6 Best Waterproofing Sprays & Wash-in Products for Jackets Reviewed + How To | Casual Geographical (2022)

6 Best Waterproofing Sprays & Wash-in Products for Jackets Reviewed + How To | Casual Geographical (1)

When it’s time to buy a new jacket, online shopping has now become the most common way to go about it. With so many options available, information that is accessible in just a few seconds, the reasons for online shopping becoming so popular are quite self-explanatory.

So the time has come for you, too, and now you are looking for a jacket that will not only keep you warm, but that it will keep you dry as well. After all, an all-purpose jacket, which can be worn in rain and shine, would undoubtedly be the best option.

The search for “waterproof jacket” will yield hundreds, if not thousands, of results. Numerous jackets to pick from, each made of different fabrics and some mentioning water column and even special membranes.

We understand very well that it tends to get a little bit confusing, especially if you have no prior experience with buying waterproof jackets.

We will explain all of that simply, before we get into today’s selection and guide.

Contents:

  • 1. Waterproof Rating
  • 2. Water-resistant Jackets
  • 4. How To Apply Water-Repellent Products

– – – –

* Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate this site earns from qualifying purchases (meaning: we may earn commissions if you buy products recommended/reviewed here, by following the links to Amazon shown here). The availability of products in this page may change at any time. Please check the materials, features, colors and sizes on the various shops (linked in this page) before buying, because sometimes our articles may contain errors. Product images you see here are for illustration purposes.

1. Waterproof Rating

When a jacket is referred to as being waterproof, what it means is that it will remain dry in wet conditions. That’s if we were to put it as simply as possible.

6 Best Waterproofing Sprays & Wash-in Products for Jackets Reviewed + How To | Casual Geographical (2)

However, you will see water column ratings for waterproof jackets, which is what actually determines not only how much rain or snow a jacket can endure, but if it is indeed waterproof to begin with.

For a jacket to be considered fully waterproof, a water column of 10.000mm and higher is required. The higher the rating, the more resistant to water leakage a jacket is. Usually, ratings above 20.000mm mean extreme protection and that the jacket can withstand harsh weather for quite a long time.

2. Water-resistant Jackets

Water-resistant jackets are another search result that will come up along with waterproof ones. However, these are not to be confused, because water-resistant does not mean waterproof.

The term usually refers to jackets with a water column of 10.000mm and below, meaning that they will provide protection in light rain. This is common with softshell jackets, for example.

6 Best Waterproofing Sprays & Wash-in Products for Jackets Reviewed + How To | Casual Geographical (3)

What you are looking for is water-repellent. Water-repellent jackets are DWR coated, too, just like a water-resistant one, but when a jacket is rated as being waterproof and water-repellent, then it is a completely different story from a simple water-resistant one.

Water-repellent coatings cause the water to bead up on the surface of the jacket and then it rolls off, rather than staying on top and risking water leakage into the fabric.

This brings us to today’s topic, where we will be looking at waterproofing sprays and wash-in products for jackets.

These are water-repellent sprays or wash-in products, which, when applied, form a protective barrier on the jacket’s outer layer, causing it to not only withstand water but also repel it by causing it to roll off.

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3. Waterproofing Sprays & Wash-in Products: Our Top Picks

We will now take a look at the products that we have selected as some great options for waterproofing a jacket and then we will move on to the guide on how to waterproof a jacket by using water-repellent liquids or sprays.

Nikwax Softshell Clean / Waterproof DUO-Pack

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The first spray is by Nikwax, the Softshell Clean and Wateproof sprays, which come as a duo pack. This pack contains the Tech Wash and Softshell Proof.

These are in liquid form and are best used together, by firstly cleaning the jacket with the Tech Wash and then making it water-repellent by using the Softshell Proof.

Tech Wash is a soap-based cleaner, which is formulated for waterproof, synthetic clothing, sleeping bags, garments and equipment. It is a water-based product, which is biodegradable and does not contain any VOCs or PFCs, which are considered harmless not solely to the environment but also to the human body.

Softshell Proof helps by restoring the water-repellent finish of your jacket, which tends to degrade overtime and requires continuous maintenance.

