Technology

Impregnation spray test: winner of ÖKO-TEST


Only an impregnating agent is recommended

11. 01. 2020, 06: 35 | by Kathrin Strauß

Content based on the test results from ÖKO-TEST

Make sneakers waterproof with a simple trick

Winter is often less frosty than muddy. This is how many use the impregnation spray. The choice is as big as the confusion: does the expensive spray impregnate better than the cheap one? The consumer magazine ÖKO-TEST has tackled this question and published a disappointing result: Impregnation sprays rarely deliver what they promise. Almost all impregnation agents fail, especially when it comes to the supreme discipline, moisture protection, only the impregnating oil universal impregnation spray is rated “good”. Unfortunately, the impregnation sprays leave feathers on a completely different point: their ingredients. Almost all sprays contain questionable ingredients. The test was carried out by ÖKO-TEST 10 / 2017 carried out.

You can read this in this article: First we present the recommendations in the overview and then in detail. Afterwards we clarify for whom impregnation sprays are basically suitable and with which material you can use them. At the end we clarify the corresponding alternatives and other important questions.

Impregnation spray at ÖKO-TEST: none is flawless

We recommend three different impregnation sprays based on the test. The test winner with the rating “good” is the impregnating universal impregnating spray. Other recommended products are the Kiwi Super Protector and the Erdal Protect Xtreme. The former scores with the ingredients, but unfortunately does not really protect against moisture. The Protect Xtreme, on the other hand, offers strong moisture protection and still delivers satisfactory values ​​for the ingredients.

You can read all test results and the full ranking in the complete ÖKO-TEST article, which you can also read as Single item (2, 50 Euro) can be purchased.

Test winner: Impregnol universal impregnation spray

  • Source: Impregnol / Amazon

    Test winner: Impregnol universal impregnation spray

    Overall grade: good ; Ingredients: good; Wetness protection: rather strong; Protection against dirt: strong; Test result practical test: satisfactory (2.6 ) ; Test verdict “further defects”: very good; Suitable for textiles, leather and high-tech fabrics

Benefits
No questionable or controversial ingredients
Wet protection rather strong
Strong dirt protection
Satisfactory grade in the practice test
Disadvantage
Knows organic fluorine compounds

The test winner was the Brauns-Heitmann impregnating universal impregnating spray with the grade “good”.

  • Materials: You can safely use this spray on textiles, leather and high-tech fabrics.
  • Raindrop test: The impregnating universal impregnating spray brought about a noticeable improvement in moisture protection compared to that of the test leather, which was not impregnated.
  • dirt test: After applying the impregnation spray there was not significantly more test dirt left on the leather than before the treatment.

Unfortunately, this spray had shortcomings in terms of fluorine compounds: The test laboratory found short-chain PFC compounds in this spray. Otherwise, the spary had no other defects. But if you want to stay dry during your next outdoor adventure, you can use this impregnation spray. This impregnation spray is not only the test winner, but also has a good price-performance ratio. You can buy it on Amazon for round 13 Euro.

Recommended ingredients: Kiwi Super Protector

  • Source: KIWI / Amazon

    Recommendation ingredients: Kiwi Super Protector

    Overall grade: satisfactory ; Ingredients: very good; Protection against moisture: moderate; Protection against dirt: weak; Test result practical test: sufficient (4.2 ) ; Test verdict “further defects”: very good; Suitable for all materials

Benefits
No questionable or controversial ingredients
Has no organic fluorine compounds
Satisfactory grade in the practice test
Disadvantage
Wet weather protection rather strong
Protection against dirt rather bad

Based on ingredients we recommend the spray Kiwi Super Protector from SC Johnson Bama. However, due to the moderate wet stop, the spray was only rated “satisfactory”.

  • Materials: The propellant gas spray is a real all-rounder when it comes to materials – according to the declaration it is suitable for all materials.
  • Fluorine compounds: No. And also with the other ingredients the rating “very good”.
  • Raindrop test: Unfortunately, the wetness protection is only moderate.
  • Dirt test: Im This spray clearly falls through the dirt test and only receives the rating “weak”.

This impregnation spray consists of very good ingredients for an impregnation spray, which is suitable for all materials. Unfortunately, the wetness protection is unfortunately not too high. In terms of price, the spray is in the middle segment: For only round 10 Euro get it on Amazon.

