Make Your Things Waterproof

Edited by Rubilyn Valdez, Melvin Magadia, Lynn, Jerry Rivers and 24 others

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Whether you are on a multi-day hiking trip, a beach bumming date, or an indefinite backpacking journey, you will need to keep your things dry and safe using an effective waterproofing technique. This is a practical way, especially if you are carrying gadgets or documents when you are in the outdoors.

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As sophisticated and high tech as they are, modern day gadgets are susceptible to getting damaged or destroyed as a result of getting soaked in the water or spilled on by coffee or any other beverage. Waterproofing your phones, tablets, or laptops is a good way of keeping them dry and safe, regardless of how much they are soaked in water or spilled on by hot or cold beverages. Here are some practical tips on how to make things waterproof.

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  1. 1
    Mobile Phones
    1. Although some mobile phone models are designed to survive daily drops and splashes, there are others that get damaged at the slightest fall or getting soaked in the water. It is a fact that water and electronic circuitry do not mix. Here are some practical tips to make your mobile phone waterproof:
    2. Wrap the phone with a clear heat-shrink film. Make sure that the film is designed for draft-sealing windows.
    3. Use a heat gun to mold the film to the phone. Make sure you have everything covered because any missed spots can cause water to leak in and damage your phone.
    4. If you are looking for something more reliable, try vacuum-sealing the phone, using a plastic bag from a FoodSaver device. Ensure that it is not so tight that you cannot dial a number. While this solution is only a temporary quick fix, it may help keep your phone from getting damaged by water.
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  2. 2
    1. Waterproofing a camera may be more challenging than a mobile phone. The former is more fragile and has more components than the latter, which has only few moving parts. There are water-resistant cameras on the market, but if you want to waterproof your current camera, here are some suggestions:
    2. The easiest way to waterproof your camera is to seal it in a Ziploc plastic bag. This can help protect your gadget from moisture when soaked in water.
    3. Secure both sides of the seal with silicone. This will provide a strong barrier, and will keep water from finding its way inside the delicate parts of your camera. Again this may be a temporary solution, so utmost care is still needed.
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  3. 3
    1. Just like a camera, a laptop is a fragile piece of hardware. It has delicate parts, such as spinning drives, LCD, and open ports, to name just a few. Here is how you can make a waterproof laptop:
    2. To protect the keyboard and trackpad area, cut a sheet of polyethylene.
    3. Make a flip-up skirt from 40-mil PVC to keep liquids from entering the edges, while still allowing you to use the ports and other components.
    4. For additional security, spray mineral oil lubricant on the USB, video, and power ports. Then use a custom earplug putty as an injection mold. This will help protect the side ports of your Laptop form accumulating water or any other liquids.
    5. Water or any other liquids can cause damage to your gadgets. However, these helpful tips can make your phones, laptops, or cameras still functional, even after getting soaked in the pool or bath tub.
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How to Waterproof Precious Paper Items

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  1. 1
    You may have paper items, such as letters, homemade greeting cards, documents, or decorations with sentimental value that you want to preserve and waterproof
    You can even scent such items with the "alum method". This procedure will be shown below, and then the "Paraffin wax method" will be demonstrated so that you can put a protective coating over your special paper decorations.
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  2. 2
    How to waterproof your paper items with the alum method
    1. Supplies needed:
    2. Pot larger than one-quart capacity.
    3. Large flat tray with raised edges. It must hold the hot water/ingredients mixture.
    4. Tongs
    5. Wire rack with wax paper on a shelf to hold your papers later.  
      1. Eight ounces of alum from the spice section of any local store.
      2. Four cups (quart) of clear water.
      3. One ounce of grated castile soap.
      4. Four ounces of beeswax. This can be purchased at your local health/nutrition store.
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  3. 3
    1. First heat the quart of water in a pot with medium heat.
    2. Once the water is hot, carefully add the castile soap and alum.
    3. Now boil the mixture until the ingredients are dissolved.
    4. Add the beeswax while stirring constantly.
    5. Take the pot off the stove - Once the beeswax is fully melted and mixed thoroughly into the soap and alum solution, set the pot off the stove to cool.
    6. Slowly pour the hot mixture into the flat tray with edges.
    7. Hold the paper with tongs, and submerge each paper until it is coated.
    8. Remove the coated sheet of paper, and set it on the rack with wax paper until it is cool and dry.
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  4. 4
    Paraffin wax procedure - How to waterproof your paper decorations
    1. Into the bottom pot of a double boiler pot pour a couple inches of water.
    2. Set eight ounces of paraffin wax in the top pot.
    3. Set the double boiler pot onto low heat on your stove.
    4. Stir the wax constantly till melted.
    5. Spread a few newspapers on a solid flat surface for protection of the surface. Set the paper decorations onto the newspapers.
    6. Coat the paper decorations with a sponge brush. Ensure that they are thoroughly coated with a thin layer.
    7. Allow your paper decorations to cool and dry completely.
    8. Once all items are dry, "paint" a second thin coating of melted paraffin wax. Allow to dry once again.
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Make sure that you apply only THIN coatings so that the wax is transparent and will not break off your precious paper decorations.

