Global leader in safe, high performance waterproofing, cleaning and conditioning for outdoor gear

February 27, 2018
by nikwax

Nikwax Testimonials: “Never-Ending Confidence in My Down Jacket”

Guest Contributor: Scott Polk


I’ve been using Nikwax for several years now, and I bask in the comfort that the seasonal Nikwax rhythm brings me.

At the beginning of the season, while I’m washing my down jacket, last season’s memories flood my mind, and I’m transported back to a moment in which I was ice climbing and needed to be warm at the belay. I’m transported back to another moment where I got to the top of the skin track, the winds picked up, and I needed to bundle up during the transition for the descent.


I’m comforted by the fact that all of the sweat, dirt, and determination left in my down jacket will be cleaned and washed away with Down Wash Direct, but reminded that my memories will NEVER be washed away. Instead, they are stored deep in my mind for future day dreams.

While using Nikwax, I can reset, as I remember what I learned on the last adventure and as I prepare for new memories and new adventures. I pull out a new bottle of Down Proof and send that puffy through the treatment.

When it’s finished, I have a revitalized piece of armor that I that feel confident taking into a battle with the elements on my next climb, or using on that fresh powder day.


Testimonial submitted by Scott Polk, an ice-climbing, downhill-skiing, sales representative, who resides in Utah.

February 23, 2018
by nikwax

Nikwax Testimonials: “Caring for Your Ski Skins”

Guest Contributors: Emma Walker (Top entry) and  Jeremy Benson (Bottom entry)


I can’t think of anything that can ruin an otherwise-lovely ski tour like ski skins that aren’t doing their job.

Ironically, I also can’t think of a piece of gear that’s more mistreated and misunderstood. It’s funny that this piece of gear that we rely on so heavily to deliver us to perfect powder turns often ends up being so neglected.

I’m guilty of it, too. How many times have I returned home from a big touring day and left my skins on my skis in the back of my truck? Or, worse yet, balled up in my pack? (Spoiler alert: The answer is “More than I care to admit.”)

Despite all their use and abuse, there is one good thing I do for my skins: I treat them with Nikwax Ski Skin Proof. I generally kick off the season with an initial application then re-apply whenever I notice my skins are icing up again.


Here’s what I like about Ski Skin Proof:

  • I can apply it inside. I live in an apartment, so I don’t have access to much outdoor work space. Unlike aerosol-based waterproofing products, I’m not inhaling a bunch of fumes when I waterproof my skins.
  • It’s truly impossible to mess up. Put skins on skis. Shake bottle. Press sponge on skin. Go with the fibers. It’s really that easy.
  • I don’t have to worry about what I’m leaving behind on the snow. These days, responsible skiers are thinking about our impact on the environment. Ski Skin Proof is water-based and biodegradable, so I know I’m not poisoning the snowpack with what I’ve got on my skins.

When my skins repel water and keep ice at bay, I can get to some of my favorite places: to the tops of snowy peaks in South-central Alaska, up remote Rocky Mountain trails, and to quiet backcountry huts with my friends.

Because of that, I’ll commit to working a little harder on taking care of my skins.

I’m starting by applying Ski Skin Proof tonight.



As an avid backcountry skier, it’s essential for me to have my gear performing at the highest level possible. Your gear works as hard as you do out there, so taking good care of it not only helps keep it in good condition and last longer, but it also improves your experience when it functions as intended.


Of course, simple routine maintenance tasks can sometimes get overlooked and slip through the cracks, only to be noticed when your gear starts performing poorly, typically when you most need it to work best…

Fortunately, Nikwax makes a variety of products to keep your backcountry ski gear in tip top shape, and using it couldn’t be easier.