Recommendation wetness protection: Erdal Protect Xtreme impregnation foam spray

  • Source: Erdal / Amazon

    Recommendation wetness protection: Erdal Protect Xtreme impregnation foam spray

    Overall grade: satisfactory ; Ingredients: sufficient; Wetness protection: strong; Protection against dirt: weak; Test result practical test: satisfactory (2.6 ) ; Test verdict “further defects”: very good; Suitable for all leather and textiles; Contains controversial / questionable ingredients

Benefits
Best protection against moisture
Excellent price-performance ratio
For leather and textiles
N / A chteile
Contains fluorine compounds
Contains other allergenic substances

As a recommendation for the best protection against moisture, we speak for the spray Protect Xtreme of Erdal-Rex . However, you have to make clear cuts here with regard to the ingredients: It not only contains fluorine compounds, but also dichloroctylisothiazolinone, is therefore downgraded and contains only one “satisfactory”.

  • Materials: The foam spray is suitable for leather and textiles.
  • Fluorine compounds: Yes, but these could not be identified exactly in the laboratory. And there's dichloroctylisothiazolinone (causes strong allergies). Since the fluorine compounds can partially outgas and get into the atmosphere, the spray is reduced by an entire level due to the environmental impact.
  • Raindrop test: Significant improvements in terms of moisture protection compared to the untreated test leather.
  • dirt test: Unfortunately, the dirt protection cannot keep up with the wetness protection in the slightest and is therefore rated “weak”.

Apart from the questionable ingredients, the Protect Xtreme has no further defects. With a price of round 15 Euro it is the most expensive waterproofing spray among our recommendations.

Further impregnation sprays in the test

In addition to the three recommendations, seven further impregnation sprays went through the test laboratory. We summarize them here for you:

  • The Collonil Waterstop Reloaded Impregnation Spray of Salzenbrodt was next to the Kiwi Super Protector from SC Johnson Bama the only spray in the test that had no questionable or controversial ingredients or organic fluorine compounds. However, it is only suitable for leather. Although it scores “very good” in terms of ingredients, it fails with the rating “moderate” in wetness protection and “weak” in the dirt test. So if you're lucky and haven't gotten too wet, this spray will likely make your leather shoes relatively dirty. On Amazon it costs round 11 Euro.
  • The all spray impregnator (colorless ) of Centralin is with a price of round) 4 euros on Amazon extremely cheap, but unfortunately not so good. It has fluorine compounds and the laboratory also found other short-chain PFC compounds. The propellant gas spray is suitable for leather and textiles and has no other defects. Since the wetness protection is only “moderate” and the dirt test “neutral”, the overall result is only sufficient for “satisfactory”. Since this spray is so average and unfortunately has no prominent property, our judgment is at most neutral.
  • The moisture blockers of Deichmann is currently online not available. But it can be used not only for shoes, but also for clothing. It has fluorine compounds and the laboratory also found other short-chain PFC compounds in the spray. But here too, as is already the case with the Allin impregnator (colorless) from Centralin: the wetness protection is only “moderate” and the dirt test “neutral”, the overall result is only “satisfactory”. However, we clearly see an advantage in this product as it is also expressly suitable for clothing. If you are looking for an all-in-one solution for your next adventure trip, this spray may be something for you.
  • The Protect Pro propellant impregnation spray of Goertz is For 13 Euro available directly in the retailer's online shop. We detected organic fluorine compounds in it, but otherwise no other controversial ingredients. It is suitable for leather and textiles and was able to show a moderate moisture stop in the test. However, it clearly failed the dirt test. Here it was only rated “very weak”.

Our test winner is the impregnation spray, Impregnol. This not only achieved good values ​​for the ingredients, but also for moisture protection. Image: Pixabay
  • The Ruby impregnating spray (long-term protection) of Rossmann was the cheapest spray in the Test and cost directly from the dealer only around 2 euros . The propellant gas spray can be used for leather, textiles, synthetics and even membrane clothing, but it knows organic fluorine compounds. However, further controversial ingredients could not be proven. Unfortunately, however, it fails in the wetness and dirt test: the wetness protection only receives the rating “moderate” from the testers, the dirt protection the rating “weak”. The idea of ​​this all-in-one solution for outdoor shoes and clothing is not bad, but in the practical test you will still get wet in the event of constant rain.
  • The Solitaire triple impregnation spray of BNS has two particularly problematic PFCs: 8: 2 FTOH and 10: 2 FTOH. These are so-called precursor compounds which can degrade to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) or to perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA). For this reason and because of their reproductive toxicity, PFOA and PFDA are considered to be particularly worrying substances and have no place in impregnation sprays. It also fails the wet (predicate “moderate”) and dirt test (predicate “weak”). Despite the relatively cheap price of round 10 Euro we advise you not to buy this spray. Your health and the environment will thank you.
  • Pump spray also fell impregnation leather from Impregno by. On Amazon it costs round 12 Euro. Although it does not have any organic fluorine compounds, it does have problematic glycols: glycols and glycol ethers are used, among other things. used as a solvent and can irritate the eyes. Impregno impregnation leather contains high levels of these problematic compounds. But that's not all: the spray also clearly falls through in the wet (predicate “weak”) and dirt test (predicate “very weak”) and only gets a “poor” in the practical test – this is also the final grade. Since the packaging also contains PVC / PVDC / chlorinated compounds and produces toxic benziothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone when burned, the product should be tested according to the ÖKO test after consultation with the manufacturer after the end of the year 2017 not like that more are offered, but only in a form that has been changed in terms of ingredients. Unfortunately, we cannot assess whether and to what extent Impregno complied with this statement.