303 Products Inc Fabric Guard Sprayer

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By 303 Porducts, we have picked Fabric Guard, a spray that not only restores the water-repellent coating of the jacket, but also helps it against stains. This is especially important with Polyester jackets, which tend to get stained from oil-based substances.

It does not affect neither the fabric color or the way it feels and wears. Most importantly, it does not affect breathability either. If anything, it helps, since it prevents the fabric from getting saturated with water, which really affects a jacket’s ability to breath and wick moisture away.

It can be applied directly to any fabric you want to make water-repellent, but it works best with freshly cleaned jackets, as it will immediately restore its water-repellent ability as if it just came out of the fabric.

Nikwax Tech Wash / TX.Direct Wash In Twin Pack

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The next two products are also by Nikwax, the first one being a duo comprised of the Tech Wash and TX.Direct Wash-in.

Tech Wash is the same product as the one mentioned previously and you use it directly in a front-loading washing machine, as per instructions.

TX.Direct Wash-in is also used with a washing machine, after you have properly and thoroughly cleaned the jacket with Tech Wash. It will restore the water-repellency of the jacket, while not affecting breathability. It is PFC-free, too.

Nikwax Wax Cotton Proof Spray-On Waterproofer

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The third Nikwax product is the Wax Cotton Proof spray, which is formulated for waterproofing waxed cotton fabrics specifically. It does not just make the fabric water-repellent, but it also helps rejuvenate its color, making it look newer and well-kept.

In green cotton fabrics it also restores lost color, which is a plus.

Continuously and regularly waxing a waxed cotton jacket will keep it in a better condition not only in regards to weather-resistance, but to its longevity as well, making it last for a long time and look much better.

Because it comes as a spray-on formula, it is very easy to apply and you won’t have to spend extra time dealing with the process of waxing.

Stormsure Clothing and Tent Reproofer Spray

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The next product is also a spray-on formula, the Clothing and Tent reproofer spray by Stormsure. Besides restoring your waterproof jacket’s ability to repel water, it also helps with UV protection, because it increases fabric strength.

UV-protective clothes are incredibly important as there is no way to apply sunscreen all over the body on a regular basis, and if you are outside for extended periods of time, the risk of UV damage and its side effects increase over time.

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This is an air-drying spray, in a water-based formula that applies easily on numerous fabrics, such as nylon, polyester and canvas.

Scotchgard Water Repellent Outdoor Fabric Protector

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The last spray is by Scotchgard, the Water Repellent Outdoor Fabric Protector. It is specially formulated for textiles that are designed to withstand extreme conditions, by forming an invisible barrier which protects not only against rain, but also stains from grease and dirt.

It does not affect the look and feel of the jacket and it can also be used on numerous jackets, as well as outdoor gear and shoes.

This way, everything will be protected and you can focus on having a great time in your next adventure, without having to worry about getting wet or your gear getting damaged from humidity.

4. How To Apply Water-Repellent Products

We will try to make this guide as easy as possible, so you can reproof your jacket confidently and without any trouble.

There are two ways to reproof a jacket, either by using a waterproof spray or a waterproof liquid that you put in the washing machine, also known as Wash-in, as you saw above.

If you were wondering about waxing a jacket, then we have a detailed guide on that as well. However, waxing works for certain types of fabrics, such as canvas and cotton and it directly affects breathability, so watch out for that.

6 Best Waterproofing Sprays & Wash-in Products for Jackets Reviewed + How To | Casual Geographical (10)

Now onto the products for reproofing other types of fabrics:

Wash-in Products

A wash-in product is usually accompanied by a washing liquid, which cleans the product first. However, if that is not the case, then do that step yourself, as it will maximize the chance for a successful reproofing.

After the cleaning is done, following the appropriate amount recommended on each product’s instructions, pour the Wash-in liquid in the (preferably front-loading) washing machine where the jacket is.

Keep the temperatures low, but not too much, because heat is usually required to activate the product. However, this is dependent on which product you are specifically using.

