It is springtime where I live and it seems as if it is raining everyday, so I have put together 7 ways to care for your Wellies. Regardless of what time of year it is, rubber boots always come in handy and it is important to keep them in tip-top shape. And if you’ve paid generously for good quality rubber boots, you will most likely want them to last for years. I spend a lot of time outside and have a collection of Wellies that looked awfully beat up, so I went in search of a remedy. After scouring sources on the Internet, I spent hours testing various methods and these are the techniques that I found to work the best. These steps should also help to prevent, or get rid of, the naturally occurring "bloom" that seems to plague good rubber boots and develops when the rubber is exposed to the elements, especially heat. The "bloom" is a protective wax in the rubber that appears in the form of a white film, or white dust, dulling the color of the boot. Although "blooming" is more common on un-glossed boots, glossed boots are still susceptible. So give these steps a try!
1. Start with a Clean Surface
The first step in this comprehensive guide to clean and care for your Wellies, is to start by removing any dirt left on your boots with a soft bristle brush and thoroughly washing off your Wellies with soap and water. Then mix together 2 cups of distilled white vinegar with 2 cups of water to rinse off any remaining soap residue. Now you’ll have a clean surface to work with! In general, it is a good idea to rinse your boots often, as outside elements can be harsh on the material. Residue salt and leftover mud can dry out and crack the rubber boot.
2. Treat with Goo Gone & Buff with a Magic Eraser
Other than just being a fashion statement, rubber boots are meant to get muddy and roughed up. So with all that wear and tear you’re bound to scuff ‘em a bit. Wet a soft cloth with the Goo Gone solution and rub out any scuff marks as best as you can. Then take a damp Magic Eraser and buff the entire surface area of your boots.
3. Treat with Olive Oil
Olive oil is a natural substance and so is rubber. If you’ve invested in good pair of rubber boots, I wouldn’t recommend treating them with Armor All as it will eventually deteriorate the rubber. Olive oil is the best substance to remoisturize your boots. Take a cloth and work the olive oil into the rubber boot in circular motions. Once you have covered all of the surface area, evenly coat your boots in a thick layer of olive oil and set them aside in a cool dark place to soak up the oil. The trick to this method is to repeat it until you see desired results. I repeated putting olive oil onto my boots four times in two days! I didn’t have any excess oil on my boots because it was all absorbed, but if you do, wipe the excess oil off with a soft cloth.
4. Treat with UV Tech Spray and/or Silicone Spray
UV Tech Spray is recommended for preserving rubber and keeping your boots shiny. It is a protectant that reduces damage from UV rays, and therefore, prevents any color from fading. In addition, it will moisturize the rubber, improving elasticity. UV Tech Spray is used for outdoor and water-sport equipment, so it can be found in outdoor supply stores and online. Hunter produces a similar spray, but I find that it doesn’t work as well and it is the same price for a fraction of the product. After using the UV Tech Spray you can also spritz on a light layer of silicone spray. It won’t rejuvenate the rubber like the UV Tech Spray, but it will boost shine and act as an added sealant. Silicone will help to wick away water and repel dirt from your boots.
5. Buff with a Silicone-Injected Sponge
To get your boots super-duper shiny, buff with a silicone-injected sponge. Hunter offers a sponge of this variety, however Kiwi makes exactly the same product for about half the price and is available in most supermarkets.
6. Wipe down with a Shine-Enhancing Wipe
This is an additional step that you don’t have to do, but I find that shine-enhancing wipes give an all over smooth finish and make my boots extra glossy. I have used Kiwi Shine Enhancing wipes with great success. Since they are intended for use on leather, they are gentle enough to use on rubber. The wipes have a silicone base, which will give your boots an amazing shine!
If your boots are in good shape you may not need to repeat these steps. My boots looked pretty terrible so I had to do each of the steps two to four times in order to reach my desired result. Depending on how often you use your boots, you may need to repeat these steps every few weeks or every few months.
I hope that these steps help and save you some time researching on the Internet! Instead of giving up after trying one or two things, I decided to attack my boots with multiple methods until I found a combination that really worked. Are there any other tricks that you have tried? Let us know what techniques have turned out the best for you!