Waterproof shoes you say? Not possible you say! Well, actually, it just might be. In fact, not only is it possible, but the secret tool you need in order to do it is probably already sitting in your house right this instant.
Far from being a complex formula or magical solution, the secret to puddle-proof footwear is actually just – drumroll please – the humble candle.
After recently writing an article about all the unusual ways you can use candles to brighten your days, I was surprised at how versatile paraffin wax can be. With a melting point somewhere between 46°C and 68°C, its odorless scent, and most importantly, its insolubility in water, it makes the perfect water resisting material.
With the longly anticipated mystery finally uncovered, it’s time to grab your shoes, your candles, and prepare to have your mind blown.
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The first step to waterproofing your shoes? Wax & lots of it
First things first, make sure your shoes are nice and clean. When that’s done, you can move onto the first step of the waterproofing process.
Using a long, taper candle, start rubbing the wax vigorously onto your shoes. Don’t be afraid of over-applying, as the wax will disappear completely once heated. Try and get into all the corners to ensure all areas are covered.
Depending on whether you’re aiming for puddle-proof shoes or rain-proof, you may decide just to wax around the base of your trainers, or all over.
Repeat with your other shoe and once you’re happy with the coverage, you can move onto the next step.
Melt the wax to create a waterproof coating
The nature of paraffin wax will mean that the surface of your shoes now looks a bit patchy and also probably quite unattractive. Don’t worry though, as this next step will get your trainers looking as good as new again.
In Colleen’s article, 21 uses for a hair dryer that will blow your mind, she recommends using a hairdryer to gently melt candle wax, and this is exactly what you need to do next.
With your hair dryer on high, begin warming the wax on the surface of your shoes. You can hold the hairdryer pretty close to your trainers – remember that the wax needs to reach at least 46°C in order to melt. After 30 seconds or so, you should begin to see the wax disappearing – this is because it’s reached the required melting point and is now seeping into the top coat of your shoe.
Continue blasting over the surface of your shoes until it no longer appears ‘waxy’.
Test your waterproof shoes
There’s only one thing left to do – test them out. Go outside, wait for the rain, or splash some water over your trainers in the sink and prepare to be amazed as the waxy coating defies all drops of water.
The honest verdict – are my shoes really waterproof?
While I wouldn’t recommend jumping in a pool with your shoes on, this trick definitely provides a great solution to keeping your tootsies dry and the surface of your shoes looking cleaner. Not only that, but rather than the wax destroying the appearance of my trainers, I actually found that it improved the overall look – it definitely gets the thumbs up from me!
I hope you were as blown-away by this life hack as I was! Let me know if you get a chance to try it in the comments below.