For Nikwax Wash-in liquids, the following video shows how to correctly use their duo packs:

Nikwax Tech Wash & TX.Direct Review

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Spray Products

A clean jacket is always advisable, as there won’t be any gunk or dirt on the outer layer, which will reduce the effectiveness of the reproofing spray.

The recommended way to use a reproofing spray is by evenly coating the jacket and then hanging it to dry naturally. As a quick tip, keeping the jacket on the drying line while spraying is the best way as you can get to all sides.

Then, if there is any excess product on the jacket, you can just wipe it off and leave the jacket to dry.

If you are using fabric-strengthener reproof sprays, or even if not, it is advisable to do a second coating on areas that fold and are prone to abrasion, such as the shoulders or elbows. This will ensure that the coating on those areas will last as long as the reproofing on the body.

As for when to reproof, you will be able to tell because the jacket will start to absorb and even leak water.

If you have had your jacket for a while and reproofing proves to be unsuccessful, then it is a clear sign that the jacket is past its prime and you might have to replace it.

Backpacking Tips: Reapplying A DWR Coating

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FAQs

Does waterproofing spray work on clothes? ›

The best part about waterproofing sprays is that they work for all your outdoor gear fabrics – whether it's on your boots, clothes, or backpacks.

Do waterproof sprays work on jackets? ›

A waterproof spray will help reproof your jacket to maximise its waterproofing and breathability. Always wash your coat first if re-proofing using a waterproof spray. Dirt and oil can clog up the breathable membrane found in many waterproof jackets, making it feel as though water is penetrating through the fabric.

What can I spray on my jacket to make it waterproof? ›

Now comes the time for re-waterproofing: Spray the jacket—and spray it really well—with a waterproofing spray. I like ReviveX Spray-On Water Repellent. Then put the jacket in the dryer, and when it comes out, it should be hydrophobic again. You can make sure by sprinkling some water on it.

What's the best waterproofing? ›

Our Top 12 Waterproofing Sprays for Your Outdoor Gear
  • Sof Sole Heavy Duty Silicone Waterproofer. ...
  • Nikwax Nubuck And Suede Proof Waterproofing. ...
  • Granger's Performance Repel Waterproof Spray. ...
  • Apple Brand Garde Rain & Stain Water Repellent. ...
  • Scotchgard Suede & Nubuck Protector. ...
  • ForceField Protector Waterproof Spray.
12 Jul 2022

How long does waterproof spray last? ›

For example, typical footwear waterproofing spray will only last for four weeks, however if you are using a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) spray on a jacket or tent then it can last for years, with most DWRs remaining effective for over 100 washes.

How do you permanently waterproof fabric? ›

A Simple DIY Way to Waterproof Anything - YouTube

How do you waterproof a cotton jacket? ›

Waterproof a Cotton Jacket - Waterproof Canvas - Nikwax

Why is my waterproof jacket not waterproof? ›

Most times, it's dirt and crud that are covering the water-repellent coating, making your jacket soak up water. Also important to note, using household detergents to clean can leave behind residues that attract water, so it's important to use a technical cleaner for items with water-repellent coatings.

How do you waterproof a winter jacket? ›

Spray-On
  1. Clean jacket with Pro Cleaner or Down Cleaner as noted in the Wash-In instructions above.
  2. Hang wet or dry jacket on hanger. Shake can well.
  3. Spray 5”-10” from jacket in well-ventilated area. Apply liberally on high-wear areas like shoulders and cuffs.
  4. Check manufacturer's care instructions before machine drying.

How often should you re waterproof your jacket? ›

If you wear your jacket frequently and are out in all conditions undertaking intense activities like hiking, running and climbing, you should reproof it every 3-4 months. However, if you wear your jacket less frequently, or are out in less extreme weather, then reproofing every 6 months should be sufficient.

How do I get my North Face jacket waterproof again? ›

Dry the garment in a regular tumble dryer, on a cool setting, or use an iron on a cool setting to revive the DWR finish. This process should revive the DWR.

