Contents: Fabric, leather | Boots
See also Auto protectants
and UV Protectants

Keywords: Cleaning, Protecting, UV, UVA, UVB, rubber, wood, vinyl, plastic, ...

2020 update for car seat protection:

Product Amazon top 5 GEARHUNTNotes
Score Effect-
303 Fabric Guard1 4.6 9.4 99.3 99% 100% Outdoor, Marine, not for carpet
303 Aerospace Protectant 4.7
Scotchgard 4.6 9.9 93.8 93% 93%
Nikwax TX 4.2 9.8 91.8 93% 91% Outdoor
Star Brite 4.3 98.3 98% 98% Outdoor, Marine
NeverWet 4.3 9.2 94.8 95% 94%
1. 303 Fabric Gard is water repellant. It contains petroleum distillates so should not be used indoors because it can emit VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds).

303 vs Neverwet The 5 Best Waterproof Sprays
Best Waterproofing Spray: Water Has No Chance With These Options

Auto and Carpet protectors:
Product Amazon
303 Stain Guard (indoor)2 4.3 (51)
Scotchgard Auto Fabric & Carpet 4.6 (590)
Chemical Guys SPI_210_15 4.1 (162)
2. 303 Stain Gard is a stain preventer not for water-proofing.

3M Auto Interior Protector vs 303 Fabric Guard - Bob Is The Oil Guy - Forums
"If its for new(or relatively new) vehicle interiors, neither product is needed even for extra protection. I don't believe that the steam clean of the interior fabric, removed the factory fabric stain protection! Most/all fabrics(for the last 30+ years) have a protection in their material. Even living room furnature, already has fabric protection from day one.

Also,(having detailed for over 30+ years) I have been able to clean most stains on vehicle fabric with plain water(cold first/then hot) and mild soap.

And the 3M ScotchGuard Product & Logo, may have different chemistries for consumer and industrial use, IDK(I don't know) ! Where as the 303 Fabric Protector may be a better product...IDK that either! Sure, you may add extra protection to the fabric for REALLY NASTY SPILLS"

10 years ago people complained about Scotchgard which made a stain hard to remove unless you got it right away.

If its for new(or relatively new) vehicle interiors, neither product is needed even for extra protection. I don't believe that the steam clean of the interior fabric, removed the factory fabric stain protection!

Most/all fabrics(for the last 30+ years) have a protection in their material. Even living room furnature, already has fabric protection from day one.

10 of the Best Car Upholstery Cleaners Tested

2015 version Fabric protectors and Leather protectors:
Treatment for outdoor apparel, backpacks, tents, nylon, boots (nylon or leather)..., Most rainwear requires periodic revival to maintain a durable water repellent (DWR) finish.
Wash a waterproof/breathable (WP/BR) garment at least once a year.
Most of the products below are water based, do NOT contain silicone, work with breathable linings (e.g. Gore-Tex®, SympaTex, eVENT) and provide UV protection.

Gore recommends applying a topical water repellency restorative (DWR treatment) for outdoor fabrics, available at your local outdoor retailer. We do not recommend wash-in treatments as they can affect the garment's breathability.

See Leather Care in products

Comment on the Forum at GardenWeb says:
I have been told that chemically treating microfiber actually DECREASES its natural stain restistance.

Silicone water repellents are not recommended now as they are oil based and retain a tacky-ness that attracts dirt, they bond to oil based stains and make fabrics much more difficult to clean.
Fluoropolymer based treatment such as Grangers Superpruf, ReviveX, Scotchgard, 303 fabric guard, are commonly recommended.
Note: Fluoropolymers have been implicated in creating PFOAs (Perfluorooctanoic Acid) which have been deemed as potentially hazardous to human health by the EPA.

The above do not contain chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs)

Durable water repellents are often used in conjunction with waterproof waterproof breathable fabrics such as Gore-Tex to prevent the outer layer of a laminated waterproof breathable from becoming saturated with water. Common Brands are:
Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finishes are hydrophobic coatings applied to fabrics to make them water-resistant by causing water to bead up and roll off fabrics, rather than soaking into them.

2010 notes at How to Waterproof a Nylon Tent Fly? [Archive] - Expedition Portal say,
The reviews on the web spike all over the place for both Nikwax . For every 3 that love one, another 3 hate it.

At GEAR ยป Best way to revive DWR? -- Forums they say, "ReviveX is great because it's a heat-set forumla & the only DWR that restores it to factory-level condition. "

Product Base water-
OK w/ Gore-Tex Lea-
UV pro-
ReviveX fluoropolymer ? ? Y ? ? spray
Granger's G-Tec Fabric and Leather Protector fluoropolymer ? ? Y Y ? spray
Tectron Suede and Nubuck Sponge ? Y ? Y Y ? sponge
Nikwax Fabric & Leather proof wax-elastomer Y N Y Y Y sponge
Nikwax TX direct wax-elastomer Y
Nikwax Nubuck & Suede ? Y N Y Y Y sponge
Nikwax Waterproofing wax for Leather ? Y N Y Y Y tube
Penguin Leather Water & Stain Repellent resin ? ? ? Y ? spray
303 High Tech Fabric Guard fluoropolymer ? ? ? ? ? spray
Scotchgard™ Outdoor Water Shield ? ? ? spray
Scotchgard™ Durable Water Repellent Y ? ? ? ? spray
Kiwi Camp Dry silicone N ? Y Y ? spray
Rust-oleum NeverWet Silicone-based N ? ? spray
As of 2019 Tectron was listed as a silicon protectant not a fluoropolymer as indicated 10 years ago.

