How To Care For Your Boots
Exposing your boots to moisture and then putting them away without allowing for proper drying can damage your boots and also cause mould to grow. Finally, you should store your rubber boots in a place that is well-ventilated and cool, but not cold. Extreme temperatures can cause your rubber boots to dry out and crack.
How to Keep Rubber Boots from Cracking
Let’s have a look at how to prevent rubber boots from cracking!
1. Cleaning Your Rubber Boots
To keep your boots in pristine condition, clean the whole exterior of your boots after each usage. You can wipe all the dirt, dust, or mud away using a sponge and prevent them from wearing out or cracking over time.
Remember to wash your boots after each usage so they don’t sit with dirt or mud on them for long periods, as this can dry out your rubber boots.
After each use usage, simply hosepipe them off, but if they are really dirty, clean with light soap and a gentle brush or rag. For the best results, you can use a dishwashing liquid and a boot brush scraper or brush.
2. Applying Rubber Conditioner on your Boots
Conditioning your rubber boots regularly is essential for extending the life of your boots. Rubber can fade and break down prematurely when exposed to direct sunlight.
It is critical to condition your boots regularly to avoid irreversible damage (which can be visible as flaked, cracked, or extremely dry rubber).
You can use a rubber conditioner once a month, after heavy use, or once every few weeks during the off-season. After cleaning and drying your boots, use a soft cloth to apply the conditioner liberally.
Allow your boots to dry overnight, and then wipe away any remaining moisture in the morning.
Some Helpful Hints to Consider when Conditioning your Boots:
- Avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures or direct sunshine since this can cause your boot to crack or break.
- Use a good conditioner like 303 Rubber Seal Protectant and Conditioner to condition your boots every couple of months.
- After applying it to your boots, wash off any excess and let them dry overnight.
- Allow the interior of your boots to dry naturally before using them again.
3. Storing your Boots
Store rubber boots in a temperature-controlled room, such as the basement or closet, when not in use.
If kept outside, the rubber in the boots will shrink and grow as the temperature changes from day to night. The result could be your boots cracking.
Additionally, try not to fold your boots; instead, you can opt to hang them upside down or leave them upright on the boot rack.
Lastly, to increase the life of your boots, use a conditioner after wearing them a few times.
Rubber boots are strong, lightweight, sturdy, and, most importantly, they’re waterproof. If they’re cared for, they can last for decades. But, 90 times out of 100, rubber boots dry rot.
Just because rubber boots are expensive it doesn’t mean they wouldn’t dry rot! It’s not practical. Every material, even if it’s the highest and finest quality leather, will dry rot if not cared for. Rubber boots are no different. But the good news is, with proper care, you can keep your new pair from dry rotting.
Direct sun exposure is the primary reason behind dry rotting. Since rubber boots are designed for outdoor purposes such as going on treks and hunting, there’s no way that they won’t get exposed to the Sun. What can be done instead is to make them Sun-ready.
You can use a high-quality boot conditioner to keep your rubber boots from dry rotting. This isn’t the only way though. Proper storage can also protect rubber boots from dry rotting.
5 Ways to Protect Your Rubber Boots From Dry Rotting
It’s not hard to keep rubber boots from dry rotting if you can pay attention to some details. Their maintenance is neither expensive nor time-consuming.
The 5 ways that’ll take your rubber boots a long way and keep them from dry rotting have been explained below!
1.) Clean Them Regularly
Cleaning rubber boots is expensive – says who? You can use a mild detergent (even the liquid you use to wash your utensils is enough) to clean the surface of rubber boots.
Apply some mild soap or detergent on the surface of the boots, scrub it gently, and wash it or wipe it. That’s all! It will keep your rubber boots from dry rotting.
Even if you can’t clean the surface of your boots with a mild soap weekly, you can simply wipe off their surface with a moist cloth daily.
It’s important that you let the surface dry in natural air before storing the boots after washing them. Storing them while they’re still wet will lead to another problem – the boots will start smelling and might also get affected by fungus. Always let the surface dry before keeping the boots away.
2.) Apply Some Olive Oil to the Surface Once in a While
It might sound funny or impractical to some people, but it isn’t. Olive oil hydrates the surface of rubber boots.
When applied to clean boots, the molecules of the oil seep inside the surface and soften the rubber, preventing it from getting dry or developing cracks.
3.) Use a Boot Conditioner
This is one of the most important things you need to do at least twice a month if you can’t do it every week.
A high-quality boot conditioner (we will take you through some amazing options at a later section in this guide) works much like olive oil – only that it’s better than olive oil.
Using a boot conditioner can protect the surface from dry rotting by moisturizing and softening rubber. Don’t skip this step if you really want your boots to last and look as good as brand new even after years of use.
4.) Store the Boots Carefully
First off, don’t throw them precariously or pile other shoes (anything heavy) on top of them. Doing that will eventually damage the surface of your boots.
It is also very important to store your boots inside cabinets. If you can store them carefully in the basement, nothing like it. Any place that will keep them away from flickering temperature will keep them safe from dry rotting.
If stored in a place that sees temperature change from hot to cold very rapidly, the rubber will shrink. Needless to say, it will lead to dry rot sooner than later.
5.) Wax the Surface Once in a While
Waxing the surface while stepping out is a good idea. It works as a barrier between the surface of the rubber and the sun. Naturally, it will keep your rubber boots from dry rotting.
Did you know that you can also apply Vaseline on top of your rubber boots while stepping outside? Don’t forget to wipe off the extra traces though.
Dos and Don’ts to Protect Your Rubber Boots From Dry Rotting
Here’s a small list that’ll definitely help:
1.) Store the boots in a shoe rack or a cabinet that’s ventilated.
2.) Don’t keep them in places that are hot or moist. The storage should be dry.
3.) If you’re hanging them for air drying after washing them, hang them upside down.
4.) Don’t polish rubber boots with the shoe polish you’d use for leather boots. Use products that are specifically made for rubber boots.