Does nikwax ruin your washing machine? ›

Will using Nikwax products in a machine wash damage my washing machine? No. Nikwax products have been tested by leading manufacturers and no harm or damage has ever been caused to washing machines or their components. Nikwax is safe for septic tanks and other non-mains drainage systems.

Is there a spray to make something waterproof? ›

News. Say goodbye to water damaged phones and soggy shoes – Rust-Oleum just launched NeverWet, an amazing product that can waterproof nearly any surface or object. The ultra-hydrophobic spray coating was developed by Ross Nanotechnology, and it repels water like nothing you have ever seen.

Can you spray waterproofing on nylon? ›

For untextured materials, fabrics like nylon, leather, and canvas, a basic waterproofing spray will work fine.

Are waterproofing sprays safe? ›

Waterproofing sprays – also known as leather protectors or fabric protectors – can contain potentially toxic hydrocarbons which pose a dangerous hazard to ourselves and our animal companions. Yet this hazard is unfamiliar to most people.

How do you use waterproofing spray? ›

How to Use Waterproofing Spray for Outdoor Gear - YouTube

How do you waterproof a polyester jacket? ›

You can also effectively waterproof your polyester tent, backpack, or poncho by using a special silicone spray. Do a bit of research and make sure the spray is designed to adhere to polyester first, though! One of the most popular and effective spray coatings is Scotchgard 3M.

How long does waterproofing last on jackets? ›

How long does waterproofing last on a jacket? You should reproof your waterproof clothing around every 6-12 months, depending on how much you use it.

How long does waterproofing take to dry? ›

On average, liquid and sheet waterproofing membranes take 24 hours to dry. Sheets may take longer, but liquid membrane usually requires at least 2 coats with an average wait time between coats of 2 hours. Weather, location, surface, and required number of quotes affect the drying time.

How do you remove waterproof spray? ›

Use Alcohol. Isopropyl alcohol AKA rubbing alcohol can also be used to get rid of stains in clothing, carpets, rugs and more so it should be able to remove waterproof spray from a garment or shoe.

Can you waterproof a jacket? ›

The short answer is: no, you can't. Waterproof jackets use a membrane (or PU coating) that makes them waterproof. We use GoreTex and Pertex membranes in our range. To be fully waterproof the seams also need to be taped.

How can you naturally waterproof? ›

Whats the Best Natural proofer
  1. Beeswax: Natural beeswax has been used for centuries by English and Norwegian seafarers and explorers to waterproof clothing and sails. ...
  2. Pine Tar: Native American peoples have been using pine rosin for centuries to waterproof canoes and clothing to great effect.
21 Jun 2021

What is waterproof fabric called? ›

Polyurethane Laminate is the fabric of all fabrics that are waterproof in its own right. PUL is a polyester fabric that has a plastic backing comprising a thin waterproof layer. Polyurethane Laminate is a completely waterproof fabric, as well as being breathable and flexible.

Does wax make fabric waterproof? ›

But, if you're a die-hard do-it-yourselfer and you'd like to waterproof your fabrics the old-fashioned way, you can seal the deal with one tried-and-true ingredient: wax.

What can I use to waterproof cotton fabric? ›

To waterproof natural fabric like cotton, denim, or canvas, give it a thorough rubdown with a bar of Otter Wax. The wax won't leave any residue, but will stiffen and darken the fabric to give it a rugged appearance: We recommend denim shirts, work jackets, and old canvas weekenders.

Does beeswax make fabric waterproof? ›

Beeswax is an exceptional material for naturally waterproofing your cotton fabric mask. Beeswax works by being absorbed directly into the cotton fibers, making the material waterproof without clogging the fabric.

Why does my waterproof jacket get wet inside? ›

As temperatures drop outside your jacket, the warm humid air you produce inside the jacket contacts the cooler surface of the jacket and changes from vapour to liquid causing beads of water to form on the inside of your jacket.

How do I know if my jacket is waterproof? ›

Water-resistant jackets and pants usually have a DWR (durable water repellent) finish on the exterior that repels moisture and keeps you dry in light rain or snow. If the jacket features a waterproof breathable membrane, laminate or other comparable waterproof technology, then it is usually considered waterproof.