Case in point: I got brand new skins for my fattest pair of touring skis mid-winter of last season. Last winter just happened to be the wettest winter in recorded history for the Tahoe area where I live, and those skins got used and abused in the skin track for months on end, as the snow just kept falling into late-Spring. As the season tapered off, my mind quickly turned to mountain biking, and my skins got folded and, without a second thought, thrown into my backcountry pack, where they sat all summer long. After a long Summer and Fall of shredding singletrack, snow finally blanketed the higher peaks in the area, and just like that we were back out there chasing powder turns. The first ten days of the season went by in a blur of low-tide, cold powder skiing, with my tired and neglected skins dutifully doing their job. Then one day it warmed up, the trees started dripping and I experienced the dreaded first skin-glop of the season. I suffered through it till the end of the day, but vowed to remedy the situation before heading out for the next tour. Fortunately, Nikwax Ski Skin Proof couldn’t be easier to apply, and treating my skins took all of five minutes.


With the skins on my skis, all I had to do was press the applicator sponge into the skin and rub it in, with the grain, until I’d hit the entire length and width of the skins. Since that application, I’ve had no skin glop issues, and when I get them in the future, I’m prepared to fight back!

Quick routine maintenance like this can seriously prolong the life of your gear, save you money, and improve your experience out in the mountains.


TOP testimonial submitted by Emma Walker, an avid outdoorswoman who holds a Master’s Degree in Outdoor & Environmental Education, actively studies avalanche behavior, and lives in Colorado.

BOTTOM testimonial submitted by Jeremy Benson, a sponsored backcountry ski athlete, mountain bike racer, and freelance writer, who lives in the Lake Tahoe area.

February 20, 2018
by nikwax

Nikwax Testimonials: “All Parents Can Relate…”

Guest Contributor: Jason McGowin


Every year, as winter approaches, I run through my ski gear & apparel to determine what needs fixing or replacing. This is a really fun process for me!

But I have kids…

…and that means that I have to look through all of their gear too, to see what still fits, has not been destroyed, or lost.

This is not nearly as fun.

Finding the gear that I need for my ski trip north of the Artic Circle is easy. Finding mittens that will keep my kids’ hands warm all season long and still fit by the end of the season is not.

As you can tell, we keep our kids’ ski gear really organized…

It’s always our hope to start this process before the first snow fall of the year, but usually it ends up happening the morning of the first snowfall of the year. Snow pants, jackets, mittens, and hats are pulled out, and we hold our breath hoping we find something that still fits, is not worn out, and not torn or ripped.

Then we try to figure out the “strategy” from there…

What to get? High-end, big-name ski jackets and pants?

Should we trust the cheaper snow gear from the mass retailers?

Inevitably, we have a source of hand-me-downs from parents with slightly older kids. Sometimes, we even score some gear made by well-known brands, which is awesome! We try to make sure that we have some nicer apparel for the kids, for those cold, long days of ski lessons, and then we buy some more “financially accessible” snow pants that will be designated to suffer the rigors of sledding and the school playground.

That is where Nikwax comes in.

All of our hand-me-downs are run through a cycle of Tech Wash and then TX.Direct Wash-In. Nikwax makes these ski garments seem like new, and it makes us feel better that we have found the best garments for our winter warriors. For any new gear we end up purchasing on-the-cheap, we start those items off with a treatment of Softshell Proof before their first use, and then we maintain their performance with Tech Wash, during the season.

Selfie time…1st day of the season, up on the mountain!


Testimonial submitted by Jason McGowin, a Marketing guru, really cool dad, sponsored skier, and resident of Colorado.

February 14, 2018
by nikwax

Nikwax Testimonials: “The Pacific Crest Trail Perma-stench”

Guest Contributor: Ryen Cosgro

After hiking the Pacific Crest Trail this year, I thought most of my gear was done for.

My rain jacket, down jacket, and down quilt were absolutely disgusting. The quilt was especially bad, and it was stained in a special blend of dirt and slimy sweat.

It smelled of the ghosts of “a-million-farts-past.”

My quilt endured many nights on the trail.

6 months-worth of PCT “perma-stench” was trapped in the gear.

