There are an estimated 6 million active divers worldwide. Diving enthusiasts know that there’s nothing quite as exhilarating as exploring marine life up close.
If you’re new to scuba diving, one of the most important things you must learn is how to clean a wetsuit. After all, proper care extends the life of your suit.
Here are our top five tips when cleaning a wetsuit.
1. Do Soak in Fresh Water
When cleaning a wetsuit, it’s important to use fresh water. Saltwater or treated indoor pool water will leave a residue on your suit.
Freshwater will remove any residue and keep your suit in excellent condition and free of odors.
Soak your wetsuit in cold water for 30 minutes. Lukewarm water is fine but never use hot water. You can add some baking soda or a few drops of wetsuit shampoo to the water as well.
Next, turn your suit inside out and soak for another 30 minutes.
2. Do Use Wetsuit Shampoo
One of the biggest mistakes people make when learning how to clean a wetsuit is cleaning it with the wrong products.
Using the right products will extend the life of your suit. If you want to get into professional diving, you need to practice excellent wetsuit care.
Never use any products that are not wetsuit cleaners. You can purchase wetsuit shampoo at any dive shop.
Wash both the inside and outside of your suit as well as your hood, booties, and gloves.
3. Do Scrub It
Once you’ve soaked your wetsuit, it’s time to give it a good scrub. Use a toothbrush to scrub all the velcro and zippers.
Open and close the zipper while the suit is in water. This will allow any trapped dirt to get loose.
Once you’re done, rinse both the inside and outside of your wetsuit.
4. Don’t Leave Your Suit in the Sun
Some people mistakenly believe that cleaning a wetsuit involves letting it sit in the sun.
Letting your gear dry in the afternoon sun is OK. Yet, you shouldn’t keep your suit in direct sunlight for extended periods.
With too much exposure to the sun neoprene and rubber can crack, fade, or wear out.
5. Don’t Pack It Away Wet
An important part of learning how to clean a wetsuit is packing it away.
Ensure your suit is fully dry before putting it away. If you don’t, you will soon have a stinky, moldy suit.
Make sure both the inside and outside of your wetsuit is fully dry before you pack it.
Ideally, you will store your wetsuit in a temperature-controlled closet. A garage that gets extremely hot is not ideal for your gear.
Also, be sure to hang your wetsuit when you pack it away. Don’t use regular wire clothes hangers. Instead, purchase a special wetsuit hanger that will prevent creases in your suit.
Now You Know How to Clean a Wetsuit Like a Pro
There you have it! Five important dos and don’ts on how to clean a wetsuit. Follow these tips and your wetsuit will be as good as new for a long time to come.