NeverWet Lives Up to Its Name — But Questions Remain

Yes, it repels water from all sorts of surfaces at home, maybe even better than the hype suggests, but what’s the catch?

Rust-Oleum is rolling out its new NeverWet, water-repelling spray with such fanfare, we’re expecting a parade any minute.

NeverWet is a “superhydrophobic” (not just a regular hydrophobic), two-part spray that makes water bead up and run off just about any surface – plastic, wood, stucco, cement, tennis sneakers you want to keep white.

NeverWet, a nanotechnology innovator, has teamed up with Rust-Oleum to bring this miracle coating to the masses. The company “loves” its new product for low traffic-low abrasion items like:

  • Exposed brick and masonry
  • Porous wood, like decks
  • Stucco – claims of warding off mold and mildew have been made
  • Toilet brushes
  • Cat boxes and dog beds
  • Outdoor gear – hiking books, tents, gloves

There’s a catch. Isn’t there always?

The coating wears off quickly on surfaces that you rub or walk on often, like a walkway. Also, it has a matte finish and dries with a little white, hazy, and velvety feeling. So you shouldn’t spray it on:

  • Glass you’d like to see through (like your car’s windshield)
  • Black surfaces, like dress shoes
  • Nice clothing that you don’t want to redesign with a whitish, velvety finish (though the company is working on a fabric coating)

Internet chatter says NeverWet actually works better than advertised. Users have sprayed it on their satellite dish (bird poop rolls off) and workshop clamps (glue rolls off). But some commenters are worried about the health hazards of the spray.

A NeverWet white paper says key ingredients in the top coat are used in food products. “Yes, you have eaten them,” it says.

But — and this is a big but — the company doesn’t vouch for the solvents used in the product.

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