Although canvas shoes or jogging shoes are very popular with many people, these shoes are not suitable to be worn when it rains. However, you don't need to replace your sneakers with waterproof boots. By preparing a waterproof spray, wax, and hairdryer, you can waterproof your textile shoes in minutes. By following the guidelines below, you can wear your favorite shoes more often. In addition, waterproof shoes can also protect your feet from drops, drizzle, or puddles.
Method 1 of 3: Using Candles
Step 1. Prepare beeswax or colorless wax
To make shoes waterproof, you can use natural beeswax. You can buy beeswax at your nearest hardware store. Beeswax is generally sold as a lubricant. If you don't have beeswax, you can also use clear, odorless paraffin wax (such as tea light candles) as an alternative.
- No matter what wax you use, make sure it doesn't contain dye so your shoes don't look dirty.
- If the shoes you want to waterproof are expensive or difficult to replace, you should use this product.
Step 2. Clean the shoes with a damp cloth, or wash them first
In order for the wax to stick well, you need to make sure the surface of the shoe is completely clean. You can wipe the surface of the shoe using a damp cloth to remove dust and dirt. If your shoes are very dirty and have been worn a lot, you may need to wash and dry them before starting to apply the wax.
- If wax is applied to unwashed shoes, the dirt may stick to the wax. In addition, because the shoes are water resistant, you will find it difficult to wash off the dirt.
- Make sure the shoes are completely dry before applying the wax. If the weather is bad, it's a good idea to wash your shoes a few days before you plan to wear them.
Step 3. Try applying wax to an inconspicuous surface of the shoe
Before you start, try applying a little wax to the bottom of the heel or the side of the outsole to see results. By doing this, you can ensure that the wax won't make the shoes look dirty. Remember, most of the contrast will disappear once the wax melts.
- Clear or off-white wax will go well with the material and color of the shoe. In addition, this type of candle does not look too flashy.
- If using colored wax, make sure it matches the color of the shoe.
Step 4. Rub the wax all over the surface of the shoe
Rub the wax vigorously to create a thick layer of wax on the surface of the shoe you want to waterproof. Rub the wax as hard as you can. Imagine that you are using crayons. Focus on the front, heels, sides, and laces. Water generally seeps in these parts.
- Double-check to make sure the entire shoe is waxed. If there are parts of the shoe that are not waxed, water may still seep in.
- As the wax thickens, the color of the shoe may change. Don't worry, the color of the shoes will return to normal once the wax is heated.
Step 5. Use a hairdryer on a high temperature setting
Before heating your shoes, turn on the hairdryer and let it heat up. The higher the temperature of the hair dryer, the faster and more evenly the wax will melt.
Position the vent of the hairdryer as close to the surface of the shoe as possible to focus the heat more
Step 6. Use a hairdryer from front to back
Gently heat the surface of the shoe. Change the direction of the hairdryer if necessary. The wax will melt and soak into the shoe quickly. When you're done heating one shoe, heat the other.
- The hairdryer will heat up after turning it on for about 30 seconds. Once hot, the hair dryer can melt the wax.
- Heat the shoes one by one. By doing this, you will have an example of the look of the shoe with the wax completely melted.
Step 7. Continue heating the shoe until the wax is completely melted
When melted, the wax will seep into the shoe, sealing gaps, and keeping water away from the shoe's surface. The wax will then harden again and turn into a protective coating for the shoe. When finished, the shoes will look normal again.
- Check the shoes again to make sure all the wax on the shoes is completely melted before turning off the hairdryer.
- The wax is water-resistant and does not penetrate into the shoe material, even in porous fabrics. Therefore, wax can become part of the shoe without damaging it.
Step 8. Check the waterproof layer of the shoe
When finished, you can check whether the shoes are waterproof or not. Pour water on the front of the shoe. The water will run off and not seep into the shoe. Safe! Now, you can wear your favorite shoes in any situation.
- If the water is still seeping into the shoe, you may need to apply a thicker layer of wax. Wait for the shoes to dry before applying a new coat of wax.
- You still can't wear these shoes while swimming. However, shoes can now be worn when it is drizzling or passing through wet meadows.
Method 2 of 3: Using a Waterproof Spray
Step 1. Select the textile shoes you want to make waterproof
While any type of shoe can be made waterproof, shoes with absorbent materials can provide the best results. The wax used will stick well to the shoe with a cloth or woven material. When applied to leather or synthetic shoes, the wax will only stick to the surface of the shoe and is easier to remove.
