Gore Tex Spray: Everything You Need to Know About This Waterproofing Spray

Waterproof jacket
Written by Sean Nelson

Gore Tex spray ensures you keep practicing your outdoor hobbies regardless of the weather condition. How? Well, let’s rewind the tape. Unlike indoor activities (playing computer games, watching TV etc.), outdoor pursuits have something way special – you’re always in contact with Mother Nature.  This not only makes you more active while minimizing chances of being overweight/obese but also acts as an excellent stress reliever.

However, considering the fact that nature can never adapt to your preferences; you should try to fit in. That means no matter the weather conditions, be it snowy or rainy; you should be in a position to practice your interest outside. This calls for appropriate rain gear in conjunction with best waterproofing spray.

Must read: HyVent vs Gore Tex: Which Waterproof Material is Best?

Although great rain gear is the base, you certainly require further preparations for weather conditions, and that’s waterproofing your clothing and boots with Gore Tex spray.

Just consider this, a rainstorm never stops the fish species from chasing after their raven. In fact, trout are more active on sensing an upcoming storm. They’re aware that when it rains, small invertebrates will be flooded in the rivers and thus have to watch out for anything edible. As a consequent, their chances of landing a prey are improved.

That may not be the case with wild animals but, you certainly won’t see ducks sheltering from a drizzle, thus, why should you? Just make use of the best waterproofing spray _one for all and make memories in the rain.

So, what exactly is Gore Tex Spray?

This spray is a fluoropolymer based waterproof coating. It’s commonly used in industries and stores dealing with outdoors. The spray help keeps outdoor equipment, footwear, and clothing dry all day long. Unlike silicone-based sprays, this is way durable but depending on use, frequent reapplication is necessary.

Note, the waterproofing sealant is specially crafted not to alter the breathability of the product being re-waterproofed.

Active ingredients

The main active ingredient in Gore Tex spray is the fluoropolymer. A long-chained carbon-fluorine structure, mostly manipulated in the laboratory to retain cohesion and resist breakdown even in extreme conditions. This polymer is strong yet light in weight, and normally repel sticking which minimizes its corrosion rate.

It’s flexible (depending on what it’s combined with) and thus can fit specific shapes. In addition, the polymer is resistant to water, heat, chemicals and salty conditions thanks to the strong carbon-fluorine bonds.

In addition to this, Teflon is added to increase the water resistant properties of the fabrics.

Properties of the resulting product

  • Non-sticky – Fluoropolymers are part of fluorocarbons that unlike hydrocarbons, they’re less susceptible to van der Waals force. You know, those forces that help spiders and geckos climb sheer surfaces such as porcelains or glasses. This contributes to their friction resistance and non-stick properties. Since the spray is mainly composed of this compound, it can be said to be non-sticky too making the garment remain in its natural texture.
  • Stable – In addition to their chemical bonds, their multiple carbon-fluorine bonds add to their stability. Stable compounds are normally less reactive which make them resistant to chemicals. Also, as the compound consists of non-flammable elements, it’s generally resistant to heat which as a consequent boost its durability.
  • Water resistant – In the base ingredients (fluoropolymer), fluorine atoms’ distribution around carbon atoms in the polymer balances the electronegative and electropositive charges making the membrane non-polar. As non-polar elements are repulsive of polar substances like water, the resulting material is highly resistant to water.
  • Lightweight –The polymer errs on the lighter attitude which means that the spray fumes barely add weight on the equipment to be re-waterproofed.

So, how does the best waterproofing spray work?

Ever used a waterproofing spray before? If so, you must be aware of the satisfaction feeling that comes with being 100% protected from wet conditions. Just a single layer of the spray on your clothing and you remain waterproof throughout your day’s excursions. Note, all types of liquids are repelled which minimizes chances of staining on your gear.

Based on science interpretation, a waterproofing spray work by adding a hydrophobic feature. Remember to be breathable, fabrics contain pores to allow sweat vapor to escape. So, Gore Tex spray make use of its base ingredient (fluoropolymer) to fill up this pores.

As the said polymer is resistant to water, it prevents water from getting into the gear alongside removing any traction it has to the fabric. That result in liquids dripping off your gear that’s re-waterproofed with the spray.

This effect is known as lotus effect named after lotus plants in India – it has waxed leaves that prevent the water from getting in.

Why use Gore Tex spray?

Logically, if you’re in need of rain protection; purchasing an appropriate raingear should be the first step. No waterproofing, however good, can protect you from the storm when in linen cloth and sandals. Nevertheless, once you’ve the appropriate rainwear there are a number of reasons to use a waterproofing spray for your clothing or footwear.

For protection against stains and dirt

You must be familiar with the feeling of not wanting to wash your newly purchased piece of gear, be it a backpack, clothes or hiking boots. In fact, you’ll be careful not to get stains throughout the day.

However, many outdoor pursuits require you to navigate nasty swamps, deep mud, rugged trails etc. Situations where getting stained is a lot easier than not. So, wouldn’t it be such a relief if the cleaning was made easier?

With the invisible liquids repellant layer; mud, dirt, and stains won’t penetrate that deep into the fabric. That’ll make the cleaning process way easier after an exciting adventure through thickets and off-trails.

To remain completely dry throughout your excursions

This’s obvious. You make use of a waterproofing spray to boost the water resistance of your fabric or revive waterproofing attributes of an old leather hiking boots.

That means, you don’t have to replace old gears following their faded DWR coating or damaged waterproof membrane. Rather, keep your stuff waterproof by reapplying the spray on weekly basis on frequently used garments and footwear and less frequent on items not used on regular basis e.g. a backpack, tent etc. See also our reviews of the top Gore-Tex ponchos to give you more choices.