When I visited my dad in North Carolina for Christmas, I brought my rain jacket, a blue Outdoor Research Helium 2. He wasn’t too stoked when I wore it in the car, since it stunk to high heavens and was brown on my shoulders. He had some Nikwax Tech Wash back at his house, so when we got home, I tossed the jacket in the wash.

It came out darn-near brand new.

When I made back home to California, I put the jacket in the wash with the TX.Direct Wash-In waterproofing treatment, and the thing was back to being 100%!


I was so stoked with the product for rain gear! I figured your products for down had to be pretty good too, so I washed my down quilt and down puffy in the tub.

The water color in the tub was not pretty…

Using Down Wash Direct for the cleaner and then doing several rounds in the drier with tennis balls and on the “No Heat” setting, my puffy and quilt no longer smelled, and they looked to be back to their original colors. I was really surprised that your products performed that well and made my gear near-new!

I wanted to give you guys a massive thank you for making such amazing products! The quilt may as well be brand new now!! Same for my puffy and rain jacket!

I’m pretty sure you guys saved me around $600.

Y’all rock!


Testimonial submitted by Ryen Cosgro, an avid outdoorsman with a zest for life, hailing from California.

February 14, 2018
by nikwax

Nikwax Testimonials: “The Tale of The Dirty Barn Boots”

Guest Contributor: Cari Cook

Do you have Spring Fever?

Me too.

In fact, most years, I already have a bad case of the “fever” by February, and so I start cleaning things.

I usually clean my house, the tack room, work studio, and riding gear. Recently, I went riding and looked down at my boots and sighed in disappointment and frustration…those things were a mess! I had been using house hold cleaners on them because they would get covered in barn dirt and begin to smell.

If you work out in a barn at all, I am sure you can relate to both of those realities.

Dirty and needing some serious care.

I recently had an opportunity to try Nikwax’s Footwear Cleaning Gel and one of their leather-focused products, Conditioner for Leather. I wanted to give fresh life to those tired barn boots of mine.


The Footwear Cleaning Gel is an easy to use cleaner for all waterproof outdoor and sports footwear (smooth leather, suede, nubuck, and fabric).  It gently cleans, lifts out dirt, and revives breathability. So I started with the first step…

Following the directions on the bottle, I took my yucky boots and rinsed them with clean water to remove caked-on mud and dirt, and to dampen them. After shaking the bottle thoroughly, I took the top off, pressed down on the sponge applicator to break the seal, and then applied the product generously over the boots. I could have used a stiffer brush to knock off some of the stubborn dirt, but the sponge on the bottle worked well enough to get the job done. Lastly, I rinsed them off with clean water, and there I was…with clean boots!

But I wanted to also keep them sealed and prevent any cracking or drying-out, so I moved on to the next step…


The Conditioner for Leather is used to break in and waterproof new full grain leather footwear and restore suppleness to dried-out leather. It was nice because it could be used directly after cleaning, while the boots were still wet.  For each of my boots, I applied the product liberally to the whole boot making sure I pushed it into any cracks and seams. After letting the boots sit for 2 minutes, I wiped them down with a soft cloth to finish the process.

Didn’t recognize my own boots!


I am really hard on my gear. Up until now, I have just been dealing with the dirt, because I did not know of anything out there that would do the job of restoring my items back to their former glory and make them look nicer.

I hope you can tell from my pictures how great these boots look now and how shiny the leather is. I will totally be recommending these products to my friends, because now I have something that I can use to revive my personal outdoor gear and my horse equipment.


Testimonial submitted by Cari Cook, an artist and recreational horse-rider from Colorado.

February 14, 2018
by nikwax

Nikwax Testimonials: “New Life to an Old Jacket”

Guest Contributor: Colin Murchison

Those who met me during my days of traveling full-time often became acquainted with my trusty green jacket.