Shoes with canvas, hemp, suede, and other textured materials are easier to waterproof
Step 2. Purchase a quality waterproof spray
There are many brands of waterproof spray that you can buy. However, almost all waterproof sprays serve the same purpose. Make sure the waterproof spray contains a silicone or acrylic polymer. These two ingredients can help retain water and prevent mold, mildew, and water damage.
You can buy a waterproof spray at your nearest shoe store, or a store that sells outdoor clothing and gear
Step 3. Spray the entire surface of the shoe
Position the waterproof spray at a distance of 15-20 cm from the shoe. After that, spray the shoes gently and evenly. Make sure you spray the part of the shoe that absorbs the most water. Also spray the seam that connects the upper and sole of the shoe. Do not spray the liquid until the shoes are soaked. Instead, use a waterproof spray until the surface of the shoe is shiny.
- Hang up shoes whenever possible. By doing this, you can accurately spray the surface of the shoe without hitting your hands.
- So that you are not too exposed to harmful chemicals, do this in the open. Instead, spray shoes outside the house. If this is not possible, you can turn on the fan in the room you are using.
- To be truly waterproof, shoes with unique textures such as suede or nubuck require 2-3 layers of waterproof liquid.
Step 4. Wipe the shoes with a microfiber cloth or towel
Gently wipe the entire surface of the shoe. Do not press the shoe when wiping it so that the waterproof liquid is not lost. Just pat and gently wipe the surface of the shoe.
- Don't use tissue. Parts of the tissue may stick to the surface of the shoe and be difficult to remove.
- Remove any traces of waterproof liquid on the outsole, zippers, eyelets, and rubber parts of shoes.
Step 5. Let the shoes dry overnight
Most waterproof sprays will dry after 20-30 minutes. However, to fully protect your shoes from water, allow them to dry for 1-2 days before wearing them. If you are applying a new coat of waterproof spray, wait a few minutes for the previous coat to absorb well.
Do not dry your shoes using a hairdryer or a campfire. This can interfere with the chemical processes that make shoes waterproof. In addition, hair dryers and fire can also damage the shoes or even cause a fire
Step 6. Reapply the waterproof spray
Waterproof sprays are not as effective as wax. Therefore, you may need to reapply the waterproof spray on your shoes to keep your feet dry. During the rainy season, repeat this process after wearing the shoes 7-8 times. During the dry season, you don't need to do this process too often. Just use a waterproof spray if necessary.
- How often you should apply the waterproof spray will depend on how often the shoes are worn.
- If you plan to hike in extreme weather, spray your shoes 2-3 times.
Method 3 of 3: Caring for Waterproof Shoes
Step 1. Stretch the shoe
Waterproof sprays and waxes can stiffen the shoes. When you're done making your waterproof shoes, put them on and walk around for a while. If often used for activities, shoes will return to normal and flexible. After wearing it 3-4 times, you probably won't notice the difference.
Stretch your foot to flex the stiff part of the shoe
Step 2. Reapply waterproof product if necessary
Make sure you take good care of your shoes before the rainy season arrives. Under normal circumstances, you may only need to repeat this process every few months. However, the more often the shoes are worn, the faster the waterproof coating will be damaged and lost.
- If you live in the tropics, you may need to take more tenacious care for your shoes. The waterproof layer of the shoe will melt and disappear faster if it is constantly exposed to heat.
- Don't forget to reapply the waterproof product after washing your shoes. Otherwise, the shoes will re-absorb water when worn!
Step 3. Remove the waterproof layer if necessary
If you want to remove the waterproof coating on your shoes, scrub them with warm water and dish soap or a mild detergent. Warm water can help melt the wax on the shoe. Dish soap and detergent can remove grease from the shoes. When finished, dry the shoes. The waterproof coating on the shoes has been removed.
When finished, rinse the shoes until the water is clear. Otherwise, the remnants of the waterproof coating and detergent will thicken and stick to the shoe after it dries
- Waterproof sprays should be stored in a cool, dry place to avoid damaging the chemicals.
- Wearing gloves will make it easier for you to hold the candle. In addition, your hands will also not be smeared with a layer of oily wax.
- If the shoes are dirty, wipe them with a damp cloth. If the shoes are cleaned manually, the waterproof coating will last longer.
- Although some people recommend using vaseline or linseed oil, these two ingredients will generally cause black grease stains on the surface of the shoe. This of course will spoil the appearance of the shoe.
- Some materials, such as patent leather, plastic, and nylon, will break or change color when made waterproof.