How to waterproof shoes with beeswax

waterproof shoes with beeswax

Now that the summer is beginning to fade away into a glorious sunset and autumn is fast approaching, it can only mean one thing. Rainy days and cold wet feet are on the way. Now we can’t stop the rain from falling but we can try to help keep your feet warm and dry this autumn and winter. There is a very simple way to waterproof shoes with beeswax which is cheap, effective and chemical free. I often use this method to waterproof my leather shoes when I walk our dogs, but it can be used on other footwear like trainers too. 

Things you need to waterproof shoes with beeswax

  • Small beeswax block
  • Small pan
  • Paint brush
  • Hairdryer
  • Two plastic shopping carrier bags
  • Sheets of newspaper 
  1. Grab your shopping carrier bags and fill each one with a few sheets of rolled up newspaper. We are going to use these bags to stuff inside your shoe. This will keep the natural shape when you waterproof your footwear with beeswax.
  2. Take your beeswax block and place it in your pan. Place the pan on an oven hob on a low heat setting and observe it whilst it melts. Safety comes first here. For larger quantities of beeswax I recommend a double boiler to ensure the wax will not overheat and cause a fire hazard. Do not leave the pan unsupervised when the wax is melting. As you will be using a small beeswax block it will only take a few minutes to melt. Remember to melt the beeswax SLOWLY!
  3. Take your paintbrush (an old one would be ideal) and submerge it in the liquid beeswax for about 20 seconds. This brings the bristles up to the temperature of the beeswax so it will make painting on the wax easier.
  4. Put a few sheets of newspaper down in the area where you will be waterproofing your footwear with the beeswax as any spillages can be very tricky to remove.
  5. Now take your paintbrush which is now laden with the liquid beeswax and ‘paint’ it onto your leather shoe or canvas trainer. Using beeswax on any footwear that is mainly plastic is not really recommended or beneficial.
  6. Keep your beeswax in a liquid state if needed by gently reheating. Ensure you apply the beeswax to all the creases and stitched areas of your shoes. Attention to detail is key here. 
  7. Once the beeswax has been applied to your shoe, it will take on a glazed, waxy appearance when dry. This is when you need your hairdryer. You can also use a heat gun but there is a much more increased risk of damage to your shoes stitching and surface due to the more extreme heat available.
  8. Put your hairdryer on the heat setting and hold it a few inches from the surface of your shoe. As the heat warms the surface, you will notice the beeswax re-melt and be absorbed into the pores of the leather or the fibres of your trainer. Only use enough hair dryer heat re-melt the wax and be careful not to cause shoe damage.

That’s all there is to it. Your shoes should now have an added layer of protection against the rain and puddle splashes. You might notice your shoes feel a bit stiffer than normal but they will soon give. The beeswax can also slightly darken the leather for a little while but it’s worth it for the protection it gives against the wet.

The good thing about waterproofing your shoes with beeswax is that it can be done as often as you like.

So there you have it. Another wonderful way of using the fabulous properties of beeswax in your everyday life.

Let us know in the comments below if you have tried this method of waterproofing your footwear.

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