RepelWell’s revolutionary water-based formula uses superphobic technology to bond directly with surfaces at the nano level, create a flexible, invisible shield, and protect them from liquids, dirt, oils, stains, and cosmetics.
Whether RepelWell is applied to furniture, appliances, clothing, automobile interiors, or countertops; and whether wine, coffee, chocolate, tea, or pet stains, this non-flammable spray contains no aerosol propellants that can harm the environment and cause safety concerns.
The website also reports that the spray won’t change the color, texture, feel, or breathability of your fabrics and linens, which will remain soft to the touch, and can continue working after repeated washings. It can even be used to safely protect the interior of your car, including upholstery, leather, metal, and plastic.
Is RepelWell really the world’s best way to keep water, stains, and damage away, as claimed in the commercial? Is it revolutionary, or just run-of-the-mill? Keep reading, and we'll help you explore important questions like these.
How Do RepelWell’s Hydrophobic Properties Work?
Writing for MIT News, David L. Chandler reports a hydrophobic substance is one that “naturally repels water, causing droplets to form.” He adds that “Hydrophilic and hydrophobic materials are defined by the geometry of water on a flat surface — specifically, the angle between a droplet’s edge and the surface underneath it. This is called the contact angle.”
In short, this means that if the contact angle is less than 90 degrees, the water droplet will spread and wet a large area of the surface—defined as hydrophilic. “But if the droplet forms a sphere that barely touches the surface — like drops of water on a hot griddle—the contact angle is more than 90 degrees, and the surface is hydrophobic, or water-fearing.”
Specifically, how does RepelWell achieve this greater than 90-degree contact angle? The bottom line is that the product’s commercial didn’t provide much detail, the website didn’t list any ingredients, and we weren’t able to reach customer service for additional insight.
However, based on the product’s competition (more about this below), RepelWell appears to be a silicone-based waterproofing spray that creates a ‘superphobic’ state. How is this any different than ‘standard’ hydrophobic technology?
Again, none of these sources expounded. But other ‘superphobic’ sprays claim to create 160-175° contact angles, compared to 90° with a freshly waxed car, 95° for a Teflon-coated cooking pan, and 110° for Rain-X. In a nutshell, this means liquids could roll away better on surfaces coated in RepelWell, compared to other options.
But let’s see how much value you’ll get for your money.
How Much Does RepelWell Cost?
One bottle of RepelWell is priced at $19.99, plus $7.99 S&H. Each order will also come with a free bonus travel-size bottle of Super Shoe Protectant.
Although we called customer service several times during their posted business hours to learn more about this formula, how much is contained in each bottle, or how many applications it will offer, we only encountered a message that advised us to call back when they were open.
Nonetheless, all RepelWell orders come with a 30-day money back guarantee, less S&H. In order to request one, customer support can be reached at 877-590-9113.
How does this price compare to the competition?
RepelWell vs. NeverWet & Other Multi-Use, Super-Hydrophobic Sprays
While there is no shortage of companies offering industrial hydrophobic coatings, as well situation-specific consumer sprays (such as those for camping/outdoor gear), we only encountered three direct competitors that were advertised as effective on everyday clothing and other fabrics, as well as other surfaces:
|RepelWell||$27.98, including S&H||Unknown||Unknown|
|Waterbeader||$25||11oz (20 sq. ft.)||Translucent white|
|Hydrobead Aerosol||$19.50||11oz (20 sq. ft.)||Unknown|
|Rust-Oleum NeverWet Fabric Spray||$120||11oz (20-60 sq. ft.)||Clear|
By all appearances, the NeverWet Multi-Surface aerosol formula was the first consumer-level super-hydrophobic spray on the market, which was released back in 2014.
Both Slate and Gizmodo noted that it left a hazy white, milky coating on any surface it was applied to—and that this tended to fall off with ease. However, the company has since released several other NeverWet formulas (including the Fabric version above) that promise to dry clear and—like RepelWell—to last several washing cycles.
Gizmodo’s Ashley Feinberg also emphasized that the original NeverWet aerosol can didn’t go very far. In fact, by covering only about 20 square feet, a single bottle of any of the options above might not be enough for more than three to four adult shirts. This means that if you pay $20 for a bottle, you could use $3-$4 of it per shirt.
When shopping around for a super-hydrophobic non-aerosol spray, a final consideration is the smell. Again, we can't report on RepelWell’s odor (if any), since we didn’t test it firsthand. But in some instances, customers reported that these sprays could smell like everything from "dead brain cells" to an overwhelming vinegar-like odor.
Where does all of this leave you when it comes to RepelWell?
Our Final Thoughts About RepelWell
Based on many of the complaints we read in the Gizmodo and Slate articles cited earlier for the original NeverWet, it seems manufacturers have listened to customers and started creating non-aerosol options like RepelWell that dry clear and can be applied to a wide variety of surfaces.
But without important details about the size of each bottle or the amount of coverage area each will provide, we can’t speak to the overall value it might provide, compared to the mainstream competition. Again, we called support at the number listed above several times during normal business hours for more information, but were told the department was closed.
As consumers ourselves, this could lead potentially to the observation that it might be difficult to obtain a refund if dissatisfied with RepelWell’s performance. In addition to everything we’ve discussed so far, here are a couple of other unanswered questions we had about the spray:
- How often will you have to reapply?
- How many applications will each bottle provide? The commercial promises it’s “enough to protect an entire household of surfaces,” but what does this translate to, specifically?
- Exactly how many washings will each application withstand? Are there any variables that could increase or decrease this time?
If you feel like giving RepelWell a try despite these questions, the manufacturer seems to stand behind it with a 30-day refund policy. Just keep in mind that you’ll lose your original $8 fee, plus whatever it will cost for you to ship the spray back to the manufacturer, if you don’t find it a valuable use of your money.