Wader Care

Keeping Your Gear in Prime Condition

Your waders are more than just gear—they're your trusted companion in the blind and your shield against the elements. To ensure they're always prepped for the next hunt or muddy escapade, it's essential to provide them with the care they deserve. Below, we'll cover the essentials for caring for your waders, including Cleaning & Drying, Storage, Repair, and Zipper Care.

Man in woods in shield 7 brown waders


Maintaining clean waders is vital for their longevity and performance. By diligently following the appropriate cleaning and drying protocols, you can effectively preserve the comfort, functionality, and freshness of your waders, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the experiences that await you in the great outdoors. Follow these steps to keep them free from debris, fabric deterioration, and odor-causing bacteria:

How To Clean Waders - Step By Step

  1. Keep your waders on when cleaning.
  2. Wet your waders with a low-pressure hose.
  3. Rub mild soap all over, covering every part including legs and inseams. (Use mild dish soap like Dawn)
  4. Rinse thoroughly with low-pressure water.

How To Dry Waders - Step By Step

  1. Hang to air dry in a shaded area away from direct heat and sunlight.
  2. Avoid using a blow dryer or heat, as it can damage your waders.
  3. Allow them to air dry completely, which may take several hours or overnight.
  4. Once boots are cleaned and dried, apply boot/rubber conditioner to prevent cracking.


By implementing the right storage practices, you can ensure that your waders remain in top condition so they're ready to grab and go for your next trip to the blind. From turning them inside out to investing in specialized wader bags, these storage tips will help safeguard your waders from damage, pests, and other potential hazards.

For a visual guide on folding and storing your waders, check out our YouTube video tutorial here: How to Fold Waders

Tips For Storing Waders

  • Turn them inside out.
  • Store in a cool, dry place.
  • Hang or lay flat to avoid creases.
  • Avoid sharp objects that could puncture or tear the fabric.
  • Consider using a wader bag for added protection.
  • Regularly check on stored waders to ensure they remain in good condition.

Wader Repair - How To Patch 

Addressing leaks promptly is crucial for maintaining the functionality of your waders. Follow these steps and tips for effective wader repair:

  1. Prepare waders by submerging in water to identify leaks more effectively.
  2. Inspect waders, focusing on seams, booties, zippers, and patches for any signs of damage or wear.
  3. Mark leak location with waterproof marker or tape to ensure precise repair.
  4. Dry marked area thoroughly before proceeding with the repair.
  5. Apply a repair patch with generous overlap.
  6. Spread adhesive on the inside of waders for a secure bond.
  7. Place the patch over the marked area and press firmly.
  8. Smooth out bubbles and wrinkles.
  9. Test repair for leaks before use to ensure the repair is effective and watertight.

For top-quality wader repair, we recommend using the Aquaseal FD Repair Kit from Gear Aid. This kit includes everything you need to make permanent repairs to your waders, ensuring they remain functional and reliable.


Whether it's for easy access or keeping essentials organized, here's how to ensure your wader zipper’s stay in top condition:

  • Keep It Clean: Prevent debris from clogging the zipper teeth to maintain smooth operation.
  • Regular Maintenance: Use a zipper cleaner and lubricant regularly to keep the zippers running smoothly.
  • Proper Storage: When storing, avoid folding or bending waders when zipped to prevent weakening the zipper.
  • Handle with Care: Never force a stuck zipper; instead, lubricate thoroughly and gently maneuver it.

Common Wader Care Mistakes

To ensure your waders are ready for action season after season, steer clear of these common pitfalls:

  • Allowing waders to remain wet, which can lead to mold and mildew.
  • Skipping a thorough cleaning before storage, leaving behind odors from previous hunts.
  • Folding or compressing waders incorrectly, risking creases and tears.
  • Neglecting to address any signs of mold or mildew promptly.
  • Forgetting to inspect waders regularly for wear and tear.


By following our care and maintenance guidelines, you can ensure your Gator Waders will continue to provide reliable protection and peak performance, even for those who are extra hard on their gear. Our commitment to quality extends beyond the purchase, with warranty coverage and repair options available to address any issues that may arise. Count on Gator Waders to equip you for every hunt, ensuring you stride forward with confidence in every step.

WARRANTY: Gator Waders warranty covers Manufacturer’s defects in workmanship and materials. Warranty period varies by product, ranging from 90 days to 12 months from purchase. Proof of purchase required. For details, visit our Warranty Page.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, it's not recommended. Opt for a sturdy plastic container with a lid or our Vented Wader Bag to protect them from moisture and mold.

It's a good practice to inspect your waders regularly, especially before and after each hunting season, to ensure they remain in good condition.

No, it's best to let your waders air dry naturally. Avoid using a dryer, as the heat can damage the material. Hang them up in a well-ventilated area instead.