Note, the spray doesn’t affect the breathability of your garment. In fact, it helps boost the ventilation of the fabric by keeping it dry as soaked up fabrics loose breathability.

To increase the durability of your garments

The spray boosts the longevity of outdoor gear and equipment. The fact is, gears subjected to natural conditions on regular basis tend to wear off fast. Think about it, you will get soaked or dirty which calls for regular drying and cleaning.

That as a consequent will result in build-up stresses in the fabric reducing its durability. On applying the spray, however, such a scenario is minimized boosting the longevity of your equipment.

Where do you use Gore Tex spray?

The spray can be used in both indoors and outdoors. However, excessive inhalation of the spray has been found to have negative health effects making them less popular in indoor uses. Here are some of the uses:

In textile industry

Gore Tex spray is mainly applied on outdoor gear such as boots, clothing, coats etc. to keep you as the consumer, dry and comfortable following its waterproofing properties. The spray work best for synthetics and leather fabrics making it the best one for all protection spray.

While pursuing your outdoors, you can also spray it on tents, sleeping bags and backpacks to boost their water resistance. In short, it’s an ideal waterproofing solution to campers, skiers, backpackers and climbers.

Most importantly, with Gore Tex spray, you get to boost the water resistance of your garments and equipment without having to forgo their breathability.

In other industries

This spray can be used in major constructions following its impermeable nature to water. It can be found in resin coatings made for bridges, coastal structure, and towers.

Also, the spray has found use in marine environment. From ships and boats to offshore tanks, marine equipment, and platforms. This can be attributed to its resistance to chemicals and salty conditions.

To carpenters, this spray is their number one choice. They apply it to lawn furniture, patios, decks and other wooden items that are exposed to environmental conditions (rain, snow etc.) regularly.

Following its heat resistant properties, the spray can be used as a coating that aid in boosting chemical protective and flame retardant qualities of garments worn by military personnel, emergency workers and firefighters.

Indoors, the spray can be used to re-waterproof a piece of furniture either after steam cleaning or once the pre-treated layer wears off.

In addition, the trademark Teflon is a common name in nonstick cookware suggesting that the spray can be used in the cookware industry.

The base ingredient’s ability to distribute heat evenly and its resistance to penetration have made pans and skillets making use of this technology popular. Why? The coating helps you cook with less fat or oil while minimizing cooking time.

How to use Gore Tex Spray

Whatever spray use you put your mind into, here is a basic procedure that’ll give you a clue on how to go about re-waterproofing your equipment, furniture, and gear.

  1. Wash the piece of equipment or furniture you’re to re-waterproof.  If you’re unsure on how to clean the item in question, go back to the manufacturer or get the information from a reliable source. Note, it would be easier though if you get to keep each item’s user guide manual carefully as most details regarding the use of the same are outlined in there. Cleaning help removes dirt and grease that may be blocking the pores, preventing the spray from covering them adequately.
  2. Let the item dry completely. In most cases, natural drying in the sun is recommended. However, for pieces of gear like wanders/jackets, you can make use of dryers which will not only save time but also aid in re-aligning the DWR particles boosting their water repellency.
  3. Once the item is completely dry, take it to an open space (outdoor) and spray the waterproofing seal consistently and evenly all around its outer layer. It’s advisable to spray while standing a distance 1ft away to avoid excessive inhalation of the spray.
  4. Let the treated item dry. Once you’re done with the spraying process, wait for 24 hours before reusing the item. This’ll give it time to dry and for the sealant particles to attach firmly to the fabric. During this period, you can add another layer if you so wish but it’s not necessary. In fact, too many layers may lower the breathability thus one layer is just perfect.

Benefits of Gore Tex Spray

  • Repels dirt, chemicals, any forms of liquid, minerals and salt stains or corrosions.
  • Boost the durability of your equipment or furniture by minimizing any stress caused by lots of moisture content.
  • Following its durability, the spray minimizes maintenance costs of items re-waterproofed by the same.

Safety concerns

As promising as the spray might be, there’re some safety concerns as discussed below. Being in contact or exhaling unlimited quantities of the spray can be detrimental to your general health. This is a case for individuals who regularly wear of the sprayed clothing. However, most effects are on those people working in its manufacturing industry.

Studies reveal that a chemical substance PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) used in the formulation process of liquid sprays is the major cause of all health risks associated here with. This makes the workers in the production industries more at risk as they’re ever exposed and may inhale the substance somewhat routinely.

Older cookware crafted using the spray technology may pose special risks too. Why? Old cookware flakes off and those flakes may find a way into meals and become ingested. In addition, coated pans if heated to high temperatures may release chemical fumes that are potentially harmful.

So, should you buy it?

That really depends on you but come to think of it, the spray has great merits and the downsides can be worked out. You just need to be cautious.

That is: not using treated garments frequently, carrying out the spraying procedure in open spaces, not heating coated cookware too highly, ensuring young children or individuals with a sensitive respiratory system are not in/near the kitchen when cooking and replacing old cookware with new ones once you notice any signs of flakes.

For individuals working in the production firms, they should make use of face masks to reduce chances of inhaling harmful chemicals.

Summing up

You don’t have to remain indoor when it’s drizzling, rather, use Gore Tex spray to boost your rain gear’s water resistance and enjoy your outside, completely dry and comfortable. Afraid of associated risks? Don’t, all you ought to do is be cautious and follow the instructions and directions outlined by the manufacturer. Check out also our list of the top Gore-Tex hiking shoes to keep you informed.

Featured Image Source:


Sean Nelson

Sean was backpacking since he was 7. He was born close to the RMNP and his father was a ranger, so life surrounded by mountains and wildlife is a norm for Colorado. He likes to explore, but prefers to stay in USA. In his opinion, there are too many trails and options in US to go abroad.