DIY Waterproofing

Loyal Daily Grommet reader and product-finder extraordinaire Julia Elmer has brought yet another must-have product to our attention. Remember when she told us about Molly Mutt dog bed covers? Turns out that Julia makes her favorite dog bed covers even more durable by treating them with Nikwax for easy, do-it-yourself waterproofing that’s completely nontoxic.

A little digging revealed that serious campers and hikers have been using Nikwax for years to clean and waterproof essential clothing and gear. And while inventor
Nick Brown (shown with his 1st patent on the left) has come a long way from the days of hand-mixing his first batch in his North London flat, the entire Nikwax line has only gotten greener and better: Every Nikwax product is water-based, nontoxic, carbon-balanced, and easy to apply in the comfort of your own home.

The wash-in waterproofer is called TX.Direct, and it’s the first of its kind to be completely water-based. You can use it on waterproof/breathable laminates, coatings, and microfibers. For cleaning and protecting an existing waterproof finish, there’s Tech Wash. It will double the life of your Nikwax treatment, and can be used on already-waterproofed items (like Gore-Tex) as well. CottonProof is ideal for making pet bed covers (thanks, Julia!) and workwear water-repellent. Use the Footwear Cleaning and Leather Proofing duo for leather shoes; it won’t soften or weaken them, and your feet will stay dry. Whichever products you choose, we see greater dryness and comfort in your future.
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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Erica

    My name is Erica Bliss! I’m here to answer any and all of your questions regarding Nikwax cleaning and waterproofing products. We here at Nikwax are committed to technical innovation, product quality, customer service and care for the environment. We like to think that waterproofing is pretty cool stuff, so we’re excited to be able to share it with all of you!

  • Susan
    7/21/2010 12:19 PM

    Hi, Erica. Does your product come in a spray? I'm interested in waterproofing the outdoor canopy on my patio.

  • Stacy Arena
    Stacy Arena
    7/21/2010 12:50 PM

    Can this product be used on area rugs?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    7/21/2010 1:16 PM

    When Erica pops in she can give you more insight, but for any items that cannot go in the washing machine, like an outdoor canopy or an area rug, you can paint the product on with a paintbrush.

  • Erica
    Erica – Special Guest
    7/21/2010 1:16 PM

    Hi Stacy!

    You could certainly use the Cotton Proof product to add water repellency to an area rug made of cotton-type fabric (if it's synthetics material, the TX.Direct would work). If it's too large to put in a washing machine or immerse in a tub, you can apply the Cotton Proof by sponge or brush as described in the video. We recommend a 2:1 ratio Cotton Proof to water applied to clean, wet fabric. Sponge the solution on evenly, allow to sit for a few minutes, and thoroughly wipe off excess. The rug can air dry. With highly absorbant fabric such as Cotton, you can achieve even better results with a second "coating".

  • Erica
    Erica – Special Guest
    7/21/2010 1:20 PM

    Hi Susan!

    We do have a few spray products, and a few of our wash in products, such as the TX.Direct, come in a spray version. However, the Cotton Proof works quite well for adding water repellency to cotton canvas fabrics. Applying by sponge or brush is probably the easiest way to apply the product on something large like a canopy.

  • zippywinds
    7/21/2010 2:09 PM

    Love my old WGBH umbrella and notice the rain is soaking through is spots, can i use Nikwax on that umbrella ??

  • Erica
    Erica – Special Guest
    7/21/2010 3:04 PM

    The TX.Direct would be fine to use on your umbrella! Again, you may find the sponge-on application method to be the easiest, using the TX.Direct Wash In diluted.

  • Chefone
    7/21/2010 8:47 PM

    Can this be used on camping gear? ie. tents, rain flaps/tarps, tent floors? Is there any material used for tents that cannot be treated? thanks,

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    7/21/2010 11:21 PM

    @Chefone - you would use the for your tent, tarps and floors. I will let Erica add if there is anything that can't be treated. It sounds like the great outdoors are calling you!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    7/22/2010 5:15 PM

    @Chefone - Erica adds that the TX.Direct can be used on all synthetic fabrics. There's a fairly endless number of things it could potentially be used on, and since the product is non-toxic, water-based, etc. no harm can be done. For Tents that don't require the breathability that apparel does, an alternative Nikwax product can be used as well.

  • Joan
    9/19/2010 5:14 PM

    I have dialup and even the flash doesn't respond. I cannot view any videos on line. Do you have CD or DVD that can be mailed to me after your products and instructions of usage.,ect

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    9/19/2010 10:12 PM

    @koreena - Much of the information about each product is also repeated in the story and in the detail tab found below the story. If you have any specific questions that we can help you with, please let us know! Unfortunately we don't have our videos available to send out but your local library may have a connection that would allow you to view our videos.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • Jessica Tucker
    Jessica Tucker
    12/16/2011 9:54 PM

    I use cloth diapers and covers for my baby. I started noticing that the covers appeared to have lost their waterproofing. I used the spray to see if I could salvage them. It was successful! I am very pleased with how it worked.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    12/16/2011 11:42 PM

    @Jessica Tucker: That is great to know! Thanks for sharing.

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.

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