How to Care for Wellies

Looking after Rubber Wellington Boots

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This page has information about caring for rubber boots.

Hunter Unisex Original Tall Colours Wellington Boot
Hunter Unisex Original Tall Colours Wellington Boot 4 Star
 

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Rubber

First lets learn a little about rubber - the main material in rubber rain boots.

Rubber is a natural product obtained from the sap of trees. These trees are grown all over the world and grow well in humid climates. Vast plantations of rubber trees are grown in South America and Asia and many people work in these plantations.

The sap that is extracted from the trees is processed to produce vulcanised rubber, which has been specially treated to ensure that it does not bio-degrade as fast as it would if was not treated.

Since rubber is natural and is not a plastic or synthetic material its life is limited. It is important that you always take care with rubber products. Here are the key tips:

  • Avoid leaving your rubber products in direct sunlight when not in use - ultra violet light causes rubber to degrade
  • Avoid leaving your rubber products in damp wet places (cool and dry is best) - damp conditions encourage mould and other hungry rubber eating creatures
  • Avoid harsh chemicals when cleaning - rubber is often coated with a protective spray, chemicals will wash the protection away
  • Clean gently - the surfaces of rubber materials are not designed for abrasive scratching or intense friction

Boot Care (Amazon)

Seeland Rubber footwear care

Seeland Rubber footwear care

Seeland Rubber footwear care

Details >>> Add to your Amazon shopping cart

Boot Cleaners

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Hunter Boot Buffer

Hunter Boot Buffer

Hunter Boot Buffer.

I was really happy with this product. My Hunter boots had lay unworn in the cupboard since last year and had developed a thick white coating on them, which apparently is normal with Hunter Wellingtons. Had to scrub the boots a lot initially but this Boot Buffer did get them looking like they did when i bought them., review

Details >>>

Watch the video

Hunter Instant Boot Shine

Hunter Instant Boot Shine

Hunter Boot Buffer

Details >>>

Before you clean your boots, take note of the following two step procedure:

Step 1

There are three main types of material used for modern Wellington Boots:

  1. Plastic/wax coated vulcanised rubber
  2. Plastic/PVC coated canvas
  3. Neoprene

The first step when cleaning your boots is to determine which type of material your boots are made of.

Step 2

The second step is to choose a cleaning solution and cleaning cloth for that type of surface. We highly recommend you try your cleaning solution on a SMALL AREA, such as the back of the heel before attempting to clean the entire boot. Also, wait at least an hour, examine the small area and observe if there is any damage before continuing to clean the rest of the boot. This is because there may be a slow chemical reaction that is not easily seen, occurring between the cleaning solution and the protective coating of the boot. The coating can easily be damaged and your boots will lose this protective coating forever and be permanently damaged! We recommend a very gentle clean, using a soft cloth with a very mild soapy solution.

Storage for Wellington Boots

See this amazing combination Wellington Boot box and boot Jack which uses side-panel of the box as a boot jack to remove shoes in-situ. Here are some more boot storage ideas.

CAR BOOT ORGANISER/ POP UP/ STORES FLAT/ GREAT IDEA/ BRAND NEW
CAR BOOT ORGANISER/ POP UP/ STORES FLAT/ GREAT IDEA/ BRAND NEW
Boot bag (463)- no more muddy halls or car boots!
Boot bag (463)- no more muddy halls or car boots! (see more boot bags for Wellington Boots)
Stackable Clear Knee Length Boots Storage Boxes
Stackable Clear Knee Length Boots Storage Boxes

Looking after your Wellingtons

Rubber and sunlight do not go well together. Rubber is a natural product, even if it is vulcanised, sunlight will still tend to cause the rubber to harden.

Get a shoe bag

Once your wellies are dry store them in a welly bag or in a shoe bag. This will keep them in a dark place. Ensure the shoe bag has holes otherwise slightly damp Wellingtons may end up getting mouldy. See here for shoe boxes, boot bags, and other shoe related accessories.

How to dry

Heat will effect the rubber, so do not dry Wellingtons using a heat source other than room temperature.

