Tried and Tested – Waterproofers
Reducing waste is also about looking after things in order to make them last. Waterproofing products can add to and renew the water-repellency of a jacket or tent, or protect your sofa or curtains, this prolonging their life.
This spray is suitable for use on a variety of fabrics and textiles, primarily clothes and soft furnishings to protect agaisnt water, greasy stains and oil-based liquids. It’s easy to apply – simply spray and leave to dry. The strong smell takes 24 hours to go, so use outside, or in a well-ventilated room. One 400ml can covered five seats in a small car, or a small three-seater sofa. A juice spillage wiped away easily, as did some sticky fingermarks.
Best for clothing
Nikwax Tech Wash / TX Direct Twin Pack, 300ml, £13.14, amazon.co.uk, outdoor stores
When you wash waterproof or water-resistant clothes, you lose some waterproofing. These products help to put this back without making them hard, crispy or discoloured. Clean your washing machine of your normal detergent, and wash just one or two items at a time, measuring the right amount of Tech Wash for your water hardness; then wash again to add in the waterproofing with the TX Direct. It really cleans and proofs – fleeces look and feel totally revived.
Best for leather products
Containing natural beeswax, this is a traditional treatment with a pleasant smell for all smooth leather and full-grain shoes or boots – even handbags and belts. It goes on really easily with a soft cloth. Work into the leather, then buff off with a soft cloth. It improves the look of footwear – ours looked like new – and the protection from water, oil and other stains was excellent. Used sparingly, one tin would do a dozen pairs of shoes.
Meindl Wet Proof, 125ml, £10.90, amazon.co.uk
For ease of use, a spray means no elbow grease, which appealed to many of our testers. You simply spray on cleaned and dry leather, nubuck, suede, velour or other textiles, leave for five minutes, then spray again. There is no nasty niff and after 12 hours, waterproofing is complete. It can take patience to get an even coverage as the spray comes out in a fine mist, so you do have to pay attention. One can did two large coats or five pairs of shoes.
Best for large items
Grangers Fabsil Gold, 1 litre, £17.99, grangers.co.uk
If you need to waterproof tents, dog or horse rugs, canvas coverings or large
coats, this is the best product. Choose a dry day as it really pongs! We wouldn’t advise
applying it without very good ventilation. Apply with a paintbrush or a spray container; while it’s damp, rub over with a damp cloth. Leave it to dry for at least six hours, when the smell disappears. It can’t be used on leather but worked well on everything else. Water-repellency was excellent.