How to Waterproof Fabrics

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There are several methods effective in waterproofing fabrics. Three procedures for waterproofing outdoor fabrics will be provided below.

  1. 1
    The first method to waterproof your outdoor fabrics involves using mineral spirits and clear silicone caulking compound
    They can be found at your local hardware store. Waterproofing these items will not only protect the fabric from precipitation, but will prolong its life.
    1. Use a ratio of one quart of mineral spirits to every one-fifth tube of clear silicone caulking compound. Both products are available at any hardware store.
    2. Pour the mineral spirits into a bucket first, and then add the silicon caulking compound.
    3. If you have a drill and stirring tool, stir the two until thoroughly mixed. If you have no drill, you can pour both ingredients into a two-liter soda bottle, cap it and shake them until completely mixed.
    4. Test a small spot on the fabric before applying the waterproofing mixture.
    5. Use a quality paint brush to apply a smooth coating onto the fabric. It is excellent for your outdoor furniture sets, including the seat cushions, pillows, and parasol. The mineral spirits/silicone mix must be used right away, and will not keep well. So, whatever is not used should be discarded securely.
    6. Warning: Do not expose your waterproofed fabric to flames. There should be no smoking around any fabric.
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  • 2
    The second method to waterproof fabric involves using ordinary powder laundry detergent, water, and alum
    Alum can be purchased at your local grocery store.  
    1. Use a ratio of 0.45 kg (one pound) of powder laundry detergent to 7.5 liters (two gallons) of hot tap water (120°F to 150°F, or about 50°C to 65°C).
    2. Stir the detergent into a large bucket or basin of hot water until you have a consistent mixture.
    3. Submerge the fabric item into the solution, and keep it until it is soaking wet.
    4. Hang the wet fabric from a clothes line until it is dry.
    5. Now mix 0.25 kg (half pound) of alum with 7.5 liters (two gallons) of hot water in a basin or large bucket.
    6. Once the fabric item is dry, soak it in the alum/hot water solution for a couple hours.
    7. Once again hang the item on a clothes line until it is dry.
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  • 3
    The third method to waterproof your fabric requires soybean oil and turpentine
    Soybean oil is in your grocery store aisle. The turpentine can be acquired at a hardware store.  
    1. First, you will need to mix a ratio of 237ml (one cup) soybean oil with 118ml (half cup) of turpentine in a large spray bottle for waterproofing smaller items.
    2. For large items, mix a bigger volume of this solution in a large basin or bucket. Be sure it is thoroughly mixed, and apply it to your larger items with a quality paint brush.
    3. Depending on your items, either hang them out to dry, or lay them on a clean flat surface to dry. Use a fan to speed up the drying process.
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  • Note: Use a medium-bristle high quality paint brush for a better coating, and to avoid loose bristles on your fabric as you apply the waterproofing agents.


    • For your batteries, use a urethane waterproof coating. Simply apply some coating on the top edges of the battery and that's it.
    • Use a thermos or wide-mouthed bottle. They help contain liquids so they can also keep the water from coming in.
    • Condoms are not just great for population control. They are also excellent as underwater housing for your gadgets. Try them on your digital cameras, mobile phones, or even remote controls.

    Questions and Answers

    What is recipe and method for making cotton water proof using paraffin wax?

    What is the formula and application method for making bleached cotton fabric water proof using paraffin wax.

