Superhydrophobic neurotoxin spray from the Home Depot?

So this pretty amazing NeverWet spray-on waterproofer is finally available from the Home Depot.

But its MSDS uses scary phrases like “narcosis involving a loss of coordination, weakness, fatigue, mental confusion…” “…permanent brain and nervous system damage” “…material can enter the lungs and cause severe lung damage”. It is listed as an “Acute Health Hazard” and a “Chronic Health Hazard” and apparently decomposes when exposed to carbon monoxide or carbon monoxide. It is also not supposed to enter any waterways or sewers.

So in other words, here’s this thing that is marketed as something you’d spray on your t-shirt, shoes, toilet brush, etc. to waterproof them, but its MSDS says you shouldn’t inhale any of its particles or allow any of it to get into the waterways.

Am I misunderstanding the severity of the MSDS, or is this a product that is essentially impossible to use safely as intended?

Once it’s on your t-shirt, you probably won’t inhale it. It probably rdcomendsva wash strep afterwards, but it might not be necessary. Some of those warnings are probably for the propellant. I wouldn’t inhale those either.

First of all, the bolded text is wrong. It decomposes into carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide upon heating, which is to be expected - all carbon compounds produce them when they burn. Second, yes, these are well known risks of breathing propellants and solvents, which is why all such products come with warnings about ventilation and not deliberately concentrating and inhaling them (and why people deliberately concentrate and inhale them in the first place). Third, it’s not listed as “an ‘Acute Health Hazard’ and a ‘Chronic Health Hazard,’” it has its acute and chronic hazards listed in the appropriate section of the MSDS, as does virtually every non-food item sold.

In other words, yes, you’re misunderstanding the severity of the MSDS.

Speaking as a guy that works in the chemical industry…

MSD sheets always read scary. It’s a company’s way to try to limit liability. To determine actual risk it’s usually better to look for actual published academic papers, consult with your doctor, seek out people in the industry involved in producing said product, and talk to them.

That said, you will rarely go wrong heeding a MSD sheet’s instructions. They tend towards overly cautious. If you’re a layman handling chemicals, that’s not a bad thing.

Interesting product, 2 questions though: Is this any better than silicone waterproofing sprays, and does it allow the material to breathe? I might spray it on my shoes but I don’t want it to make my feet sweat .

Just for perspective, look at #11 on the MSDS - toxicology. LD50 is the lethal dose for 50% of a given group. LC50 is the lethal concentration. The worst one on there for which there is a value (rather than N.E. - none est.) is aliphatic hydrocarbon which is 5000mg/kg in rats.

Now look at table salt - sodium chloride.

edit: I’m sure this is still very nasty shit and you should follow ALL of the instructions. Just try to be circumspect.

Ars Technica had one of their editors play around with the stuff. Here’s their report.


Is Ultra Ever Dry the same thing as Never Wet?

ETA: No, they’re two different products. Here is Ultra Ever Dry’s topcoat MSDS; looks like there’s a few different substances.

Here’s an MSDS for hand cleaner that recommends wearing gloves when handling it.

As far as I can tell, it is silicone waterproofing spray. I couldn’t say whether it’ll be breathable, though I suspect not. It looks like a pretty thick coat.

I have an order coming, I’ll report back with my experience as soon as I get it. Watching the video on the Home Depot site, they call out that the spray is low-odor, and usable inside unlike the stuff from Ars Technica.

First things I’m gonna spray are the panniers on my motorcycle. Then, if I can figure out an answer to the breathability question, I may do my jacket as well. It’s old enough that the DWR stuff from REI doesn’t really bring back the water repellency, but I paid extra for the Gore Tex, so I’m not keen on screwing that up.

My organic chemistry’s not the best, but I don’t see any silicone in the MSDS.

If you look carefully, you will see that the MSDS linked in the OP is actually two, one for the base and one for the top coat. Scroll down to the latter (page 6) and you will see: “Silicones and Siloxanes, Dimethyl-, Reaction Product.”

Thanks, you’re correct in that I didn’t catch that.

I got my order delivered yesterday and wasted no time heading out to the garage to try it out.

On the plus side, it was easy to apply and not especially smelly. And it works as advertised. I had a ridiculous amount of fun dumping water on things I had coated.

The bad news is that they’re right when they say it dries to a milky, frosted finish. It made my black motorcycle panniers look unevenly blueish. I found it to be objectionable enough to spend the rest of the evening removing the coating.

It makes a thin, stretchy coating that on hard surface can be carefully peeled up. It reminds me of something else, but I can’t put my finger on what. A cross between peeling off the plastic they use to cover the screens on new electronics and the sticky film left when pulling stickers off a hard surface.

It’s harder to remove from fabric, but automotive fabric and upholstery cleaner took care of it with the aid of a stuff brush. L

This thread inspired me to get some of the stuff to play with. I first sprayed a piece of cardboard about a square foot in size. It has the white haze but water just goes shooting off of it. It’s nearly impossible to balance it well enough to keep a drop of water on it and if you hold the cardboard and pour water from a few inches high you’re probably going to get wet because it shoots off in all directions.

Next I tried to coat a small rag with it thinking maybe I could dunk it in water and pull it out dry. Nope, just putting it under the faucet briefly caused it to soak up water like a normal rag. In their video where they’re pouring ketchup and stuff on the guy with the white shirt, if you look close you can see that his shirt is weird and shiny. You must have to spray a lot onto cloth to get it to work.

Finally, I had the bright of spraying my boots. I figured since they’re tan in color a little white haze wouldn’t matter and may not even show. So I sprayed them and let them dry for a few minutes and… whoa, here’s a photo of the outcome.

I wiped the haze off with a towel, the one clean boot in the image has been wiped. It came off easily in about 20 seconds, so no big deal. The photo was taken with flash so the white looks worse than it did in real life, but they were still pretty much unwearable. I’m hoping some of the waterproofness is still in the fabric, but I noticed some of the base coat wiped off with the haze so I doubt they’ll be very waterproof. And as easy as it wiped off, I seriously doubt the stuff would last long on something like a boot.

All in all, it does repel water extremely well on a hard surface, but I’m not convinced that the spray can application works very well. There’s no way you could coat a toilet brush like they do in their video unless you dip it in a vat of the stuff. And you shouldn’t use it on anything that you care about the looks of or that isn’t white. I keep trying to think of places to use it, but I can’t think of anything that spray paint wouldn’t work just as well on.

So basically it makes waterproof surfaces more…waterproof…

No, t makes porous surfaces (which would otherwise absorb water) waterproof for a while.

Miracle Product Not Actually So Miraculous When It Comes Down To It!

Film* at 11!

  • which can be easily peeled off.