Once you’ve got your hands on a high-quality tool backpack or bag, the next thing you want to do is make sure it lasts a long time! Read on to learn about backpack care, and how to make a waterproof tool bag.
Taking care of your backpack is vital, but luckily, caring for your backpack can be done in just a few short steps.
The zipper coils are very important as they help keep the backpack closed and sealed shut. After some time with repeated uses, dirt and crud will start to collect in the zipper coils. When the zipper coils become dirty, they won’t stay shut or closed. Simply clean out and treat the zipper coils with lubricant every 6 months or so for normal use. For those who work in an excessively dusty and dirty work environment, consider cleaning the coils every 3-4 months.
Cleaning the zipper coils is easy. Use soapy water and a toothbrush to scrub the zipper coils. Next use an air hose to blow out the fine crud or tiny particles that the toothbrush missed. Then, apply a lubricant to the zipper coils. Quality beeswax, zipper lubricant, or silicone spray will work well to keep the zipper coils lubricated and functioning correctly.
Zipper safety is another thing to keep in mind. A sharp tool or something that is hot can damage the zippers permanently. A lacerated or burned zipper coil will not work correctly and repairing damaged zipper coils is almost impossible. So, always follow the following rules:
-Keep the backpack far away when drilling, cutting, or welding.
-Do not burn or expose your toolbag to heat, especially the zippers, in any way.
-Face the sharp side of any tools down so they won’t come in contact with the zippers.
-Don’t overstuff your toolbag. An overstuffed backpack puts unwanted stress on the zippers. Over time the zippers will break down and not function properly, causing them to separate and open. Pack your backpack with the appropriate tools, meters, and accessories, and don’t overstuff it. Purchase a larger one if needed.
Options for a Waterproof Tool Bag
There are several ways to make a backpack waterproof. One way is to use a wax like a beeswax or Otter Wax. The process is very simple.
1) Clean the outside of the desired backpack thoroughly and allow it to dry.
2) Find a warm, dry location. It’s important to not be in a cold location when starting the process because the wax will harden and will be impossible to get on. If the wax is stiff, heat the wax by putting it near a warm air vent or in the sun.
3) Test the wax on a small piece of the bag, to ensure you like the desired result. Sometimes the wax will make the material darker. In a spot hidden from normal view, apply the wax to see how it looks. If not happy with the results then stop or try another method.
4) Take the wax bar and spread it on the backpack material with long and even strokes keeping it consistent and going from side to side to create friction to warm up the bar of wax. For hard-to-reach places, use the edge of the bar. For waxing seams, spread the seam with your hand behind the material to open it up so there is access to wax it completely. Cover the whole backpack with wax.
5) Rub the wax into the material. When rubbing the wax into the material use a massaging motion similar to kneading dough for pizza.
6) Use a hair dryer to heat the material. Move the hair dryer from side to side slowly blow drying all of the surface areas and gently heating it up. As the wax heats up it seeps into the material. Massage the material one more time to finish the waxing process.
7) Finally, hang the waxed backpack in an area that is warm and dry. Let it hang for a day or two. Wax it once a year.
Other Waterproof Tool Bag Options
Another way to waterproof tool bags is to use Scotchgard or Camp Dry by Kiwi. This method is much easier than using wax.
1) Hang the bag up for easy access for spraying. Spray it with one heavy coat of Scotchgard or Camp Dry by Kiwi. When spraying, ensure you give the seams and zippers plenty of attention.
2)Hang it outside or in the garage for a day or two to dry.
Waterproof Tool Bag Spray Reviews
Those who have used Scotchgard and Camp Dry have been overwhelmingly positive about their experience waterproofing their tool bag with these products. Some, however, were disappointed with the way the material ended up smelling, and others complained of the bag having a chalky or yellowing color when finished. Keep this in mind when considering waterproofing your backpack. Always pick an inconspicuous spot and test out the wax or spray to see the finished effect!
Making a Waterproof Tool Bag is easier than you think, and doing it yourself means you don’t have to look especially for a waterproof one! If you’re in the market for a new tool backpack, check out our tool backpack buying guide!