NIKWAX - Waterproofing & Cleaning Outdoor Gear

As an outdoor enthusiast you have probably invested in a range of high performance, wind waterproof & breathable outdoor clothing, footwear and equipment. In order to ensure all your kit performs at its best and to prolong its life, it’s important to look after it with an easy to use high quality product like NIKWAX.

How does NIKWAX work?

Nikwax treatments contain elastic water-repellent polymers that bond to fabric fibres, leaving the spaces between open and breathable. They stretch and move with the fabric so they work better and last longer. Nikwax will not change the look or feel of the fabric. The treatments are water based, environmentally safe and non-flammable. They do not contain Fluorocarbons and are ideal for all types of clothing, including fleeces and high activity outdoor clothing – in fact any kind of jacket or garment you wear to protect yourself from the rain. Water beads up and when rain hits the material it disperses but won’t enter the fabric. The water resists contact with the water repellent fibres on your clothing and equipment and moves back to the surface.

Green for Clean

The first stage of the process is to clean the product to remove contaminants, dirt & everyday grime that masks the water-repellent coatings on the waterproof item. All water repellent finishes work their best if the garments are kept clean.

Nikwax spray-on or wash-in cleaners for clothing & equipment will safely remove any detergent residues ingrained in the fabric that would encourage water ingress i.e where water isn’t repelled from the fabric but absorbed into the fibres.

Nikwax sponge-on cleaner for footwear effectively releases stains and grime from all types of footwear and will revitalise the appearance of soiled uppers without stripping out the existing water repellency. Regular cleaning prevents damage.

Always use the “Nikwax Green for clean” before the appropriate “Nikwax purple for proofer” products

Purple for Proofing

Whether its clothing footwear or equipment the second stage of the process must always be to waterproof.

Using the right Nikwax waterproofing product will ensure a durable long-lasting effect against rain, keeping your feet or your equipment dry in wet weather.

Using Nikwax will maintain breathable performance of your gear, preventing moisture build-up on the inside and allowing it to be pushed from the inside out, helping to keep your body dry and at the right temperature. At the same time the Nikwax repels rain from the outer surface, keeping you totally dry from both directions.

Nikwax sponge-on and spray-on water proofers for footwear can be used on fashion, leisure or sport boots and shoes and will add water-repellency to all types of leather and textiles.

Once you waterproof an item with Nikwax proofer you should always maintain its waterproofing performance by regularly cleaning with an appropriate Nikwax cleaning solution – for clothing or footwear

The Easy Test?

If water beads on the surface into droplets it is waterproof. If it forms a dark wet patch it requires Nikwax waterproofing treatment


Footwear is made of leather because it is comfortable, supportive, naturally water-repellent and breathable. The less water absorbed by leather, the longer it will last and the more comfortable your feet will be. Once wet, leather stretches and weakens and then shrinks and becomes brittle as it dries. Here are a few simple suggestions to keep footwear performing at their best for years to come.


The first step to footwear maintenance is regular cleaning. Small particles of dirt can work their way into the fibres of the leather causing abrasion and break down. After use, rinse off mud and dirt with tap water. To remove oil-based dirt, excess wax and stubborn grime that will not be cleaned by plain water use Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel and a nylon brush. Be sure to clean the linings of your boots with a warm damp cloth after each use as well. Salt from perspiration can pass into the lining rapidly destroying the leather making it dry and cracked.

Re-proof or add water repellency

This is important not just to keep your feet dry, but will keep footwear cleaner and maintain the leather’s suppleness for improved durability. After cleaning footwear with water, apply the appropriate Nikwax waterproofing treatment to the entire shoe or boot, paying special attention to the stitching and around hardware (anywhere the leather has been punctured) to ensure complete protection from the elements. Reapply as necessary or after use in severe conditions. For best results let footwear dry for 24 hours before use.


Start by removing the laces and inner soles. Dry footwear slowly at room temperature. Do not expose shoes or boots to a direct heat source. Excessive heat can cause irreversible damage to the leather and is harmful to the adhesives used in footwear construction. To help dry footwear that has been filled with water or is thoroughly soaked we recommend stuffing it with newspaper. Replace wet newspaper and repeat until footwear is dry.

Shop All Nikwax

If you would like further information about how to care for your outdoor kit then please do not hesitate to pick up the phone and talk to our team of experts on Tel: +44 (0)1620 671480 or email:

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