I’m not someone who has owned a lot of clothes, and I definitely don’t travel heavy, so when I spent upwards of $200 on a jacket, it had to become a staple in my wardrobe. Whether it was raining, snowing, or just bloody windy, that North Face down jacket went with me, and often doubled as sleepwear during the colder nights, while I was backpacking or living in a van.

Captivated by the Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand

Unfortunately, after hundreds of miles of hiking volcanoes, skiing scree, exploring rain forests, and chasing epic shots, my trusty down jacket started to show some serious wear.

The rips and stains didn’t bother me, but it seemed like I couldn’t walk through a puddle while wearing it, without getting wet to my core. It’s never been designated as a rain jacket, but as a minimalist, I need my gear to serve multiple purposes. In the past, if there had been a chance of precipitation, it would have been a deal breaker for using the puffy.

That’s where Nikwax Down Proof came in.

I’ve spent enough nights in my life looking up and waiting for the sun to rise, just so it can dry me out and warm me up. I needed to see some serious results if I was going to trust this jacket again, in potentially wet conditions.

Fortunately, Nikwax Down Proof did not disappoint!

I did a side-by-side comparison on the jacket, under neutral conditions, and was shocked. What began as my jacket serving as a sponge, sucking up as much water as possible, turned into beads of water dripping onto the floor.

It absorbed water before….but beaded water after!


After seeing the results, I feel very comfortable throwing it on and chasing the next adventure, instead of needing to chase a deal at the next REI garage sale!


Testimonial submitted by Colin Murchison, a photographer, world-roamer, and outdoor-enthusiast, hailing from Colorado. 

February 13, 2018
by nikwax
1 Comment

Cleaning & Waterproofing Equestrian Gear, Horse Tack, Apparel, and Footwear


For many people, the art of caring for their garments and gear is foreign or unattainable. Oftentimes, they opt for simply purchasing new items when their used ones stop functioning as well as they once did.

But the Equestrian lives life a little differently.

They genuinely care about their gear and equipment and want to see it last as long as possible. They put in the extra time and energy to ensure that their investment in all that gear pays dividends. They ensure that their tack and equipment are maintained, looked after, and stored properly.

They own leather saddles that sometimes outlast their horses and bridles that might be older than their some of their kids.

They also care about their animals deeply: horses, dogs, cats, other pets, and property livestock. With their emphasis on doing things the right way, it only makes sense that Equestrians have been using Nikwax to care for their gear for a long time. Working with horses requires a combination of passion, work ethic, care, and knowledge. Having knowledge in terms of gear care is key to not over-spending on new gear and key to not purchasing new gear prematurely.

After over 40 years in the business of leather care and fabric waterproofing, we feel extremely confident sharing our gear care tips with you.

Listed below are a few, general pieces of knowledge and product recommendations, covering several categories of the equestrian life.




Turnout sheets and blankets are essential when it comes to keeping your horse dry and comfortable. They repel water and are also breathable, allowing your horse to handle temperature changes. As spring (mud season!) approaches, make sure you are caring properly for your turnout sheets and blankets to ensure the best performance and the most longevity.  Dirt and mud on the surface of a turnout sheet will cause it to absorb water, making your horse cold and clammy. Additionally, if your horse has a wet blanket sitting on them for an extended period, it can have negative health effects. Regular cleaning & waterproofing will keep your sheets and blankets in tip-top condition and your horses healthy.

Recommended Products (Click on product name for FULL product description)

RUG WASH: For horse blankets & sheets and dog jackets

RUG PROOF: For horse blankets & sheets and dog jackets

Note: Conventional household or industrial laundry detergents leave behind residues that harm water-repellency. Using Rug Wash to deep clean and Rug Proof to protect will ensure the best possible waterproof performance.




