Too Much Wax on Barbour Jacket: Dealing with Excess Wax on Your Barbour Jacket


Barbour jackets are known for their exceptional quality and durability. Part of what makes them so durable is the waxed cotton finish that helps protect against the elements. However, over time, your Barbour jacket may accumulate excess wax, which can affect its appearance and performance. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind wax buildup, how to remove excess wax, and essential tips for maintaining your Barbour jacket.

Why Does Excess Wax Build Up?

  1. Wear and Tear: Regular use and exposure to rain, dirt, and dust can cause the wax on your Barbour jacket to wear down unevenly, leading to wax buildup in some areas.
  2. Re-Waxing: While re-waxing is essential for maintaining your jacket’s water resistance, applying too much wax or unevenly can result in excess buildup.

Removing Excess Wax:

  1. Freezing Method:

    • Place your Barbour jacket in a plastic bag.
    • Seal the bag, ensuring no air can enter.
    • Put the bag in your freezer for a few hours or overnight.
    • The cold temperature will cause the excess wax to harden.
    • Once frozen, gently scrape off the excess wax with a plastic card or your fingernail.

    Tip: Be careful not to damage the fabric while scraping. Use a gentle, consistent motion.

  2. Heat and Absorption Method:

    • Lay a few sheets of absorbent paper (e.g., brown paper bags or parchment paper) on the affected areas.
    • Use a warm iron on low heat (no steam) to heat the paper.
    • The heat will cause the excess wax to melt and transfer onto the paper.
    • Replace the paper as needed until no more wax is absorbed.

    Tip: Keep the iron moving to avoid scorching the fabric. Protect the jacket’s surface with an additional layer of fabric if desired.

Maintaining Your Barbour Jacket:

  1. Regular Cleaning: Wipe your jacket with a damp cloth to remove surface dirt and grime. Avoid machine washing, as it can strip away the wax.
  2. Re-Waxing: Periodically re-wax your jacket to maintain its water-resistant properties. Follow Barbour’s official guidelines for the best results.
  3. Storage: Store your Barbour jacket in a cool, dry place when not in use. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can soften and melt the wax.
  4. Professional Cleaning: If you’re unsure about removing excess wax or your jacket needs a thorough clean, consider taking it to a professional Barbour cleaning service.
  5. Avoid Overheating: Be cautious around open flames and heaters, as excessive heat can melt the wax.


Excess wax buildup on your Barbour jacket is a common issue, but it can be easily remedied with the right techniques. By understanding why excess wax accumulates and following proper removal methods, you can keep your beloved jacket looking great and performing at its best for many years to come. Remember to maintain your Barbour jacket regularly to ensure it remains a reliable companion in various weather conditions.

FAQs About Dealing with Excess Wax on Barbour Jackets

Q1: What causes excess wax to build up on my Barbour jacket?

A1: Excess wax buildup can result from regular wear and tear, uneven re-waxing, and exposure to dirt and elements.

Q2: Can I use a hairdryer instead of an iron for the heat and absorption method?

A2: It’s not recommended, as a hairdryer might not provide the even heat distribution needed for effective wax removal.

Q3: How often should I re-wax my Barbour jacket?

A3: The frequency of re-waxing depends on your usage. As a general guideline, consider re-waxing every year or when you notice a decrease in water resistance.

Q4: Can I machine wash my Barbour jacket to remove excess wax?

A4: No, machine washing is not recommended, as it can strip away the wax finish. Stick to spot cleaning and re-waxing for maintenance.

Q5: Can I use household items like wax paper for the freezing method?

A5: While wax paper may work to some extent, it’s not as effective as using a plastic bag, as it doesn’t create a complete seal for the freezing process.

Q6: How can I ensure even wax distribution when re-waxing my Barbour jacket?

A6: Follow the official guidelines provided by Barbour for re-waxing. Ensure you spread the wax evenly and remove any excess for a consistent finish.

Q7: Is it necessary to take my jacket to a professional cleaner if I’m unsure about wax removal?

A7: It’s a good idea, especially if you’re uncertain about DIY methods. Professionals can safely remove excess wax and provide a thorough cleaning.