It is very important to learn how to take care of your wetsuit, in order to ensure that it is going to have as long of a lifespan as possible. A wetsuit should never be stored while it is still wet. It must be cleaned each time you use it, and then allowed to fully dry before you hang it up until it is to be used again.
If it is not properly dried, it can develop mold and fungus, as well as some smells that are not so nice. Today we are going to talk about how to dry your wetsuit properly, as well as how to keep it clean between dives. Let’s get started.
First Things First
Before we can talk about how to dry a wetsuit, it is a good idea for you to learn how to wash it. Your wetsuit should be cleaned following each dive. There are all kinds of bacteria that can get into the fabric, and this can lead to foul smells inside your suit. Of course, it must be thoroughly dried before it goes into storage until your next dive. Let’s take a look at how to clean your wetsuit.
Never clean your wetsuit in the same water that you are diving in. It should be cleaned with fresh water only, either from your backyard hose or the shower. Make sure that you completely rinse every part of the suit, and then give it a quick cleaning with a non-detergent soap. There are special soaps that are made just for cleaning wetsuits, and you can also use baby shampoo because it is very mild.
Once you have scrubbed down the suit, rinse it completely, making sure that there are absolutely no traces of soap left over. Look the suit over to make sure that there are no nicks, gouges, or tears that will have to be mended. If there are any of these problems, make sure that you repair them as soon as you can, once the suit is dry.
Don’t forget to pay attention to the zipper. Over time, it can wear out if not properly maintained. Make sure that you clean the zipper every time you clean your wetsuit, to keep it free of corrosion. Like the suit itself, the zipper needs to be completely dry before the suit goes into storage.
It is also a good idea to get into the habit of coating the zipper with beeswax each time you wash your suit, which will keep it moving freely.
Drying Your Wetsuit
Once you have rinsed your wetsuit with fresh water and have given it a good cleaning, it is time to make sure that it is fully dried. Ideally, you will dry your wetsuit in two stages. After it has been washed, hang it to dry, so the outside of the suit dries.
After about 24 hours or so, it is time to dry out the inside of the wetsuit. This is a very important step, because if the inside does not dry properly, the moisture is going to end up destroying the suit over time as it will cause the inside of the suit to develop mildew.
It might take a few days to completely dry out your suit. You should probably get into the habit of turning it inside out one day, and then right side out the next, and continue with this pattern until the suit is completely dry.
In order to dry your suit, it needs to be properly hung up. Never use wire hangers on a wetsuit, as it can do a lot of damage to the neoprene. If you are going to use hangers from your home, only use padded hangers. It is even better if you use hangers that are specifically designed for wetsuits. It is never a good idea to hang your wetsuit to dry in the sun.
Sure, it may seem like a quick way to get it dried, but the sun can actually cause a lot of damage to the neoprene in wetsuits. Don’t drape the wetsuit over your car or boat either. It should always be hung inside to dry. Never fold the suit, or stuff it into a trunk after it has been dried.
This can cause irreparable damage. The ideal place to hang your wetsuit to dry is in your shower stall. Once it is completely dry, you can then put it back into storage until you are ready to use it again.
Wetsuit Maintenance Tips
There are several things that you can do to prolong the life of your wetsuit, in addition to cleaning and drying it after each use. Have you ever noticed that there is sometimes a foul smell inside your wetsuit? This can be caused from all kinds of things, including peeing inside the suit. Ideally, this is something that you should never do, but sometimes it just can’t be helped.
You can ensure that there will be no residual odors from pee by using products such as Mirazyme, which will help to get rid of odors caused by bacteria and mildew. You should actually get into the habit of using this each time you clean the wetsuit. If you don’t have this product, you can also use Listerine, which will do pretty much the same thing.
Here is a great tip that will reduce the cleaning time after you dive. As soon as you get out of the water, and before you take off the wetsuit, douse yourself with a couple of buckets full of fresh water. This is going to get a lot of the salt from salt water off the suit until you can get it home and clean it properly.
Here is one more tip that will help increase the lifespan of your wetsuit. Take if off slowly. Do not try to rip the suit right off, as this can lead to tearing. Avoid using your thumbs when pulling the top part of the suit off, and don’t stand on one leg while pulling at the bottom with your other foot.
While it is made to withstand a certain amount of wear and tear, there is no sense in doing anything that you know is going to damage your suit. Once it is damaged, it won’t really matter how well you dry it.