage