How To: Wader Care
To get the most out of your waders, make sure you are caring for them properly. Even breathable waders can accumulate some moisture over time that attracts dirt and fabric from clothing that leads to mold! By properly cleaning your waders and drying them thoroughly, you can avoid mold that breaks down the breathability of the fabric and leads to leaks in your waders.
How to Clean Your Waders
To thoroughly clean waders, first turn them inside out and remove any dirt and debris paying close attention to the foot area. Once you’ve removed any larger pieces of debris, use a soft sponge or cloth and warm water to rub down all of the inner fabric.
Once you dry the inside of your waders (more on that below!), you can repeat the same steps on the outer fabric. Before cleaning and drying the outside of your waders, make sure to remove anything left in your storage pockets! Skipping this step can also lead to that unwanted moisture build up.
Lastly, don’t forget the zipper if you have one! Dirt, salt, and other debris left in the zipper teeth can harden and cause zipper damage that alters the functionality of your waders. For the best clean, use washing liquid and a toothbrush to clean the whole zipper on the inside and outside. This step can often be overlooked, but it is a crucial part of wader care!
Drying Your Waders
In between cleaning the inner and outer fabric of your waders, hang them up to dry. Make sure they are not in direct sunlight and the inside fabric is fully dry before you start on the outside! After cleaning the outside of your waders (and the zipper!), hang them until they are completely dry again. While you are drying your waders, it can also be a good time to check for any tears or abrasions that look like they could become leaks.
The Best Way to Store Waders
The best way to store breathable waders is to drape them over a hanger. This allows air to circulate all around them and keeps stress off of the suspenders and the boot feet. Make sure your waders are out of the direct sunlight, are in a cool and dry environment, and are completely dry before you put them away for the last step of wader care: storage.