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From Diane von Furstenberg to Louis Vuitton, designers are cranking out boots like they're absolutely not going out of style. Whether you have spent a small fortune or found a deal, you will want to protect your new kicks from the elements. Many commercial waterproofing products use toxic silicone solvents, but you can waterproof your boots naturally instead.
Benefits of Natural Waterproofing
Some boot materials, such as leather, are naturally water-resistant but not always waterproof. Many fabric boots come with a water-resistant coating already applied, but this tends to wear off quickly. Regular waterproofing makes your boots more resistant to stains while keeping your toes nice and dry. Although silicone repels water, silicone-based solvents could contain carcinogens, are combustible and produce hazardous waste. Yuck. Using natural waterproofing products is healthier for you and the environment.
Clean and Prep
The last thing you want to do is seal in all the gunk on your boots, so you'll need to give 'em a good washing first. Dampen a cloth and gently wipe away any dust or debris on the surface of your boots. Don't use any harsh detergents that can damage many boot materials. Let your boots dry before you start waterproofing.
Nature is full of waterproofing agents. For waterproofing your boots, lanolin oil sold as a cream called anhydrous lanolin in pharmacies is a good choice. The oil occurs naturally in sheep's wool and causes no harm to the sheep when removed. Remove any laces or other accessories from your boots, and rub the cream into the surface of the boot with a clean cloth. A little goes a long way, especially if you're re-waterproofing. Let your boots take a day off to dry before you don them again.
Even the best waterproofing treatment wears out over time, so you might need to give your boots some tender loving care occasionally. If you notice your socks feel damper than usual after a walk in the rain, it's probably time for a new waterproofing treatment. You can check to see how the treatment is holding up by placing a few drops of water on the boot. If it pools up, you're good to go for a while longer.