The 5 Best Waterproof Sprays
Whether you’re going on a camping trip, walking to work, or, honestly, just doing anything outside, waterproof sprays are a must when it comes to protecting your items from the elements. The concept of waterproof sprays are simple — they add an extra layer of protection to the surface of your items to repel water. The best waterproof sprays available do this effectively without causing damage.
Shoes and outdoor gear are some of the most common items to waterproof, but there are many other items that are exposed to harsh weather conditions that could benefit, as well, like bags, clothes, and even tarps. For the best results, you'll want to reapply the spray seasonally.
When picking a waterproof spray, think about the following:
- Suitable materials: Make sure the spray is designed for the product (and the material) that you need waterproofed. An easy way to damage items is using a waterproof spray that is formulated for leather on your canvas, for example. Pick a spray that is made for your specific item in order to get the best protection possible and avoid damage or stains.
- Dry time: Consider how long it takes the item to dry once you apply the spray. Allowing the item to fully dry is necessary when using a waterproof spray. A waterproof spray that takes 48 hours to dry is not going to be effective if you need it for a camping trip in two hours.
- Extra features: Some waterproof sprays can also help protect against color fading by offering UVA and UVB protection, which protects again color-fading ultra violet light. Others are good for breathability.
To help narrow down your options, here are the five best waterproof sprays available on Amazon for every type of item.
1. The Best Waterproof Spray For Fabrics
Dry time: 6 to 12 hours
This waterproofing, stain-repelling spray from 303 is a versatile pick that's safe to use on all fabrics, including natural fibers and synthetics. It's a great choice for protecting everything from clothes to furniture from harsh weather and spills. This premium product helps restore lost water- and stain-repellency to factory levels, keeping your fabrics looking newer for longer. Plus, it won't mess with the fabric's color, feel, flammability, or breathability.
With more than 1,100 reviews on Amazon and a 4.2-star rating, customers trust that this spray will protect their items. “One Word..AMAZING!" wrote one reviewer, "It covers more area, it is easy to apply, and best of all, it protects for a lot longer than any others I have used.” While it works on fabrics including canvas, it's not a safe choice for leather, rubber, or vinyl. For smaller or bigger projects, it's also available in a variety of sizes ranging from 2 to 128 ounces.
2. The Best Option For Shoes
Dry time: 24 hours
Safe on most shoe and boot materials, including leather, suede, and canvas, this clear waterproof spray from Rust-Oleum will not change the look, breathability, or feel of your shoes. It’s also super easy to apply — simply spray it directly onto your shoes and let it dry for 24 hours. Amazon reviewers say this product is the real deal, “This spray is absolutely clear and leaves no residue! This worked so well! I was able to wear my Uggs in the rain and in the snow and NO water soaked into them! I couldn’t believe it!”
3. The Best Option For Outdoor Items
Dry time: Overnight
This spray from Scotchgard not only protects your items against water damage, but it also prevents the fabric’s color from fading by blocking out the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Designed specifically for outdoor items such as umbrellas and patio furniture, this spray is safe to use on virtually any outdoor fabric, even leather and suede. The easy-to-apply spray is odorless when dry, and Amazon reviewers stand by its effectiveness, with one commenting, “I leave my patio uncovered throughout the warm months so there’s plenty of exposure to rain, sun, and occasionally some spilled wine. So far, every stain has wiped away and the bright red and blue colors still look brand new.”
4. The Best Option For Waterproof Outerwear
Dry time: Spray on wet clothing, then let the item dry.
This spray from Nikwax is designed to not only protect your waterproof and water-resistant outerwear like rain and ski jackets, but also to restore synthetic garments to their former glory if they have lost some of their water repellency. It even helps make older waterproof garments more breathable to prevent condensation inside. And the best part is that Amazon reviewers say that it actually works. One reviewer in particular wrote: “I used it on my water-resistant jacket (which is several years old and no longer resisting water). So far so good, next I'll be treating my backpack! Also, it didn't leave the fabric feeling stiff... still soft and supple.” This even works on water-resistant sleeping bags and Gore-Tex.
This spray is water-based, so it should be applied to wet clothing. After application, let the item dry. For best results, the manufacturer recommends washing with Nikwax Tech Wash first. It's best suited for items that were originally manufactured to be water-repellent or waterproof.
5. The Best Option For Heavy-Duty Waterproofing Of Large Items
Dry time: 6 hours
For large projects that require heavy-duty water protection, this waterproofer from Star Brite, a brand that focuses on products for the marine industry, can handle even the biggest of jobs. Specifically designed for fabrics, vinyl, and furniture exposed to the outdoors, the large 1-gallon size offers up to 465 square feet of coverage, which is ideal if you need to waterproof big items like a boat cover, convertible top, or sail. It's also available in 22-ounce bottles for tents and awnings.
This does not change the breathability, color, or feel of the fabric, but it does, however, offer protection against the sun’s UV rays, which prevents the fabric colors from fading. This spray is compatible with most outdoor fabrics, including cotton, canvas, and nylon. With more than 950 reviews on Amazon and a 4.1-star rating, many reviewers comment that this is the best choice for large, heavy-duty projects. "My 23-foot boat cover was beginning to show signs of water absorption," one customer wrote, "After a quick spray down with Star Brite, it has made the cover virtually impermeable. I was very impressed after a big rainstorm that no water seeped into the boat, and that the water just slid right off the cover."
While the 303 Fabric Guard comes in bigger bottles, too, this one's incredible waterproofing abilities make it a better choice for large items that will see water often. The only drawback is the smell — many reviewers say it is strong, so you should apply the product in a well-ventilated area and it's probably not the best choice to use indoors.
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