A bit about Caring for your Waders…

Gear Care & Uses

First up, lets just realise that the longevity of a wader is generally directly in your hands. Firstly having the correct choice for your situation, then being given the right advice about size selection are critical. Lets just presume you have done this so far….

Waders will not last a lifetime but you can help them last a good while and get the most from their performance.

Look after the neoprene stockingfeet

After a day on or in the water you get back to your vehicle, camp or lodge. Undo your laces then STEP ONTO A MAT. Yes, something like the Simms Taco Bag, or just any ground mat will do. Its best to avoid too much walking about without boots on. This stops debris like mud and stones sticking to the neoprene booties and thus from transferring into your boots- stones, mud and litter inside boots can be abrasive to neoprene.

Take care when putting on or taking off your waders

Waders seem tough, however seams are not made for yanking about or excessive pulling. So, just take you time and have a little care. Put your wet boots into a bucket or tray bag ( to protect your vehicle) roll the waders up from the feet first, just loosely and again travel home with them on top of the wet boots in the tub or tray bag.

Clean off mud

Dirty waders do not breathe as effectively as they should so rinse off before leaving the water, and hose off before storing. Mud and dirt can inhibit the fabrics ability to breathe.

Dry Your Waders

At the end of your day, you have 2 choices, to dry the outside first, or the inside first. If you are fishing again in the morning then we suggest you get the inside dry and fresh asap! Just turn the waders inside out and hang somewhere they will get the breeze. By a heater is fine, just make sure they are not too close to the heat as the heat may compromise the seam seal. After a trip and before storing, make sure the waders are completely dry both inside and out. Moisture will cause mould and mouldy waders are good for nothing at all!

READ our blog on what to wear under waders to get the most out of wearing waders.

In general, wader care is best to be kept simple:

wash off most dirt or mud on site

dry both inside and out

hang between uses ( or store as per manufacturers directions for longer periods)


Below is what both Orvis and Simms have to say about Wader Care.


Waders should be washed by hand, in a bathtub, in cold water using a powder detergent. Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry, including the feet. Packaging or storing your waders wet may result in mildew and tape peeling. Simms Waders should not be dry-cleaned or put in the dryer. A water repellent treatment, such as Revivex®, will rejuvenate the water resistant finish on your waders.
Wader Care & Maintenance

Applying Water Repellent Treatment

After the waders are washed and thoroughly rinsed, saturate the outside of the waders with Revivex® or other water repellent treatment. Allow product to drip-dry. “Set” the treatment with heat using a blow dryer or iron (low setting), avoiding the stockingfoot attachment area.

Repairing Your Simms Gore-Tex Waders

Tears, punctures and pinholes do happen. Luckily, Gore-Tex® waders are easy to repair. 1) Turn waders inside out. 2) Apply rubbing alcohol to suspect area. Leaks will show as dark gray spots. 3) Immediately apply AquaSeal® to the area and cure for six hours. Please note: this method will not work on seam leaks. If you think you have a seam leak, call 406-585-3557 for information on returning your waders for repair.

Long-term Storage

It is best to clean the waders and check for leaks before storing. Apply self-repairs for pinholes or contact Simms for the return process for a complete wader evaluation. Dry waders completely before storing to avoid mildew. Store the waders away from heat or direct light. Hung in a closet on a hanger or laying flat under a bed is best for long-term wader storage.



The outer surface of most laminated waterproof-breathable fabrics is treated with a durable water-repellent coating (DWR). This chemical treatment forces water to bead up and roll off the surface of the fabric improving the overall performance and comfort of the garment.

Example of a DWR-coated garment. DWR coatings will begin to degrade after extended use and as the garment becomes soiled. The degradation will inhibit the DWR coating’s ability to bead water and cause the garment to “wet out” as the face fabric material absorbs water.
Example of a garment where the DWR coating is beginning to degrade. Although the garment is still waterproof, the water saturated face fabric will hinder the garments ability to breathe, increase interior condensation and produce a cold, clammy feeling for the wearer. It is important to clean your garments regularly to help avoid this situation.

How to Clean DWR-Coated Garments

Most garments can be machined washed; consult the care instruction label on the garment. Make sure to use an additive-free powdered laundry detergent or a liquid detergent designed specifically for synthetic, breathable fabrics. Do not use any detergents that contain fabric softeners or color-safe bleach.

For machine-washable items, such as stockingfoot waders and jackets, use the following cleaning agents:

  • Ivory® Snow powdered laundry detergent
  • ReviveX® Synthetic Fabric Cleaner
  • Nikwax® Tech Wash

For non-washable items, such as bootfoot waders, use Granger’s G-Wash Spray Cleaner.

Please read and follow the instructions included with these products and the garment manufacturer’s care and cleaning directions.

How to Restore the DWR Coating

Cleaning alone may not restore the DWR coating’s effectiveness. For a clean garment, use a cool iron or tumble dry on low to medium heat to reactivate the coating. Please follow the garment manufacturer’s recommended instructions for drying.

To reapply a DWR coating, we recommend the following products. Please be sure to read and follow the instructions for application carefully.

  • Nikwax® TX-Direct
  • McNett Revivex® Spray-On Water Repellent

With basic care and maintenance, your waterproof, breathable garment(s) should provide you years of use and enjoyment.



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