Does Waterproofing Spray Work?

Tents are made to be waterproof and keep the water out, but what about other parts of your camping equipment? This is where many people use waterproofing spray but with that comes the question of does it really work?

Waterproofing sprays are made to close the fibres and molecules of fabrics to stop water from getting in and through. Waterproofing spray may not keep your fabrics permanently waterproof or water-resistant. Still, for as long as the spray remains on the materials, it will keep water away.

In this article we are going to talk about what waterproofing spray does, how it works and how best to use it.

What Can You Use Waterproofing Spray For?

Waterproofing can be used for almost everything. As long as you want to keep your outdoor gears out of the water, applying waterproofing spray on them is one of the cheapest and most effective techniques.

You can spray your fabrics, shoes, bags, camping tents, as well as things you keep outdoors like outdoor pillow and furniture with waterproofing solutions.

Is Waterproofing Spray Effective on All Fabrics?

Without a doubt, waterproofing is more effective on some materials than others. Materials like nylon, polyester, and polyurethane are naturally waterproof.

Hence, these materials may require only a small amount of waterproofing to seal whatever pore is left entirely. However, while nylon materials are compatible with many waterproofing sprays, polyester and urethane materials are usually not compatible, hence will not give the best results.

A single spray on their entire surface may be enough to ensure no water penetrates them. But materials like cotton or wool may not be that straightforward to deal with.

You may need to apply waterproofing spray on wool repeatedly to make it effective. Also, using the spray may change your cloth’s texture and look and make washing more difficult.

Does Waterproofing Spray Work?

Waterproofing spray may not keep your fabrics permanently waterproof or water-resistant. Still, for as long as the spray remains on the materials, it will keep water away.

Some sprays can make your fabrics 100 percent waterproof, while others will only reduce the rate at which water penetrates your material.

If a waterproofing spray makes your material 80 percent or even 60 percent waterproof, it might be good enough, especially if you will not be exposed to heavy rain.

The most important thing is to know the effectiveness of your waterproofing spray and how much protection you have against water. That will guide you to know the extent of water you should expose your fabrics to.  

Waterproofing sprays work by sealing the pores on the fabrics so that water molecules cannot get in and wet your clothes. They can make water form droplets rather than wetting an object.

Applying it to your fabrics will create a barrier between the materials and water molecules. But as time goes on, the barrier can wash off.

Therefore, the resistance of the fabric to water will be reduced. The rate at which the waterproofing material washes off a fabric depends on the type of spray you applied, the quantity used, and the kind of material your cloth is made of.

For some fabrics, you only need to apply the spray on the entire surface once. For other fabrics, you may need to apply the spray, wait for it to dry, and apply again.

Note that washing your fabric will make most of the waterproofing spray wash away. While some may still retain a significant ability to resist water, you will need to reapply the spray after washing your garment in most cases.

Best Way To Use Waterproofing Spray

There are different types of waterproofing sprays in the market, but they all work similarly. The following steps apply to almost all waterproofing sprays.

The first step is to wash your fabrics and dry them. For the best result, you may wash the clothes with a water-repellent solution.

  1. Apply the waterproofing spray on your cloth when it is drying but not completely dry.
  2. The spray should be applied outdoors or in a well-ventilated environment
  3. To apply the spray, first spread the garment on a clean surface and ensure there is no other material you wouldn’t want the spray-on placed close to the garment
  4. Many waterproofing sprays will require that you shake before you use, but first, read the instruction to confirm this
  5. Apply the spray on the garment from a distance of about 15cm.
  6. Apply evenly on the entire surface of the garment. It is always good to use sweeping strokes, but you can also read the manufacturer’s instruction on how to apply the spray
  7. Apply until the fabric is wet but not soaked
  8. If there is a need to flip the clothes over to spray the other side, gently do so.
  9. If you have applied the spray on any part of your clothing material in excess, use a clean cloth to remove the excess liquid
  10. Also, remove the droplets from other materials near your garment that you might have mistakenly sprayed.
  11. Then hang your garment outside so that the air can dry it. If there is a unique drying instruction from the waterproofing spray manufacturer, you should follow it

In some clothing materials, a single spraying process, as described above, will be enough to make your garment completely waterproof until the spray wash off. But in other materials, you must dry the clothes and then repeat the spraying process before you can be satisfied with the result.

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