I have snow boots that I just pulled out of my garage. I live in Los Angeles, so it's rare when I go to the snow. I'm not sure what caused it, but my boot hooks rusted and looked bad. I used a toothbrush and steel wool and got as much rust as I could off. They look so much better, however, they're not perfect. It's good enough for me but how do I protect them from getting worse again? Especially if they only see the light of day for maybe a few weeks every other year.

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  • What do you normally use to waterproof your boots?
    – Chris H
    Mar 26, 2020 at 13:15
  • vaseline before you put them away
    – llama
    Mar 30, 2020 at 9:26

1 Answer 1


Rust is iron oxide (Fe2O3) so it is produced by exposure to oxygen in air. To protect, you need to prevent air from getting to the hooks/loops.

The easiest way to do this will be to oil them - spray some light lubricating oil onto a cloth/paper towel, rub over all surfaces of the hooks.

  • How would you prevent the oil coming into contact with the fabric, while still covering the metal completely? Or do you consider that it wouldn't be a problem (I expect it to interfere with modern water-based proofing treatments, for example; it may also stain)
    – Chris H
    Mar 26, 2020 at 13:14
  • It probably wouldn't be a problem, but you could substitute a wax instead. Snow Seal is a popular brand of beeswax for waterproofing boots. Just for the record neither is going to prevent rust indefinitely; you'll need to go over them before putting them away for long periods. Mar 26, 2020 at 15:38
  • @ChrisH the coating left by rubbing the oil on is thin and in such small amounts it should not stain the material underneath. It is possible that it will interfere with water-proofing, but how much I don't know and would likely depend on the method of water-proofing. Sno-Seal as suggested above would work equally well, but has the same downsides.
    – bob1
    Mar 26, 2020 at 19:59
  • I don't mean the material underneath, I mean the material next to the metal. The edges next to the suede look particularly rusty, and suede soaks up oils really easily
    – Chris H
    Mar 26, 2020 at 20:25

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