Leather is an amazingly durable and versatile material and can perform at a high level for a long time, if cared for properly. If you care for your leather saddles, bridles, and other leather gear, they will last. Period. Cleaning and conditioning leather regularly will maintain its suppleness and performance. Over-softening leather is a huge issue and is a major reason many leather pieces do not last as long as they should. Here at Nikwax, our original product, first introduced back in 1977, was a leather-focused product: Waterproofing Wax for Leather. It was the first non-softening leather waterproofing treatment for boots and footwear. That’s right…the first one… EVER. Needless to say, we are passionate about leather care.

Recommended Products (Click on product name for FULL product description)

LEATHER CLEANER:  For full-grain, smooth leather tack, garments, boots, or other gear.

LEATHER RESTORER: For full-grain, smooth leather tack, garments, boots, or other gear.

Note: Animal-based products like Mink Oil and Neatsfoot Oil can leave behind residues that can attract mold and mildew to the leather and cause degradation. Nikwax products are completely free from animal products. Also, in a growing number of reported cases, Neatsfoot Oil applications are only making users’ leather more brittle. This happens because Neatsfoot Oil is produced from cow shin and foot bones. This solution tends to oxidize and have a negative effect on leather over time.



Work jackets, riding coats, parkas, down vests, softshells, fleece pullovers, rain jackets, and nylon jackets & pants can all be cleaned properly and waterproofed. Even cotton, waxed cotton, and canvas garments from brands like Ariat, Levis, and Carhartt can undergo proper cleaning and have water-repellency added to them. Nothing is more miserable than being damp and cold while out riding the trails, walking the barn, or while working around the property. Your jackets made by The North Face, Patagonia, Columbia, Helly Hansen, Marmot, and other outdoor brands, are the perfect candidates for cleaning and waterproofing.

Recommended Products (Click on product name for FULL product description)

TECH WASH & TX.DIRECT: For hardshells and rainwear.

DOWN WASH DIRECT & DOWN PROOF: For down-filled garments.

COTTON PROOF: For cotton, polycotton, or canvas garments.

POLAR PROOF: For fleece garments.

SOFTSHELL PROOF: For softshell garments.

WAX COTTON PROOF:  For wax cotton garments.

Note: Waterproofing a dirty or improperly cleaned garment is similar to waxing a dirty car…it doesn’t make a whole of sense and won’t give the desired results. Be sure to clean your garments correctly, first; Tech Wash should be used to clean your hardshell, softshell, fleece, cotton, and wax cotton garments, and Down Wash Direct should be used to clean your down-filled garments.




Owning quality & reliable footwear is a necessity for anyone working with horses. All that time spent tromping around in the fields or out in the round pen requires us to care for our work boots, and when it comes time to show at events, we want our tall boots and dress boots to be comfortable, clean, and conditioned. Dirt attracts water, and so when boots remain dirty for extended periods of time without proper cleanings, they begin to lose functionality and absorb moisture; dirt breaks down fabric fibers, and that contributes to the deconstruction and premature deterioration of shoes & boots. Specifically speaking, your leather footwear will benefit greatly from being waterproofed and conditioned properly, after cleaning them.

Recommended Products (Click on product name for FULL product description)

FOOTWEAR CLEANING GEL: For nearly all footwear types and fabrics.

WATERPROOFING WAX FOR LEATHER: For full-grain, smooth leather shoes and boots.

NUBUCK & SUEDE PROOF: For textured leather shoes and boots.

FABRIC & LEATHER PROOF: For mixed-fabric shoes and boots.

CONDITONER FOR LEATHER: For brittle (old) or stiff (brand new) leather footwear.

Note: Often times, the most vulnerable parts of a pair of shoes or boots are the seams. Be sure to cover the whole surface area, but pay special attention to the seams when cleaning and waterproofing.


For more info, check out our Online Product Catalog  below that features all of our equestrian, farm, and ranch-oriented products in a single, easy-to-read, online booklet. To view full-screen, hover your mouse over the booklet and hit the rectangle bracket icon in the lower right-hand corner.


Stay tuned for additional blog posts, outlining more details of how to properly clean and waterproof each category of equestrian gear and apparel. If you have questions or comments about our products or their uses, we would love to hear from you! Contact us at

Thanks for reading!

