Understanding Nikwax

Ideas & Advice
Understanding Nikwax

Want to know how to waterproof, enhance technical properties, or add UV protection to your gear, clothing, and shoes? It’s really simple, get some Nikwax. Nikwax is a collection of water based products that protect your stuff without giving off the emissions of harmful solvents. In fact Nikwax is the only waterproofing company that has never used fluorocarbons(PFCs). Simply put, Nikwax is Easier, Safer, Drier.

Green is Clean, Purple is Proof

When trying to decide what Nikwax product you need, the first thing to remember is Green is Clean, Purple is Proof. Products with green caps are for cleaning your shoes, clothing, and gear. Purple on the other hand is used for waterproofing or UV protection. From there you will need to know the type of material that your shoes, clothing, or gear is made out of. Finally, you may even get to choose how to apply it, wash-in, spray-on, or sponge-on. Now, let’s break down the different products


Tech Wash – Liquid, non-detergent soap. Cleans and maintains waterproof clothing and equipment.

Down Wash – Very effective liquid cleanser for down garments and sleeping bags.

Base Wash – A Nikwax wash-in cleaner for synthetic base layers (fitness t-shirts, etc.,) and synthetic socks.

Wool Wash – Wash in cleaner for woolen base layers and socks. Nikwax Wool Wash cleans safely, softens, enhances wicking, freshens wool and accelerates drying.

Sandal Wash – Deodorize, clean and sanitize your sandals. Recommended for all natural and synthetic sandal materials.

Footwear Cleaning Gel – An easy-to-use cleaner for all outdoor and sports footwear, including shoes and boots made of smooth leather, suede, nubuck, or fabric.



Footwear Conditioner – An easy-to-use waterproof conditioner for all full-grain leather footwear.

Soft Shell Spray – Restore the water repellency of your soft shell jackets and pants with the Nikwax® Softshell Proof, the spray on makes even application simple.

Waterproofing Wax – Water-based Nikwax Waterproofing Wax adds water repellency, reduces water absorption, and maintains breathability on smooth leather.

Nubuck & Suede Treatment – Maximum waterproof protection with little or no change to appearance or texture of boot.

Fabric/Leather Treatment – Maximum waterproof protection with little or no change to appearance or texture of boot.

Tent and Gear Solarproof Weatherproofing – Protect against UV damage and add water repellency to tents, packs, panniers, camera bags and other gear with Nikwax Tent and Gear Solarproof. Spray-on application.

Waterproofing Wax for Leather – Easy to use waterproofing paste wax for smooth leather footwear.

TX.Direct Wash-In – Water-based treatment that renews waterproof performance.

TX.Direct Weatherproofing Spray – TX spray reduces the water absorbency of fabrics, optimizing breathability.


BaseFresh – Nikwax BaseFresh is a deodorizing conditioner for all technical underwear and wicking clothing worn next to the skin.

If you just bought yourself a nice winter jacket or a new pair of boots, do yourself a favor and get some Nikwax to protect and add life to your new gear. You just made an investment in purchasing your new gear so invest a little of your time to keep it around longer. The Base and Tech Washes do a great job of removing odors from your stuff. Be it the smelly mud from Tough Mudder, random city pond from GORUCK, or just plain stink from constantly being used. Don’t throw your stuff away, give it new life after a bath in Nikwax.

My personal collection. Those tops really are purple, camera distorted the color

Amy Parulis

A former Strength and Conditioning Specialist and captain of the University of North Carolina track team, Amy now looks for her next mountain to climb or mud run to take part in to keep in shape. Her favorite hike was to the crater rim of Mt. St. Helens where she witnessed a steaming lava dome and she some day hopes to summit Mt. Rainier. In the meantime she can be found helping customers at the Waterford EMS. You can follow her adventures on Twitter @amyparulis