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Claim check: Rustoleum NeverWet

Does this spray-on product repel moisture on surfaces?

Published: November 2013

The claim. “Imagine a surface being rained on but never wet, spilled on but never wet, submerged but never wet,” says an ad for Rustoleum NeverWet, which “causes liquids to form perfect spheres so they roll off surfaces like never before.” It’s designed to repel moisture on everything from cloth to concrete. You spray on a base coat, let it dry for a half-hour, then spray on a top coat and wait at least another half-hour before exposing the treated item to water.

The check. We used NeverWet on work gloves made of cloth and leather and on sneakers, boots, steel, wood, aluminum, glass, plastic, paper, paving stones, and cloth seat cushions. Our tester confesses that his “inner geek really wanted this product to work well.”

Bottom line. Call it Soon­Wet. The coating worked—water ran right off—but not for long in the real world, where life is a contact sport. As the instructions note, there are limitations. Rubbing a treated surface with a finger was enough to stop the coating from shedding water. It has poor adhesion and some opacity on plastic and glass, as noted in the instructions, and dries to a frosted color. It also has difficulty covering rough surfaces, and it gives off vapors when applied.

Editor's Note: This article appeared in the January 2014 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

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