Look after your wetsuit with our simple cleaning and care tips to get the most out of your investment!
Tips for Cleaning Your Wetsuit
Because salt water can cause the neoprene in your wetsuit to become less flexible, giving your suit a rinse after each use is probably the single most important thing you can do in your wetsuit care and cleaning regime. To ensure your suit stays looking and smelling good, as soon as you can after use, you need to give it a soak in tepid-warm (not hot) water for around fifteen minutes. Believe me, your suit will smell really bad if you don’t do this!
You don’t need to shampoo it every time but an occasional freshen up with a proprietary M Essentials Wetsuit and Drysuit Shampoo is a good idea – and if you haven’t got any of this, just use mild baby shampoo as a suitable substitute. A good product to try for cleaning is Suit Juice; this makes it easier to get into and out of your suit!
Always allow your suit to dry on a hanger. If you don’t have a wetsuit hanger, never hang your wetsuit on a metal hanger – it damages the neoprene and be sure that the hanger is wide enough to support the weight of your suit without stretching the shoulders.
Don’t try to speed up the drying process by hanging your suit in the sun. UV rays damage the neoprene making the surface brittle and prone to cracking. Try to find a shady place where there is a good circulation of air. If you want to speed up the drying process, the Underwater Kinetics HangAir Drying Systems for Wetsuits and Drysuits will dry your suit 70% faster as it incorporates a fan for air circulation. The cool thing is that it will run off your car charger so you can dry your suit ‘on the go’.
A good tip is to dry your suit inside out as this gives, even more, protection for the flexibility of the outer surface and ensures that if your suit has not completely dried before you need it again, the inside will be dry for you to put on!
When your suit is dry, store it on the hanger if possible in a cool airy place away from sunlight. If not, try to store it flat and don’t be tempted to pack it into the trunk of your car so you have it ready for next time. The temperature can get very high in a car and this is very bad for the neoprene which becomes less flexible and more prone to tearing.
Tips for Wetsuit Care
- Never try to save time by putting your suit in the washing machine or the tumble dryer.
- Never use any chemicals to clean your wetsuit. Don’t use anything stronger than fresh water on a regular basis and an occasional freshen up with wetsuit shampoo.
- Repair any small tears or damage as soon as you notice them. Doing so will avoid a small repair job becoming a big one – or worse, an impossible one.
- Use beeswax or M Essentials Zip Tech Semi-Solid Zipper Lubricant as a lubricant for your zippers.
- If you have had to take a leak in your wetsuit – (and who hasn’t at some time or other?), make doubly sure to get it thoroughly rinsed afterward as not only will urine make your suit smell bad, the ammonia in it will damage the neoprene.
The small investment in time you need for correct wetsuit care and cleaning is well worth it. Taking care of your suit will ensure that it lasts for way longer than just one season and that it will feel comfortable, smell hygienic and look good too!