How much do I have to spend on good waterproofing spray?

Impregnation sprays are often very expensive and even in small doses cost over 10 Euro , Our test field covers a price range from 2 to 15 euros from. However, the test shows that good impregnation sprays do not have to be expensive. The test winner of Imfälnol Universal impregnation spray costs around Amazon on 13 Euro – but you will get a three-pack with 400 ml impregnation spray per bottle.

Price is therefore not an indicator of good quality: straight the very expensive impregnation sprays often did not keep their promises and were also partially contaminated with dangerous ingredients.

Impregnation spray test: This is how ÖKO-TEST tests

Ten impregnation sprays went through the test procedure in the ÖKO-TEST laboratory and in the practical test. Only one spray was rated “good”. Only three sprays do not require fluorine chemistry and only two looked satisfactory for the testers. ÖKO-TEST evaluated the impregnation sprays based on the following criteria:

  • Purchasing: The sprays were bought in shoe stores, drug stores and online.
  • Presentation: All forms of waterproofing sprays for shoes were tested: propellant gas sprays (eight), Pump sprays (one piece) and foam sprays (one piece).
  • Materials: Only products that were tested were tested for the impregnation of leather.
  • Fluorine compounds: After this was in a laboratory commissioned by ÖKO-Test. If this search was positive, an attempt was made to determine the exact poly- and perfluorinated substances (PFC). In addition, other potentially harmful ingredients were searched for.
  • Raindrop test: An impregnated piece of leather had to undergo the raindrop test. For this purpose, various mixtures of water and isopropanol were wetted on a piece of leather impregnated with the respective product. The latter lowers the surface tension and makes it easier for the liquid to penetrate the material. Liquids with higher isopropanol contents were gradually dripped onto the leather.
  • dirt test: For the raindrop test, the laboratory also examined to what extent scattered test dirt adhered to the impregnated products
  • Other defects: To rule out additional environmental pollution, the product packaging was checked for PVC / PVDC / chlorinated compounds.

Since impregnation spr ays should be above all water-repellent, this was the main criterion after all tests carried out for ÖKO-Test. This aspect therefore flowed more into the overall judgment.

What are waterproofing sprays and how do they work?

Impregnation sprays are propellant gas or pump sprays that are sprayed onto textiles or shoes and thus give them changed product properties. Specifically, this means that impregnation sprays form fine, mesh-like layers on the applied material surfaces. In the best case, this net is so fine-meshed that it cannot be penetrated by the applied moisture and the moisture rolls off. Impregnation sprays are also rarely available as impregnation foam that has to be applied and rubbed onto clothing or shoes. It has the same properties as impregnation sprays.

Who are waterproofing sprays suitable for?

Impregnation sprays are sprays that are applied to leather, fabric and other textile shoes and clothing in order to make them as water-repellent as possible. Impregnation is available as a spray, foam or – especially for textiles – as a wash-in agent for the washing machine. If you are often in nature or are exposed to adverse weather conditions such as rain, extreme moisture, mud or ice, it is advisable to impregnate your shoes. However, if you are struggling with the weather mainly in the urban jungle, almost all of the materials' own water resistance is sufficient.

What types of waterproofing spray are there?

There are three different types of conventional impregnation sprays:

  • Spray with propellant gas: The pressure from the can allows an even distribution of the impregnation. This is easily done by lightly pressing the spray button at a distance of approx. 20 cm applied to the previously cleaned shoe to be impregnated. But be careful: Be sure to go outdoors! In addition, sprays with propellant gas must not be stored at too high temperatures, since the propellant gases (such as propane, butane, dimethyl ether or their mixtures) are highly flammable at high temperatures.
  • Pump Spray: In contrast to the propellant gas sprays, these sprays do not contain any Propane, butane, dimethyl ether or their mixtures, but are applied to the clean shoe by a pump sprayer. This pump sprayer is activated manually by repeated pumping. In contrast to propellant gas sprays, atomization is not as uniform, but these sprays are far more environmentally friendly and not as flammable.
  • Impregnation foam: Apply the impregnation foam to a soft cloth or sponge and then spread it evenly over the previously cleaned shoe.

Alternatively, there is also impregnation for clothes as a wash-in variant: This is a liquid product that is suitable for impregnation in the washing machine.

