How To Wash A Wetsuit
A wetsuit is defined as a close-fitting garment. Usually made from neoprene – a synthetic rubber-like polymer which is weather resistant. Worn by divers to provide thermal insulation. And also as protection from abrasions and stings from marine life.
To extend the life of your neoprene you need to know how to properly care for it. Correct maintenance will eliminate unpleasant smells that are caused by sweat, bacteria, saltwater, and accidental urination. Learn how to wash a wetsuit here…
How to clean neoprene – before you begin, you’ll need to get together a few basic supplies:
- Appropriate wetsuit shampoo or a gentle laundry detergent
- Wetsuit clothes hanger
- Large towel
- Access to fresh water via a garden hose
- A container large enough for the wetsuit, or simply use the bath
The Washing Process
How to wash neoprene is quite straightforward:
- Rinse the wetsuit in a tub of water several times – or hold the garment under tepid running water
- Open all the zips as this makes access easier during the cleaning process
- Work a generous amount of wetsuit shampoo into the fabric and hand wash to remove any surface contaminants – you can soak the wetsuit for up to 20 minutes for premium results – don’t forget to wash inside and out
- Remove all soap residue by using clean water directly from a hosepipe – or plunge the garment into fresh water in a tub until the water is clear
- Allow the wetsuit to air-dry – use the wetsuit clothes hanger – and turn the wetsuit inside out to ensure drying is complete
- Strong smells can be removed with an appropriate odour remover – fill the tub with a cool water mix and dip the suit in and out before thoroughly rinsing
Things to Avoid
How to clean a wetsuit involves not doing some things such as:
- Never putting your wetsuit into the washing machine or the tumble dryer as this will damage the neoprene
- Not leaving your wetsuit in the sun as it will dry out and become brittle, leaving the wetsuit inflexible and tight
- Not keeping your wetsuit on the drying hanger as this weakens and stretches the shoulders
- Forgetting to remove your wetsuit from your wetsuit bag as bacteria will quickly breed in the damp environment, and the wetsuit will start to smell
- Staying away from chemical solvents, oils, and aerosols as any stains are extremely hard to get rid of and will weaken the fabric
- Never ironing your wetsuit – avoid high heat at all times
Your wetsuit should always be dried away from sunlight. Drip drying and alternate towel rolling also works.
You can dry your wetsuit outside in the shade by draping it over a chair. Remember to turn it inside out to make sure drying is complete.
But there is a handy piece of equipment you can buy that looks like a computer fan! This wetsuit dryer blows air down the legs and arms and the wetsuit becomes bone dry after an overnight hang.
How to Store Your Wetsuit
It’s best to store your wetsuit flat as it can develop permanent creases if left folded. Or you can store on a wetsuit hanger designed specifically for heavier suits.
You need to make sure the storage facility is cool and dry. And away from direct sunlight. A garage is unsuitable as exhaust fumes can deteriorate the neoprene. Remember that gas, oil, and other chemicals can also cause the neoprene to weaken.
Ask the Professionals
When you go scuba diving with Koox you’ll get highly maintained diving equipment included in your tours. And wetsuits that are immaculately clean. If you have any questions relating to washing your neoprene simply ask the experts.