    You don't need a recipe. Simply heat your paraffin wax, use a brush to paint it onto the cotton, and then use a hair dryer to get the wax to fully absorb into the cotton. Once the wax has bound with the cotton fibers, you will have a strong and waterproof cotton fabric.

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    Waterproofing Sailboat Cover and Cushions?

    Hello, we like to waterproof our Sail Covers outside, the seat cushions in and outside the boat. What is the best to do that? Thank you for your answer.

    You can use the same recipe recommended above, which is just some paraffin wax, a paint brush, and a hair dryer. Just heat the wax, paint it onto the cushions, and then use the hair dryer to make sure the wax soaks in. Just keep in mind that you want to do this somewhere you don't mind spilling a little wax, as it can be messy when all of the wax is under the heat.

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    See more questions like this: How do I clean/disinfect something I have waterproofed without degrading the waterproofing?

    How can I make wood water repellent?

    What materials should I use or need in making a liquid solution that can be used as water repellent?

    • Stir 500 ml of flaxseed oil (boiled), 500 ml of turpentine, 250 ml of apple-cider vinegar in a container. Rub the mixture into the wood with a cloth.
    • Shake 750 ml of canola oil and 250 ml of vinegar. Apply it to the wood for a day.
    • A boiling-water-resistant mixture. Mix 500 ml of amber with some flaxseed oil. Add 750 ml of boiled linseed oil that was boiled with 140 ml of yellow lead, 140 ml of white lead, and 140 ml red lead (the last three substances are added to the oil in a filter bag). Continue to boil the mixture until the oil darkens. Add amber and boil for several minutes. Then cool the mixture down and pour it to sealed bottles. Then, coat the wood with lamp black and turpentine. After the wood dries up, apply the amber lacquer four times. Then, dry up the wood in a furnace and polish it.
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    How to make an IP65-rated HDMI into IP66?

    I wonder how IP66 rating can be achieved on an IP65 HDMI

    You cannot do that. This is an industry standard that can be achieved in the product through factory production technology and tests (the product is specially made and tested with specific water jets at a specific pressure and for a specified time). You will have to buy a new HDMI cable, socket, or connector.

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    How can I make my DIY flip-flops water-poof?

    I bought some plain white foam flip-flops with the idea to decorate them myself. I drew on them using a sharpie, hi-lighter, markers etc. How can I now make them waterproof so I can wear them around?

    Purchase some plain beeswax. This can be sourced out online or in a craft supply store in the candle making section. Rub the beeswax all over the surface areas of the flip flops. It will leave a wax coating but do not worry. Then take a blow dryer and set it to low. Melt the wax until there is no noticeable build up and let dry. Your flip flops will now be waterproof. You may need to reapply once a month depending on how often you wear the shoes.

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    How do I waterproof the components of a drone?

    I have a quadcopter which I took apart in order to convert it into an RC boat. But I'm having trouble finding a way to waterproof the components of it in order for it to withstand water damage. I have seen people buying a spray can but I don't have the time/money to buy one. Any ideas I can do to protect my drone/future boat?

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    You could try something like beeswax or a candle but that will not protect as well as something like the CorrosionX spray. For the most part, drones are fairly waterproof. Beeswax would need to be heavily applied each time you planned on using the boat in the water. There are other products used on wooden boats that are a heavy wax substance so your drone would be protected short term.

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    How to make metal and glass hydrophobic?

    How to diy make windshield and glass water repellent. how to diy make metal hydrophobic

    For the windshield, you can cut a potato in half and rub the cut side all over a clean windshield or 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol to 1 cup water. These will need to be applied regularly to get the Rain X Hydrophobic results. For metal, you would need to purchase an Oleophobic treatment. There currently is nothing DIY for metal. Some manufacturers use a laser to make metal hydrophobic but these types of lasers are industrial grade and not available for purchase on the mass market.

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    Sir I have a solar street light, and I want to make that waterproof?

    There is street light which I have to make waterproof to keep the circuit from being destroyed. The light is totally dipped in bucket full of water

    Cover the housing for the light in silicone. Apply and brush out the silicone. Build up at least three layers and wait for each layer to dry before you reapply. You can seal this further with a clear liquid sealant coating if you are planning on keeping the light submerged in water.

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    Need help to produce hydrophobic?

    Actually, I am from Algeria and I want to produce a waterproof liquid, can you help me please?

