Contents: Fabric, leather | Boots
See also Auto protectants

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

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, and Tectron, 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.

At Backpacker - Camp Boot - Google Books they recommend using the Nikwax Aqueous Wax and Tectron as a tag-team treatment system. Two coats of Tectron worked best.

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 and Tectron. 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-
Tectron Water Repellent* fluoropolymer‡ Y Y Y Y Y spray
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 June 2015 the only place I could find Tectron available was at Dodds Shoe Co.. The normal places like REI and Amazon say it's no longer available.
2018 reviews say the cans leaked.

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
Not recommended at:
Scotchgard vs NeverWet Comparison On Fabric - YouTube -
or NeverWet Review: The Magical, Water-Repelling Spray Is Kind of Amazing

Tectron did not work for one person (Amazon Review)

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
  Tectron Water Repellent for gear - Formulated to give maximum water, soil and grease repellency to natural and synthetic fabrics and leather. Contains sunscreen to reduce fading and UV degradation
Tectron for boots and shoes.

(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

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.

New treatments such as Nikwax and Tectron* claim to work for most leathers and combination leather/fabric construction.
Tectron also has a Suede and Nubuck Sponge.

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.


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last updated 11 June 2015