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Homemade beeswax waterproofing used on brown leather boots image.

Beeswax Waterproofing for Boots

Charlotte Anderson @ Carolina Honeybees, LLC
Using pure beeswax you can waterproof your leather boots for work or hiking. Great for use in around the garden too.
3.86 from 7 votes


  • heat gun (or hairdryer)
  • small bowl


  • 2 oz beeswax
  • 3 pieces tshirt material - soft cloth
  • 1 piece old toothbrush
  • 1 pair leather boots
  • 2 pieces paper to protect counter


  • Warm the Boots : Prepare your surface with some type of paper underneath to catch drips. You can use aluminum foil, wax paper, or even paper towels for easy clean up.
    If the weather is cold, warm the boots up just a bit before applying wax. This is to help the wax adhere to the shoe surface.
    Using heat gun to warm leather boots before waterproofing with beeswax image.
  • Safely melt beeswax: Melt a small about of beeswax in a suitable container. The container should have an opening large enough to dip a cloth or brush into.
    Normally I always melt beeswax in a double boiler but you only need a small amount.
    If you use a glass measuring cup (like I did) in the microwave, have a pot holder handy because that handle gets hot!!
    Small amount of raw beeswax grated in a glass cup image.
  • Apply wax to boots: Once the beeswax is melted, apply wax to one boot at a time.
    You can use a small piece of cotton t-shirt material or similar clean cloth. Just dip a corner into the wax and rub it onto the leather.
    Try to apply an even coat. I like using a small paint brush, tooth brush or any soft brush – better than a cloth because I feel like I have more control.
    Applying melted beeswax to leather boot with rag image.
  • Rub wax into leather surface: As the wax cools, your boot will take on a white appearance. That’s okay – it’s not going to stay that way.
    Continue until the leather surfaces of both boots are coated with beeswax. Be sure to coat every part of the boot paying special attention to the toe and heal area.
    Use a toothbrush or q tip to work the wax into the seams of the boot. Don’t miss any of the cracks or crevasses. 
    Old boot with white coat of cooling beeswax during waterproofing image.
  • Seal wax with heat: Now, we want to seal the wax into the boot leather.  This is done by applying some extra heat. 
    Using a hairdryer is one safe method of sealing the wax. However, using a heat gun is much better.
    The heat gun is easier to work with because you only have heat coming out of it not a strong force of air.
    Most heat guns have a high and low setting and you may be surprised at the other uses you will find for them around the house.
    Using heat gun to remelt beeswax on boot surface image.
  • Heat and Buff: As you work with the heat gun, take care. You do not want to overheat the shoe. 
    Keep the heat source several inches away from the shoe leather. Use a clean soft towel to buff away the excess wax.
    Heat a small section of the boot, then use a circular motion to rub the wax into the leather.
    Repeat until you have worker over the entire leather surface of the work boot.
    Brushing hot beeswax into boot leather image.


** This is best done with smooth leather in my opinion.  Suede surfaces may still become water resistant but might have a noticeable change in appearance.
**Always test on a small area first.  Not all leather absorbs wax in the same way.  Make sure you are okay with the look before coating the entire boot.
** Take care to avoid using too much wax.  Go slowly, work it in.
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