Why do rain jackets leak? ›

Condensation and perspiration are the primary reasons that you can get wet inside a raincoat. Condensation occurs when water vapor touches a colder surface, like the inside of your rain jacket which acts as a thermal envelope keeping colder external air from chilling you.

Can you put waterproof jackets in the dryer? ›

Don't tumble dry your jacket, as the heat can damage the waterproof coating. Instead, hang it up neatly in a cool, dry place until it is thoroughly dried through.

Can you Scotchgard a jacket? ›

The Scotchgard™ Fabric & Upholstery Protector will help repel liquids. So you won't have to worry about the rain or other liquids spilling in your jacket or coat. It blocks stains by pushing them away from the fibers of the fabric. So stains release easily.

Can you wash a rain jacket in the washing machine? ›

All you need to do is wash your gear and then reapply a waterproof coating, which can be done in a washing machine. If you have a fabric-lined raincoat, the waterproofing is done by hand using a spray bottle (similar to the way you'd treat a suede or leather jacket).

How many times should I wash my jacket? ›

If you wear them regularly, try to clean them twice a season. Fleece jackets: Clean them after wearing 6 to 7 times. Blazers and suits: Wash them after wearing 4 to 5 times. Rain jackets: If you wear them regularly, try to clean the jackets twice a month; else clean them once in a month.

How do you wash a waterproof down jacket? ›

Don't wash your technical apparel in hot water (warm water is OK) and always use the delicate or hand-wash cycle. I also always close all of the zippers and other closures on my garments to keep them from getting damaged during washing and drying. When it's time to dry, use a delicate cycle on low heat.

What temperature should I wash my waterproof jacket? ›

Place your item in the washing machine (ideally 1 item per wash) and use a standard non-biological soap or a waterproof washing liquid to add extra protection. If you cannot read the label, you should wash your clothes on a gentle cycle and a slow spin - around 30 degrees is optimal.

Can you put a North Face puffer jacket in the washing machine? ›

Our FutureLight jackets are machine washable and we recommend you zip all zips and close all Velcro fastenings before washing, including those on the sleeves which can sometimes be forgotten. You should use a mild powder detergent and not a liquid, before washing in cold water on a gentle cycle.

Why has my North Face coat gone flat after washing? ›

After washing your jacket, the down can clump together inside the lining. To fix this issue, dry your garment on a low heat setting, adding some tennis balls or dryer balls. The balls will separate and fluff up the feathers as they dry, maintaining their insulating properties.

How do you wash a puffer jacket at home? ›

How to Wash Your Down Jacket - YouTube

Do you tumble dry after Nikwax? ›

You have to tumble dry after treatment – FALSE

Nikwax treatments do not need to be heat-treated to work, which means that tumble drying or ironing isn't necessary after reproofing with any Nikwax water repellent product.

Does Nikwax go in detergent drawer? ›

Where do you put Nikwax in the washing machine? It can be used in the detergent drawer or directly in the drum using a special dispenser.

How long does it take for Nikwax to dry? ›

For best results let footwear dry for 24 hours before use.

Is waterproofing spray the same as Scotchgard? ›

Camp Dry vs Scotchgard

Camp Dry is an incredible waterproofing spray but is better suited to camping and hiking gear that already has some water resistance designed in. Scotchgard, by contrast, tends to be a much better waterproof spray for general outdoor fabrics like patio furniture and canvas covers.

What are waterproofing sprays made of? ›

The majority of at-home treatments are made of silicone, which is a plastic polymer. When sprayed in a fine mist, this particular material is usually seen as best for all variety of fabrics. It is relatively harmless, typically has no odor, and is generally easy to apply.

Is spray acrylic sealer waterproof? ›

Product Description. Keep your projects looking picture perfect with Aleene's Spray Acrylic Sealer! This durable, versatile sealer provides a clear super glossy finish on both indoor and outdoor surfaces for weatherproof protection you can count on. The spray-on acrylic formula applies evenly and dries quickly.

