How to Keep Rubber Boots From Drying Out

Caring for your rubber boots can extend their life.

Photo: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

While they may not get a starting lineup in your fashion rotation, you rely on your rubber boots to protect you from rain and snow when weather gets bad. If you haven’t taken care of your rubber boots in the off-season, however, you might slip them on and find that they are cracking or even crumbling in some places. To keep this from happening, show your boots some TLC so you can wear them for a long time to come.

Clean 'Em

When you’ve been splashing in the rain or trekking in the snow, take time to rinse off your rubber boots to keep them from drying out. Every time you take them off, you should at least rinse them free of mud and salt from snowy roads that can dry out your boots. If rinsing won’t rid them of the dirt, wash them with a mild soap and water.

Dry 'Em

How you dry your rubber boots is just as important as how you clean them. This is because rubber boots must be dried properly to prevent the moisture from damaging the rubber -- not to mention it keeps the inner lining of your boots from getting smelly. Hanging your boots upside down on a boot rack in a cool, dry area of your house is best to keep them from cracking. If you try to blow-dry your boots, it will get them dry faster, but it also increases the risk you’ll crack your boots.

Stay Out of the Sun

One thing that can make your boots dry out the fastest is sunlight. The sun breaks down the rubber and contributes to cracking. To keep this from happening, store your boots in a closet or anywhere out of direct sunlight. After you’ve rinsed them off and dried them, stash them out of the sun until it’s time to slip them on again.


To keep your boots from drying and cracking, apply a rubber conditioner after every few times you wear them. Another option is to apply an automotive tire and vinyl protectant to your boots. This will seal them from the elements and can give them a shiny, patent-like appearance if you want to change up the look.

Related Videos




Scientific American: The Origin of Rubber Boots
Gempler's: How to Care for Your Boots
"Clean It Fast, Clean It Right: The Ultimate Guide to Making Absolutely Everything You Own Sparkle & Shine"; Jeff Bredenberg

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