If you’ve caught the scuba bug you’re likely either shopping for, or you already own your own dive gear. Think of dive gear as life-support equipment. Your gear helps you breathe, helps you see, and helps control your movement while you’re underwater.Gear checks ensure hours of safe and enjoyable diving. So does regular cleaning. It doesn’t matter how old you are, or how much dive experience you have, you can learn how to care for your gear. From head-to-toe, we’ll show you how easy it is to clean and maintain your dive gear.
Before You Put Your Face in the Water
One of the first pieces of scuba gear you’ll select is your diving mask. And before you wear the mask in the water you’ll clean it. New masks have a thin film on the glass lens. Unless you enjoy fogging in your mask, you won’t dive before getting rid of the film. Scrub the lens and skirt with either a commercial mask cleaner or baby shampoo. Rub, rinse, repeat at least twice but preferably 3 times. After diving, soak your mask in warm clean water. Rinse with fresh water and dry with a towel. Store your mask in a cool, dry area away from sunlight. By the way, cool and dry storage is a common denominator for all your dive gear.
Do You Own a Dive Computer?
The dive computer helps ensure safety while you’re underwater. Before you dive check the battery. If your computer uses a transmitter, check that battery as well. After diving, rinse well in fresh water. Make sure you don’t leave any sand or debris. Dry with a soft towel. Check your owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s website for service instructions. Most manufacturers suggest a service check every 1-2 years.
Keep Your Wetsuit Dry
A wet suit for a scuba diver is like the skier’s snow pants and ski jacket. They’re both designed to keep the body warm. That’s where the similarities end. One of the best things you can do for your wetsuit is to ensure you don’t put it away wet. Clean first in cool water. If necessary, use a wetsuit cleaner that removes salt, chlorine, and other residues. Turn the suit inside out, put it on a hanger, and let it dry away from direct sunlight. Wetsuits and sharp objects, especially fingernails, sand, rocks, or trees don’t play well together. Here’s a hint for putting on your wetsuit: Fingertips not fingernails. Before each dive, check your suit for damage. You can fix small cuts and tears yourself.
Taking Care of Fins
People may laugh at you and accuse you of walking like a penguin, but your fins are a critical piece of your scuba gear. Fins for scuba are normally made from high-quality polyurethane or polypropylene. That doesn’t mean they’re indestructible. Like your diving mask, rinse fins with fresh water and dry with a soft towel before storing. Don’t stuff them in a hot car trunk. Remember, cool, dry, and away from the sun.
Check Your BCD and Regulator Set
If you’ve purchased your own buoyancy compensating device (BCD) and regulator set, you already know these are your more expensive pieces of scuba gear. They’re also essential for your safety while you’re underwater Unlike your mask, wetsuit, and fins, the BCD and regulator need more than a quick rinse and dry. For instructions on cleaning, read your manual or ask someone who works at your local dive shop. Regarding gear checks, always check your regulator as soon as you can after getting on the dive boat. Do the same with the BCD. Test it before you dive and make sure everything is in good working order. Regular servicing of both the BCD and regulator isn’t something you can forget about or put off until next year. Drop both at your dive shop once a year and dive with confidence.
Need More Help with Gear Checks?
As you can see, cleaning and maintaining your dive gear isn’t complicated. Each piece gets cleaned, dried, and stored after every dive. You also do spot checks for equipment malfunctions including tears in your wetsuit. Taking your equipment in for servicing is also part of regular gear checks. If you have more questions about maintaining dive gear, or you’re interested in signing up for a class, contact us. We’d love to hear from you and welcome you to the world of diving. We are always educating students and introducing them to the local diving.