How to Waterproof a Coat

by Richard Kalinowski ; Updated September 28, 2017

Unforeseen rainfall can, at the least, drench your coat and other garments and, at the worst, ruin your coat if the fabric is not made with colorfast textiles or if the water creates calcium stains. Luckily, you can shield yourself and your coat from water damage by adding waterproof protection to your favorite jacket. By following just a few basic steps, even somebody without prior fabric treatment knowledge can protect a coat for extended outdoor usage.

Clean the coat following the preferred cleaning method indicated on your coat’s “care tag.” Treating a dirty coat leads to less effective water resistance.

Hang your coat in a dry area with good ventilation. According to Fabric UK, a distributor of Scotch Guard water repellent products, Scotch Guard is “odorless when dry,” but a “slight odor is noticeable until dry.” The fumes are not very harmful, but keeping a window cracked will help the smell dissipate more quickly.

Lay newspaper or a drop cloth beneath the coat to prevent waterproofing spray from getting on your carpet.

Spray the entire coat with 3M Scotch Guard Heavy Duty Water Repellent for Outdoor Fabrics (see resources). The outdoor fabric spray is more protective against rainwater than the indoor variety, so make sure you get the right type of spray.

Wait for the coat to dry before handling it. According to 3M, the maker of Scotch Guard, Scotch Guard spray products typically take 24 hours to dry. Your dry coat now features a “durable water barrier” to keep the coat “drier, cleaner, and newer looking longer,” according to Fabric UK.

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About the Author

Richard Kalinowski began writing professionally in 2006. He also works as a website programmer and graphic designer for several clients. Kalinowski holds a Master of Fine Arts from Goddard College and a Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.