What should I pay attention to when buying impregnation spray?

Many impregnation sprays contain PFC (per- and polyfluorinated chemicals). This is a group of substances that have more than 3. 00 0 substances. The main property of PFCs is that they are water and fat repellent, resistant to heat and UV radiation. At the same time, they are very durable – which is especially true then becomes problematic when they get into the environmental cycle. PFCs are very toxic to people and the environment. They get into the water through the use of impregnation agents or, in volatile form, into the atmosphere.

If you want to avoid these ingredients, pay attention to the addition “PFC free” and “free of fluorocarbons” when buying, because only these expressions guarantee that no PFC in the sprays is included. If it can be read on the products that they are “PFOA” – or “PFOS” -free, it means that they can only do without these specifically named ingredients; but not that the sprays are generally free of PFC.

Our checklist for good sprays therefore contains the following criteria:

  • When buying impregnation sprays pay attention to the designations “OFC free” and “free of fluorocarbons”.
  • Pay attention to the price: Good impregnation sprays do not have to be expensive.
  • Pay attention to a test seal to Example from Stiftung Warentest or ÖKO-TEST.

What are alternatives to waterproofing spray?

If you want to act in an environmentally conscious manner, you should refrain from impregnating sprays with PFC. As already mentioned, this is rather difficult. So what to do? Just try to impregnate your shoes without waterproofing spray. You have various options:

  • The right care: Especially leather shoes are said to last a long time. That's right – but only with the right care. This means: Always wear only one day so that the shoe can release the moisture it absorbs on the following day. Never dry shoes on the heater, otherwise the material will become brittle and crack. And above all: care! That means removing the dirt with a rag or a brush and rubbing smooth leather shoes with natural wax or milking fat, for example. Let this layer dry and repeat the application once. Incidentally, this applies to all shoes.
  • Linseed oil: The linseed oil application is also particularly suitable for fabric shoes. Use a brush to apply a thin layer of linseed oil to the clean shoes and let them dry. Repeat the process 2-3 times – then the shoes should be impregnated for a full year.
  • Candle or beeswax: This is not the easiest way to waterproof shoes, but definitely very effective. However, you should not try this on your best pair of smooth leather shoes, as it requires little practice.

    Opt for Candle wax, choose a white candle to avoid discoloration of the shoe material. Melt the candle wax e.g. with a lighter and rub it thinly on your shoes. Now work with the blow dryer: Blow dry your shoes until the wax has hardened. Then polish the wax if necessary.

    Similarly, go to Beeswax before. Mix the beeswax in a ratio of 1: 4 with wool wax, melt it and add a dash of vegetable oil if necessary if the fat is still too firm. Now impregnate the shoes, let them harden and polish.
  • Self-made spray from acetic acid clay: Mix acetic acid clay in a ratio of 1: 1 with water and then pour into a spray bottle. Impregnate shoes as normal and let them dry. This waterproofing protection will not be enough for a trip to the Arctic, but it will definitely be enough for the urban jungle.

How do I use waterproofing spray correctly?

When impregnating shoes and clothing: less is more. Spray your shoes and clothing 2-3 times with a thin layer rather than once with a layer that is too thick. In addition, waterproofing sprays should only be used outdoors.

What are critical ingredients in most waterproof sprays?

Impregnation sprays usually contain PFC. PFC stands for per- and polyfluorinated chemicals and is very toxic to humans and the environment. They get into the water through the use of impregnation agents or, in volatile form, into the atmosphere. Some PFCs have been shown in animal experiments to damage organs and to reduce reproduction.

The most important questions about impregnation spray at a glance

What is the best waterproofing spray?

The best waterproofing spray and the test winner from Ökotest 10 / 17 is the impregnating universal impregnating spray from Brauns Heitmann.

How much does a good one waterproofing spray?

Good impregnation sprays don't have to be expensive. The test winner from Ökotest 10 / 17 is already available for just under 2 euros (Brauns-Heitmann Impregnol Universal Impregnation Spray) .

How do I use impregnation spray correctly?

The following applies when impregnating shoes and clothing: less is more. Spray your clean shoes and clothes 2-3 times with a thin layer rather than once with a too thick layer. In addition, waterproofing sprays should only be used outdoors.

What are critical ingredients in most impregnation sprays?

Impregnation sprays usually contain PFC. PFC stands for per- and polyfluorinated chemicals and is very toxic to humans and the environment. They get into the water through the use of impregnation agents or, in volatile form, into the atmosphere. Some PFCs have been shown in animal experiments to damage organs and to reduce reproduction.

What gives it for alternatives to impregnation sprays?

The environmentally friendly alternatives to impregnation sprays include candle and beeswax, milking fat, linseed oil or a mixture of some acetic acid Alumina and part of water.

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