Wetsuits are one of the bigger investments for any scuba diver. How a wetsuit should fit is a very important factor when buying a wetsuit. But how you look after your wetsuit is another.
Because of the investment, it’s important that you take proper care of your scuba diving wetsuit and be able to enjoy it for many dives and for as long as possible. Fortunately for you, wetsuit care is not rocket science or back-breaking work but just a simple routine to follow.
So if you are happy with your new wetsuit and feel comfortable with it underwater, let’s keep it that way. Whether you own a women’s wetsuit or a mans wetsuit, all you need to do is follow these steps on how to look after your wetsuit after your dive.
How to Care for your Wetsuit – The Must Do’s
Step 1 through step 3 are vital parts of your post-dive routine and so should be performed after every single dive, even when you plan on going back into the water later in the day.
Learning how a wetsuit works will also give you more knowledge on how to care for your scuba suit.
Step 1: Rinse With Cool Fresh Water After Each Dive
This is the most important step in taking care of your wetsuit. Saltwater affects the neoprene; a buildup of salt on the suit will make the neoprene less flexible over time.
Rinse your suit with cool freshwater, never hot water so don’t wear it during your post-dive hot shower. Heat also makes the neoprene less flexible.
Once you’ve thoroughly rinsed the outer layer by hand, pull the wetsuit inside out and rinse the inner layer, too. Organic residue and salt can build up on both sides of the suit so it is important to rinse your wetsuit inside and out.
Step 2: Drip Dry in the Shadow
As mentioned, heat affects the neoprene of the wetsuit so it is not a good idea to let it dry in the hot sun either. Instead, fold your suit over a padded hanger or leave it laid out flat to dry in the shade.
Dry the inside of the wetsuit first (inside out), before you dry the outer layer. This is especially helpful when you’ll be doing several dives a day since a dry inner layer is easier to put back than one that is still wet.
Step 3: Store Your Wetsuit Properly
How you store the wetsuit affects its structure and the neoprene. Don’t just scrunch it up and stuff it into a corner or bag because this will affect the structure.
The best way to store a wetsuit is folded at the waist on a padded hanger. Hanging your wetsuit folded at the waist prevents stretching at the shoulders and neck.
How to Care for your Wetsuit – Do Occasionally
Essentially, step 1, 2 and 3 are the most important things to remember when taking care of your wetsuit. You don’t need to do the following tips after each dive but they do help to keep your wetsuit free of odors and flexible.
Wash with Wetsuit Cleaner
To remove and prevent any smells, wash your wetsuit with a specialized cleaner that removes salt and other organic residues from the ocean.
Wash by hand gently in a bucket of cool freshwater because washing machines and dryers will damage the neoprene.
Lubricate the Zipper
The teeth of wetsuit zippers wear over time because of the salt. Keep them smooth by occasionally spraying with a special zipper lubricant for wetsuits.
Don’t use just any lubricant because the neoprene is sensitive to chemical substances, aerosols, and oil. Stick to the stuff that is specifically made for wetsuits.
Care Essentials for your Wetsuit
So now that you know how to take care of your wetsuit, take a look at these awesome products to help you when your cleaning and looking after your wetsuit.
Here are our 3 most popular wetsuit care essentials;
- Quick Drying Process
- Safe Low Voltage Power
- Dries Your Gear in Hours
- Easily Transportable
- Portable & Compact
- Great Travel Companion
- Protects Wetsuit from Dirt
- Built to Last
Caring for your Wetsuit – What Not to Do
Finally, there are a few more things to never try to clean your wetsuit. These will damage the neoprene, make the suit less flexible or cause wear and tear. And we don’t want any of that! Here’s what not to do when cleaning your wetsuit.
Don’t Iron Your Wetsuit
Heat damages neoprene so ironing is never an option for wetsuits. The material does not really crease anyway so ironing is never necessary.
Don’t Squeeze Out the Water
It might feel natural to squeeze the fabric to get the water out but this damages the structure of the wetsuit and the neoprene. Squeezing the suit can cause tears, wears down the neoprene and affects how flexible it is.
Don’t Leave Tears for Too Long
It’s important to try to fix tears in the wetsuit as soon as possible. This helps to prevent the wetsuit from enlarging and then becoming too big for you, causing water to leak in.
In order to fix a tear, you can use specific waterproof sealants for wetsuits. Sealant for tire punctures is also another way to help fix a tear.
Don’t Use Harsh Chemical for Washing
As mentioned, the neoprene is sensitive to harsh materials like chemical solutions and oil.
Skip the household products and stick to using specific wetsuit cleaners to make sure the chemicals don’t damage the wetsuit.
And there you have it, the best steps to follow when cleaning and caring for your wetsuit. Wetsuits are a great investment, they ultimately save you money by not having to rent those smelly rental suits. So it’s a good idea to take care of them!