How To Store And Clean A Wetsuit – Tips to Take Care
A wetsuit is a common suit used to do some water sports such as scuba diving, snorkeling and ski as well. This piece of clothing cannot be thrown into a washing machine, then in a dryer and finally in a clothespin.
It has to have some cleaning and storage steps to last longer. As we will see, it is not that easy as we think. If you want your investment to be as durable as possible, you just need to know how to clean it in an adequate way.
Cleaning Tips for Your Wetsuit
The material which wetsuit is made is neoprene. Today, this accessory is used by many people who do water sport such as divers, surfers, those who practice underwater hockey or underwater rugby, and windsurfers as well.
It is a good option by its characteristic of offering thermal insulation, resistance, and neutral buoyancy. Although there are many types of wetsuit, brands, and colors, people tend to buy those ones which provide more comfort.
Suits can be short, long, vests or jackets. There are other accessories you can add such as boots, hoods, and gloves.
There are some steps you have to follow if you want your wetsuit to last longer:
Put your wetsuit in cold or fresh water with a wetsuit shampoo or any other solution you have like baking soda. Using detergent will keep the neoprene away from bad odour.
While you are washing it, scrub the zippers with a tiny hair comb to remove any dirt
After soaking, rinse the complete suit, inside and out.
Look for scratches, if it has some of them, try to repair it by adding some wetsuit cement.
Turn your suit inside out, and hang it in a place out of sunlight. It can be in your room or in the living room.
Store it on your closet or loosely folded, and keep it in environmental temperature.
Also, they produce stains that are impossible to remove and this weakens the neoprene. If the suit gets damaged by these stains, you will need an Aquaseal Urethane Repair Adhesive & Sealant which you can find in diver’s stores or even in any bike stores as they use this kind of solutions.
Remember not to soak it in a washing machine, washing it with other clothes or to use any bleach cleaner.
If you want your wetsuit last longer, try each week or at least once every two weeks, to put it in a tub with fresh water applying some detergent to remove the body odours.
It also helps to eliminate any microorganisms. Then, wash it again to get all the detergent off. After this process is done, store it in a clothespin with fresh air.
Another key to remember is that you have to use a special cleaner for wetsuits to remove salt, organic residues and chlorine.
You cannot leave those materials for too long on the suit because it can easily get completely damaged.
Safe Storage for Your Wetsuit
There’s not much of storage advice. Just make sure that when you want to keep it in the closet, do not ball up the suit and leave it this way till the next use. Rather, try to fold it nice and neat.
What is more, the suit can cause weird smelling odour and creases in the folds. Therefore, the best idea will be handing it in the closet.
To make the wetsuit last longer, there are many things you should know when you are taking it off. For instance, try not to use your thumbs because it can get scratched by your nails.
Neoprene material can easily be punctured by any keen object. Another thing to remember is not to stand on one leg while you are trying to taking out the other foot.
Before buying this accessory, be sure it fits perfectly, and you feel comfortable in it. Save it in an adequate place, not in a tight closet because it may get damaged this way.
When you take it off, take it slow, with no pressure. Diagonal chest zip is excellent for improving comfort while you are underwater.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Can I use hot water to wash it?
No, you cannot. Hot water can cause the suit to lose flexibility.
Q2. How long do I have to soak it?
Soak it for about 30 minutes, turn it inside out and repeat the process for 30 minutes more.
Q3. If I forget to rinse it, can I rinse the next day?
Yes, rinse it as soon as possible so that you avoid the bad smell.
Q4. Can I put it out in the sun?
No, that will quickly stretch everything out because it weakens the fabric.
Q5. How long can wetsuit last?
Depending on how good you can take care of it. But it can last more than five years.
Wetsuit Care & Maintenance
Your wetsuit isn’t your typical laundry where you toss it in the washing machine and comes out clean. Wetsuits need some care, and with proper maintenance, it will ensure your hard-earned investment lasts longer.
- First of all, you need to learn how to put on wetsuits. Pay attention to sizing because your wetsuit should fit snugly but not to be stretched. If it’s too tight, the seams will pull and cause wear problems.
- Rinse your gear after wearing with fresh water. Don’t use hot or cold water. Neoprene loses some of the flexibility when exposed to hot water.
- Never wash your suit in washer instead use special wetsuit cleaner that will help you remove salt, organic residues and chlorine. Never use bleach.
- Avoid direct sunlight when drying. Overexposing to UV rays will make the neoprene hard and age much quicker. It will also lose its flexibility.
- You need a specifically designed wetsuit hanger to store and hang. It’s better to hang it inside out as it will dry the inner part first and you’ll be able to put the suit back on much better.
- Salt and chlorine can corrode the teeth of the zipper. Use a zipper lubricant to keep the chains working properly.
- If you want to remove strong odor from your suit, fill a bucket with cool water and any branded odor remover. Dip it in and out of the water and rinse with cool water. Finally, let the suit dry in a breezy spot.
- Don’t iron your wetsuits. Avoid high heat, oil, gasoline, and other chemical solvents. The stain will weaken the fabric and will cause a permanent mark.
Final Tip: Never tuck your suit and throw it in the trunk to bake. Sun, salt, and chlorine will weaken the fabric and cause the neoprene to lose its flexibility.
People sometimes think if the wetsuit does not last as much as they expect, it is because of the bad quality. However, this is not true.
Actually, for having a great conserved wetsuit, you just have to take good care of it and wash it properly every time you use it.
Some wetsuits care can make your wetsuit last longer and can be the difference between one use and a good couple of years of use, but everything will depend on how you wash and preserve it. So take good care of it, and it will keep you warm.