    There is no one waterproof liquid for every type of medium. Wood responds differently than glass for instance. There are many different DIY suggestions on the page and you can experiment by using them on wood, metal, and glass to determine which is the most compatible for all uses.

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    How to make cardboard tubes waterproof?

    Hello I want to make a small homemade boat for fishing, but I don't have materials such as drums. I do however have these long cardboard tubes. So is there a way in which I can make them waterproof? Thank you.

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    Not for the long term. No matter what you coat on the cardboard, it will still become water logged and you will sink. Not to mention that it is not strong enough to withhold your weight in the water. There are many other ways to make a boat. Consider the Vikings who crossed oceans in large boats made out of wood and animal fat. In this YouTube Tutorial you can see how to make a wooden boat inexpensively. My son made one of these for a school project and 4 years later, he still uses it on calm waters for fun.

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    Do you have a cheaper way to waterproof paper?

    I would like to know a cheaper way because these options are very expensive

    You could use wax paper. Take the paper and put it between two sheets of wax paper. Place a tea towel on top of the paper and wax and then use an iron to set the paper and wax. If you want to preserve something out of paper that is not flat, you can gently dip in melted white candle wax.

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    I want to waterproof lounge suites as business which is not silicon based?

    I want a way that does not use silicon and a solution I can use with a spray gun

    Because you would like to use a spray gun, your options are limited to silicone, lacquer or chalk paint. The chalk paint will have a color so this should be used when updating a piece of outdoor furniture. Something like melted beeswax would work if you sprayed fast enough while the wax stayed warm but I personally would not risk this to chance.

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    Is Alum treated fabric washable?

    I just waterproofed some pillow covers for our patio using the detergent and Alum method. I would like to know if I can now wash them or will the Alum be washed out? Thanks!

    The Alum will be less effective or completely washed out. You can reapply after you have cleaned the fabric each time. Really you should every few months anyway or more often during a rainy pattern of weather.

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    Is there a known way to apply a coat of something to waterproof electronics?

    I want to use the silicone and mineral spirits method or a similar method on fragile electronics. Is there any known coating that wouldn't damage the electronics?

    CorrisionX brand is widely used for waterproofing electronics. If you do use silicone, be careful to not weigh down the components.

    What is the property of the soybean oil and turpentine that makes the fabric waterproof?

    My classmates and I are planning to make a project about soybean oil, then I saw this process. What property of the soybean can help me win our project and make it waterproof? I mean it's a unique idea to have soybean as a waterproofing material right? Thanks, it would mean a lot. I have tried: Yes, tried to search on Google but it just showed 'WIKIPEDIA' and we can't find the property of it WITH THOSE WORDS.

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    This is because it is not really the soybean that makes the item waterproof but rather the oil itself. You can use any type of oil from flaxseed to canola to waterproof an item. Even animal fat such as bacon grease can be used to make an item waterproof. The turpentine basically seals the oil in the fabric.

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    I want to be able to pass electric wire inside a water bottle linking to two metal prongs at the bottom?

    I need a way to make the wire waterproof and a case holding the two prongs

    You can do this with PVC piping and seal the components completely in or follow this YouTube Tutorial. Be extremely careful when using electrical wire around water. You will not want to test your product alone and wear shoes and gloves that provide electrical grounding capability.

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    I want to prepare anti-phobic agent?

    I want to prepare anti-phobic agent?

    Antiphobic generally means the opposite of something. So if you want to use an antiphobic then work with raw materials such as cotton.

    By which material we can make cardboard fire proof?

    By what material and what method have been used to make cardboard fire proof? How to make a material that has a fire proof characteristic and material used should be cheap and it should be easily available? I have tried: I have tried to search material which has fire proof characteristic but I could not found it. I think it was caused by: There were many articles but there is no article from which material it has been made

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    What kind of wax is the most reliable one to be waterproof?

    We are testing different kinds of wax to see which one becomes most reliable and its really difficult. I need to know the type of wax which is the most reliable to stay waterproof. I have tried: None because we haven't been able to know what kinds there are and how any there are. I think it was caused by: We don't know any kind because we were going to use them on shoes but it became difficult to find out which kind of wax

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    Categories : Safety

    Recent edits by: sgray127, bongart, riswana

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