January 4, 2018
by nikwax

How to Waterproof Your Leather Boots!

Leather boots are one of the most popular pieces of footwear, especially in the Fall, Winter, and Spring. I’m sure we have all owned a pair of leather boots, at some point in our lives. Maybe it was for fashion, way back in high school, when we were in our “punk-rock stage.” Or maybe it was for our job that we had a couple years ago as a construction worker. Or maybe it was for all those hiking trips we took last summer. We may even own a pair currently…

Or two, or three…or eleven…

Clarks, Wolverine, and Red Wing are some of the older, more widely-known manufacturers of leather boots, but countless other apparel and footwear brands have jumped on board over the last few decades, making leather boots a staple in their footwear lines.

Leather work boots can be found in countless industries: Law Enforcement, Ranching, Farming, Restaurant/Food Service, Carpentry, Construction, Marine & Fishing, Military, Plumbing/HVAC, Machine & Manufacturing, and more. Leather hiking boots are seeing a resurgence in popularity, and stylized leather boots have always been a staple in the fashion & design industry.

Like all fabrics and materials, leather can wear down, making it more susceptible to water-absorption in wet environments and drying out & cracking in dry environments. There are several methods of waterproofing leather boots, but some are significantly more expensive, extremely time-intensive, and more arduous than others, and in many cases, less effective.

But there is good news! With hardly any effort at all, we can not only extend the life and performance of our leather boots, but we can also refresh their appearance. All it takes is a little intentionality and the right, affordable, easy-to-use products. Here at Nikwax, we’ve tried to produce the most user-friendly, low-maintenance, stress-free, time-effective, environmentally-conscious, and affordable waterproofing products on the market. We think we have created the easiest way to waterproof your boots. So if you’re looking for the simplest method of waterproofing your boots, you’ve come to the right place!

I recently decided to try to give some fresh life to my favorite pair of full-grain leather, hiking boots. It had been a solid 9 months since I gave them a deep clean, and I was suddenly starting to doubt their level of performance, as my feet were beginning to become damp after the last few uses on wet, rainy hikes.


Dirty and losing waterproofing.

Here are the things that I used and the steps that I followed, to revitalize and refresh my tired, full-grain leather boots:


  • A sink
  • My boots
  • Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel
  • Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather
  • Optional: A cloth or soft sponge


For all types of dirty footwear.

Apply this wax to dry or damp leather. It’s immediately effective!


1. Prepare the boots.

Step A: Remove the laces and prepare the cleaning/work area.
Note:  Most laces can simply be cleaned by throwing them in with your dirty laundry. Also, I just did one boot at first, to be able to show the contrast and difference between the “before and after”. You can, of course, do both boots at the same time, or one right after the other.

Step B: Saturate the leather upper and tongue of the boots with water, making sure to do so evenly and gradually. Rub off noticeable dirt smudges to prepare the boots for the Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel.

 2Clean the boots.

Step A: Following the simple directions on the bottle, apply the Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel thoroughly, using the scrub brush on the top of the bottle to remove dirt and grime. Leave no area unscrubbed!
Note: Don’t forget to scrub your soles, while you’re at it! Shine those babies up!

Step B: Rinse off the boots, removing all the soapy gel that is visible.
Note: No need to dry the boots completely, afterward, because our next step works on both dry and wet leather.

3. Waterproof the boots.

Step A: Grab the tube of Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather and squeeze out a few dime-size spots of the wax onto the leather upper. Then, using either your hands or a cloth/sponge, rub and massage the wax into the leather, spreading it out evenly over the whole surface.
Note: You will likely need to squeeze out several more little spots onto the surface, as you go along, to cover it entirely. Be sure to really work the wax into the seams and edges of the material, and rub it in until you cannot see any spots of wax coagulating anywhere.