Boot stands

A wellie stand is the perfect item to dry your wellies. These are either wall mounted or sit on the floor in your hallway. Wellie stands are wood or iron gadgets that have poles that you put the wellies onto. The wellies usually sit upside-down, allowing any water to drip out. See here for boot stands.

Tips for cleaning

Use your hands or a "wellie jack" to remove your wellies when you return from muddie expeditions. A wellie jack is a special device you place your Wellington Boot into that holds the base and bottom of the heel to allow you to safely remove your foot from the boot without causing the base to separate from the rest of the boot.

Cleaning ideas for Wellington Boots

Boot scraper / cleaner & brush
Boot scraper / cleaner & brush (see more boot scrapers and boot cleaners)
Rolson Tools 82700 Mud Cleaner
Rolson Tools 82700 Mud Cleaner - simple but effective mud cleaner - removes mud from the soles of boots
Boot Scraper
Handy Boot Scraper rating

Things to avoid

Greases, oils, and acids are not good for rubber products in general - wipe off immediately. Certain brands of Wellington Boots are more resistant to chemicals than others. Some brands are made from Neoprene - which is not rubber at all but a synthetic rubber product invented in the 1930's. Neoprene needs special care - use a mild soapy solution and very gentle brushing.

Protecting against sunlight

Use a silicone spray on rubber boots to protect the boots against sunlight, but avoid spraying the soles as this will make them slip when wet. The silicon spray will also add shine to the rubber.



Note: Always refer your Wellington Boot manufacturers guidelines as the primary source of care for your shoes.

Ventilated Storage Boxes for Wellington Boots

Why is it important to keep rubber boots in the dark? Quite simply, rubber is a sap-like organic material, that is extracted from rubber trees and will naturally decay over time. Sunlight (in fact any source of UV light) is bad for rubber wellies as the sun will harden the rubber, making the rubber more prone to split. Protect your wellies by keeping them in the dark! Ensure that they are well ventilated in order to dry and prevent mould from growing inside the boot. A bit of bicarbonate of soda inside the boot and around the container is an old trick that will also help dry your smelly wellies and keep them in top condition.

See more Wicker boxes for Wellington boots here.

Extra Large Wicker Trunk
Extra Large Wicker Trunk
Rattan Wicker extra large Storage basket Trunk
Rattan Wicker extra large Storage basket Trunk
Large Wicker Trunk
Large Wicker Trunk

Warning! Some boots have a thin protective layer

Note that some boots have a thin waxy protective layer applied at the factory. This layer can be easily damaged by solvents and other harsh kitchen chemicals. Always "test clean" a small patch on the back heel of the boot before cleaning the entire shoe. Then wait at least an hour before cleaning the rest of the boot to see if the boots surface is changed in that area. The best advice we have for cleaning muddy rain boots is to read the instructions that came with the boots. If you have no instructions and are left with no other alternatives then a very mild soapy solutions is usually best. With a small amount of water and soap gently wipe the mud off the surface of the boots.

Silicone Sprays

Silicone protects rubber from ultra-violet radiation damage by forming a thin protective UV and waterproof barrier between the sun and rubber. Wellington Boots usually already have some form of protective chemical covering to protect the rubber. Always test on a small area of your Wellingtons before applying to the whole boot. Do not apply to the base of the boots as Silicone is extremely slippery.

3-in-1 44015 3 in 1 Silicone Spray
3-in-1 44015 3 in 1 Silicone Spray
Silicone Spray 400ml
Silicone Spray 400 ml
400ml silicone spray
400ml silicone spray

Boot Shaping Storage Inserts for Knee Length Boots


Keeps your boots in-shape with this boot shaper from Caraselle Direct. Roll and put into boot. Helps your boots last longer. Link to Video

View details >>>
Also see: Shoe-Shop.com's plastic boot shaper, Dasco's list of boot shapers.

Boot care products

Collonil Clean & Care Foam for Leather Suede/Nubuck and textiles
Collonil Clean & Care Foam for Leather Suede/Nubuck and textiles
Zamberlan Boot Care Kit
Zamberlan Boot Care Kit
Zamberlan Hydrobloc Cream
Zamberlan Hydrobloc Cream
Zamberlan Spray Hydrobloc Conditioner
Zamberlan Spray Hydrobloc Conditioner
 

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