See: How to Care for Technical Fabrics : Expert Advice from REI

Rustoleum Neverwet® (silicon based) Outdoor Fabric Water Repelling Treatment , Boot & Shoe Water Repelling Treatment and Liquid Repelling Treatment 2 part kit
Nikwax Nubuck and Suede Waterproofing
NeverWet Review: The Magical, Water-Repelling Spray Is Kind of Amazing

See more on Leather at boots below.

‡ In May 2000, 3M made a voluntary decision to phase out its production of products having perfluorooctanyl chemistry which included Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS), and PFOS-related products, which included many Scotchgard™ Protector products and applications.

303 High Tech Fabric Guard
Kiwi Camp Dry Fabric Protector - This non-silicone polymer repels water, dirt and oil stains without darkening or discoloring. Restores durable water repellancy on apparel to prevent "wetting out." Ideal for all apparel and light-colored boots. Dries quickly, leaving no odor.

  Penguin Leather Water & Stain Repellent

(They recommend a two treatment system with cleaner then waterproofing.)
See their brochure How To Clean & Waterproof Your Clothing, Footwear & Equipment

Grangers: -GTEC Fabric & Leather Protector Water based, ok on Gore-Tex.
Other Granger products (Leather, outerware, ...) at Ames Adventure Outfitters


There are both spray-on and wash-in products for jackets.
See more products at and Fabric and Gear Care at REI
Boot Treatments and Care and Fabric Treatments at at
Fabric Care Products at

Sling Protection Basics: How to Properly Maintain & Store Lifting Slings
Nylon, polyester, and other synthetic fiber materials are especially susceptible to chemical damage. However, nylon and polyester each have their own unique resistance to certain chemicals, so special consideration should be given to the type of synthetic sling you use in a chemically-active environment.
Nylon Polyester
Acids No *
Alcohols Yes Yes
Aldehydes Yes No
Strong Alkalis Yes **
Bleach Agents No Yes
Dry Cleaning Solvents Yes Yes
Ethers Yes No
Halogenated Hydrocarbons Yes Yes
Hydrocarbons Yes Yes
Ketonnes Yes Yes
Oils (Crude) Yes Yes
Oils (Lubricating) Yes Yes
Soaps & Detergents Yes Yes
Water & Sea Water Yes Yes
Weak Alkalis Yes Yes
* Disintegrated by concentrated sulfuric acid
** Degraded by strong alkalis at elevated temperatures
Avoid using oil-based treatments like Mink Oil on any leather hiking boots. Oil-based products are intended to soften leathers and make them more supple, which can negatively affect the support of hiking boots.
Some silicon treatments will also migrate into the leather.
Beeswax (e.g. Snoseal) is commonly recommended because it stays on the surface layer.

Common wisdom was to use wax or liquid-silicone-based compounds on Vegetable or crome-tanned uppers, and petroleum distillates on oil-tanned leathers.
However anything oily will ruin the appearance of boots with a Nubuk or suede finish.

Silicones should be kept away from rubber soles and rands of boots/shoes.

Then consider whether it has a wicking lining - if so the recommendation is not to use wash in but to use spray on as the wash in interferes with the wicking mesh and stops it working just like fabric conditioner does.

Montrail lists the following instructions in their product users guide for their Nubuck, Suede and Full-Grain Rougout Leather boots:
Use Nikwax Nubuck & Suede or AquaSeal Suede protectnt.
If appearance is not critical, a paste or wax is very effective, but will darken and smooth over the leather surface. Use Waterproofing Wax for Leather Liquid
or Sponge-on waterproofing conditioner for leather

Preserving leather artifacts requires different methods of protecting. For example, saddle soaping, oiling on aged leather actually will shorten the life span of an antique object made of leather.
See: Leather Care And Restoration Guide

Caring for your Hiking Boots: Expert Advice from REI
Forum Index -> Gear Talk -> Boot Care at
Boots and Tanning in Recreation
Proper Care of Hard-Working Leather at Atsko

Leather treatment Products:
Aquaseal -- Leather Waterproofing & Conditioner
Sno Seal Beeswax from Atsko

Car tops:
A comment at amazon: "For low quality fabrics, it might work. But for the convertible top on BMW, it doesn't do much. The effect worn out very quickly. I should have stick with Autosol Convertible Top Sealant and Protectant. It is a little more expansive. But it last almost a year for each application."
303 Fabric Gard got 5 stars in 9 out of 11 reviews.

Raggtopp and Renovo were also recommended for convertible tops.

95% of ALL convertible tops including all Ford products use a top made by a German company called Haartz. Haartz and the company Wolfsteins developed the product called RaggTopp. RaggTopp is the only product endorsed by Haartz and actually applied to the material when manufactured, the manufacturer recommends that is be maintained with RaggTopp. RaggTopp besides cleaning will condition the material, block UV rays from fading the material and just as importantly is conditions the stitching on the top. Source Greater Toronto Area Mustang CLub (

DWR - Durable Water Repellent - Generic term for scotchgard like products.

PTFE - Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is a synthetic fluoropolymer of tetrafluoroethylene that has numerous applications.
Teflon is the best known PTFE.


Return to Home & Garden

last updated 11 June 2015