Step B: Once the wax is sufficiently rubbed in, leave the boots in a safe place where they can dry naturally, undisturbed.
Note: Unlike other products, Nikwax products do NOT require high-heat drying or baking. If you dry the boots artificially using a fan, heater, blow-dryer, etc., then you risk altering the shape and fit of the boots. In some cases of high-heat drying required by other products, the soles of the boots have been known to disbond, or start to detach from the rest of the boot.


Before and after!



No more water absorption. Look at those beads!



I did this whole process with my hands…applying the water, applying the wax later on, etc. All Nikwax materials are safe for skin so I didn’t hesitate. They also rinse off hands very easily with soap and water. Again, we want to help create the easiest way to waterproof your boots. No mess, no stress.



When it comes to waterproofing anything – boots, gear, tents, shoes, apparel – always remember to CLEAN then WATERPROOF. The same thing rings true with leather boots. Dirty boots will not be able to absorb the waterproofing agents that are trying to become absorbed into the leather. Dirt actually attracts water, and so the dirtier your boots, the more likely water will find it’s way into your boots’ leather upper.

Waterproofing your leather boots doesn’t have to be an extensive, time-intensive, or expensive process. In about 10-15 minutes, you can give your well-loved boots just what they want…a much happier, longer life.

Happy ‘proofing!

December 22, 2017
by nikwax

How To Clean and Waterproof Your Leather Gloves!

You love your leather gloves. They’re durable, flexible, have great grip, and look fly.

Did you know that to keep them in tip-top shape you’ll need to clean and waterproof them from time-to-time?

You didn’t? Well, let us help you.

Allow us to introduce your leather gloves’ new best friend…

Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather.

Apply this wax to dry or damp leather. It’s immediately effective!

Waterproofing Wax for Leather is a water-based waterproofing cream for smooth leather. It provides instant durable water repellency (DWR), maintains breathability, and can be applied to wet or dry leather.

Glove companies like POW, Black Diamond, FlyLow, Outdoor Research, Kinco, and 686 all produce really nice, high quality leather gloves. Leather gloves are really awesome, but not always waterproof. A waterproof, breathable membrane, like Gore-Tex, is often what keeps the water/moisture from getting to your hands. Using Waterproofing Wax for Leather will add water repellency to the leather and provide extra protection from the elements. It will also prolong the life of your gloves!




















Below is a Q&A for Leather Glove Care.

How do you use Waterproofing Wax for Leather? It’s super easy. You can use it sort of like hand lotion. Put your gloves on your hands, squeeze a Hershey’s Kiss amount of the cream into your palm, directly on the leather. Then, just like you would with hand lotion, rub the cream evenly all over the gloves. Make sure it is fully absorbed into the leather and pressed into the seams; seams are often the most vulnerable areas of your glove, to let water seep in. As you finish rubbing it in, if you think you missed an area, apply a little bit more.

No baking. No need to wait for it “to set.”

No mess. No stress.

***But don’t forget…cleaning your gloves before you waterproof them will give you the best results. Waterproofing dirty gloves is like waxing a dirty car. Clean it first!***

How do you clean your gloves? Maybe you made a snowball and the snow contained… some kind of animal excrement. Perhaps you dropped the gloves in a mud puddle. Or maybe you just wore those gloves all 34 times that you hit the slopes last year…and never washed them. Obviously, your gloves need cleaning. The best thing to do is put on the gloves, wet them with lukewarm water and scrub ‘em up with Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel.

Yes, we know it’s called Footwear Cleaning Gel, but it’s made to clean leather and all types of fabric and it works GREAT on gloves.

Rinse and gently squeeze out the water without twisting.

Not just for shoes!

How do you dry your gloves? Dry them in an upright position, maybe over an empty beer or soda can. DO NOT dry your gloves with a hair dryer, or next to a heater, or do something rash like put them in the oven.

Yes, that has actually happened.

If the gloves have liners, remove them for easier and faster drying time.