How do you reproof a nylon jacket? ›

Spray a small amount of waterproofing spray on an inconspicuous area of the jacket. Gently rub the sprayed area with a clean white cloth and see if any color from the jacket comes off onto the cloth. If the cloth remains white then continue to the next step. Otherwise, stop.

Does waterproofing spray work? ›

There is a lot of speculation about whether or not waterproofing spray works. The short answer is that yes, waterproofing spray does in fact work. There are several different kinds of waterproofing sprays available, so you will have to ensure you make the right product choice.

Can a nylon jacket be waterproofed? ›

Nylon can be treated with substances to make it waterproof. These coatings will make the water bead on the surface instead of passing through. Examples of such coatings are: DWR.

How do you make clothes waterproof? ›

Use powder laundry detergent and alum to waterproof any fabric. Soaking clothes in a water-soluble soap and a salt such as aluminum potassium sulfate, or alum, causes a reaction that forms a waterproof layer over the surface of the clothes.

Does Scotchgard make clothes waterproof? ›

Venture out in the rain without fear – with Scotchgard™ Durable Water Repellant for clothing and shoes, water beads and runs rather than soaking in.

Can you make fabric waterproof? ›

A Simple DIY Way to Waterproof Anything - YouTube

Is Scotchgard waterproof? ›

Scotchgard is certainly one of the most recognized brands for waterproofing materials. We chose the heavy duty version, since that will be the best for outdoor gear and the rugged materials we tend to utilize.

How do you waterproof a jacket? ›

There are three main ways you can make your jacket more water-resistant. The first way is by simply spraying it with a waterproofing spray. The second method is by waxing the garment. And the third way to make your jacket more resistant to water is by soaking it in a waterproofing solution.

How do you waterproof a cotton jacket? ›

To waterproof natural fabric like cotton, denim, or canvas, give it a thorough rubdown with a bar of Otter Wax. The wax won't leave any residue, but will stiffen and darken the fabric to give it a rugged appearance: We recommend denim shirts, work jackets, and old canvas weekenders.

How do you make fabric waterproof but breathable? ›

How To Make Fabric Water Resistant - YouTube

How do you waterproof a jacket after washing it? ›

How-To Wash Your Waterproof Jacket - YouTube

Can I use Scotchgard on jacket? ›

How much can I protect with one can of Scotchgard™ Water Shield? One can protects one average-sized sofa, two chairs, or five jackets.

Why was Scotchgard fabric protector discontinued? ›

Due to the hazards, Scotchgard pulled the product in 2000 after conducting studies internally for toxicity as well as getting pressure from the Environmental Protection Agency.

What is waterproof fabric called? ›

Polyurethane Laminate is the fabric of all fabrics that are waterproof in its own right. PUL is a polyester fabric that has a plastic backing comprising a thin waterproof layer. Polyurethane Laminate is a completely waterproof fabric, as well as being breathable and flexible.

Can you use candle wax to waterproof clothes? ›

Waterproofing uses beeswax and paraffin wax or candle wax melted together. The melted wax is painted onto the fabric. With all waterproofing projects, the fabric to be waterproofed must be clean before you start.

How do you waterproof a hoodie? ›

Waterproof your clothing - DIY, easy n cheap - YouTube

Is waterproofing spray the same as Scotchgard? ›

Camp Dry vs Scotchgard

Camp Dry is an incredible waterproofing spray but is better suited to camping and hiking gear that already has some water resistance designed in. Scotchgard, by contrast, tends to be a much better waterproof spray for general outdoor fabrics like patio furniture and canvas covers.

How long does it take Scotchgard to dry between coats? ›

When it's colder or more humid, it might take longer for your surfaces to dry. Ventilating the area by opening windows or using a fan will help Scotchgard™ Fabric Water Shield dry faster. If you're just drying between coats, 2 – 4 hours is usually sufficient.

Can I use Scotchgard on rain jacket? ›

Ideal to use on outerwear, sporting gear, outdoor gear, rain gear, gloves, backpacks, umbrellas, ski wear, jackets, boots, camping, hiking, hunting and marine gear, tarps, boat covers and more. Scotchgard(TM) is the No. 1 recognized brand of protector for carpet, sofas, chairs and clothing.

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