How often should you clean your gloves? It’s best not to wash them too frequently. If they are muddy, or you spilled your beverage on them, clean them. Otherwise, once or twice a year is probably alright.

Are you are paranoid about the leather EVER getting wet? You should probably invest in a few tubes of Waterproofing Wax for Leather. Carry one in your ski bag, keep a backup in your car’s glove compartment, and stash another bottle at home so that you can attack at the first sign of water absorption.

Are you one to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation? For example, “once a month” is the recommended usage for a pair of POW leather gloves and it’s a pretty safe recommendation for other leather gloves too. One tube of Waterproofing Wax for Leather should set you up for the season. It’s only $8.50 and can be purchased on Amazon, at REI, or at pretty much any outdoor retailer.

Are you more of a laid back, “it’s cool, I’m sure the gloves will do their job” type? Then at least apply the Waterproofing Wax for Leather the day you purchase the gloves or before their inaugural snow day. Your leather gloves will thank you by starting strong.


If you made it through all of that and you’ve read this far, then you must be a dedicated leather glove owner and you want to do it right.

That’s awesome.

You’re awesome.

Carry on.


Looking for new leather gloves? Check out the variety of selections from our partners: POW, Black Diamond, FlyLow, KincoOutdoor Research, and 686.

November 9, 2017
by nikwax

How to Wash a Down Jacket

Purchasing a down jacket is rite of passage for us outdoor types. It’s the quintessential uniform for all mountain towns, a basecamp buddy, a belay bestie, and a go-to layer for all chilly situations.

Buying a down jacket represents achieving the “next stage” of outdoorsiness. Anyone who spends time sleeping, skiing, hiking, or otherwise adventuring outside understands that a down coat (or bag, or booties, or gloves, or, yes, even hats) can mean the difference between basic survival and enjoyment. Down offers an unbeatable warmth to weight ratio. It’s perhaps the best insulator out there. Did we mention it’s cozy?

It also requires care and attention to extend its lifespan.

Here’s the good news: Washing your down jacket is easy, affordable and guarantees a long lifespan for your gear.

What’s the best way to take care of your down gear?

Wash: Gear performs better when closest to its original, pristine state. Case in point: the birdbath. Birds know that their down will best protect them when it is clean. Down, specifically, requires a gentle, detergent-free cleaner. We recommend our very own, Nikwax Down Wash Direct, which is specially formulated to launder down feathers without weighing down the loft (also see Down Proof, below).

Rinse & Spin: So long as there isn’t a center-mount agitator, a special washing machine isn’t required for down gear. If the washer is large enough to handle the load, it’s good to go. The hard and fast rule is rinse, spin, then spin again. Get as much water out before drying as possible.

Dry: Relax to the rhythmic sound of a tennis ball tumbling through the dry cycle. The down will be clumpy from its time in the washer, and drying it completely is critical. Tossing a clean tennis ball (or two) in the dryer provides a gentle “smack” to break up the clumps. Fair warning: this is not a short process and you will likely have moments of clumpy terror when you check on the progress. Keep resetting the timer until your beloveds are lump-free and fully dry.

Results: When you pull your newly revived jacket out of the dryer, not only will it be gleaming with cleanliness, it will also be puffier then when you began the day. By gently cleansing the delicate feathers, Nikwax Down Wash Direct revives loft and reinvigorates the down’s ability to trap air once again. Voilà!

Store: Hang it all out there. Just say no to storing down gear in tight stuff sacks. Over time, perpetually “squished” down feathers will become more resistant to re-lofting to their original air-trapping excellence. Store down apparel and sleeping bags hanging freely with plenty of space or hanging in large, breathable bags.

Additional resources:

  • Always read and follow the label instructions for temperature and other considerations. Here’s handy guide to care labels:

  • Down is only effective when dry. Periodically apply Nikwax Down Proof, which both revives the outer fabric’s DWR, AND adds water repellency to the down itself, without adversely affecting the insulating properties.

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: