How to Clean a Wetsuit

wetsuit cleaning and shampoo supplies

In every sport, there is a required dressing code and it’s not because it’s compulsory, it’s simply better for you. Let’s look at wrestling for example, they mostly put on tights and boots. Also, in boxing, athletes wear shorts, sneakers, gloves and a teeth protector. In surfing, there is also a common dress code which is called a wetsuit. These wetsuits go through wear and tear but most importantly they go through sweat and blood. In this article, we will teach you how to clean a wetsuit.

What is a Wetsuit?

This article is not solely for those who know how to surf. It’s basically for everyone and anyone. So let’s dive in with what is a wetsuit. A wetsuit is simply what surfers wear during the real action. It comes with a lot of advantages which keeps them safe and warm. It looks like a jumpsuit with the top and bottom together. It’s mostly made out of neoprene material.

The wetsuit has a lot of advantages because you may be wondering, why get a wetsuit? Why can’t I just dive in with my normal clothes. Yes, you can! Wait till you see the its advantages below:

You’ll notice a big difference in surfing with a wetsuit and surfing with your swim trunks/normal clothes. Well, the wetsuit is not only used by surfers. Basically, anyone entering the water can wear it. Mostly used by divers, surfers, swimmers and canoeists.

Wetsuit Cleaning Supplies & Instructions

To make your wetsuit durable and functional, it’s important for you to clean it properly. So how do you clean? Before we jump into cleaning, there are certain things that need to be put in place.

That’s all the supplies you need to clean your wetsuit. You see, not even stressful at all. Next, let’s dive into the cleaning instructions.

1. Mix Cleaner in Cold Water

wetsuit shampoo and cleaner

Put your cleaner in the water. Don’t forget to check the directions on how use the cleaner before using. This is to ensure you know the right amount that must be used, the minimum and maximum. So you won’t damage the wetsuit.

There are some great cleaning and conditioner products out in the market. You want to go with something that will remove the algae, bacteria and salt. Gear Raid is the top producer for high quality cleaning products. This cleaning shampoo is goof for up to 10 washes! You’ll want to pour at least one ounce into a single wash.

2. Flip Wetsuit and Wash

You’ll need to open up the zippers of the wetsuit. Flip it and put it in the water. What I mean by “flip it” is to turn the inside of the wetsuit out. Simple, not something serious. Most of the algae, bacteria and salt are stuck inside the wetsuit. Think of all the times you sweat so it’s ideal to start from the inside.

You’ll have to make sure that the product gets into the wetsuit so you’ll have to use your hands to scrub and wash. We don’t recommend using the brush because it can severely damage the wetsuit skin. Rub the neoprene material together to get the job done. You should leave the wetsuit inside the tub for as long as 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Rinse with Cold Water

cold water rinsing

It’s time to rinse. Don’t forget not hot water because it can damage the product. Only if it wasn’t made of neoprene that’s the only way hot water can work.  Eliminate all the soapy water from the suit and tub are gone.

Just like rinsing normal clothes. The best ways to rinse a wetsuit off is through a water hose nozzle. Unfortunately, if you’re washing your wetsuit inside your bathtub then you’ll have to use the bathtub faucet.

4. Dry the Wetsuit

This wetsuit has the tendency to stretch so ensure you get a thick hanger to dry it. Don’t zip up the wetsuit. You’ll want to leave the wetsuit unzipped to ensure air circulation. Once again, wetsuits are not supposed to be in warm conditions so you don’t want to make the mistake of putting this suit in the dryer. The dryer will shrink and destroy the wetsuit permanently.

While it’s almost getting dried, try to turn it halfway to the right side. This would allow the wetsuit to dry up in all areas.

5. Hang Up the Wetsuit

hanging a wetsuit using a hanger

When it’s dried, don’t fold in your wardrobe. Just hang it on a thick hanger or keep flat. Just try to avoid anything that would spoil the garment. Again, we recommend hanging the wetsuit firmly on a thick hanger. This will keep air circulation going in and out so your wetsuit will have a fresh scent.

Here is the complete YouTube video by REI. This video is a short tutorial on how to clean a wetsuit with the proper care and products that we have discussed in the steps above.

Do’s and Don’ts for Wetsuit Cleaning

This is the simplest and safest way to clean a wetsuit effectively. However, there are certain things you must avoid to keep your wetsuit intact, safe and durable. Let’s take a look into some Do’s and Don’ts.

Don’t Use Hot Water

Firstly, I’ll keep ringing this important fact. Never use hot water to clean your wetsuit. It damages the product easily. Most people make the mistake of taking a hot bath in their suit after a vigorous surfing action. Instead of that why not take it off and take your bath normally to avoid ruining the wetsuit. Instead, you’ll need to take the wetsuit off and follow the protocol as we described earlier in this article.

Don’t Dry the Wetsuit in the Sun

It should be dried indoors. That’s why this guide is important. I’m sure most people are ignorant of this fact. Most times, people immediately  dry their wetsuit in the sun just like their normal clothes. Please avoid doing that. Instead, you’ll want to dry it inside by hanging it for a few hours.

Don’t Wash Every Time

We advice you to get more than one wetsuit to avoid using only one all of the time. Normally when you use one thing every time, the value or strength reduces with time. You can interchange when you have two wetsuits. This would keep you above the challenge of washing every time you use.

Don’t Iron

Why would you even iron something like this?. Don’t iron your wetsuit for any reason. Mistakes like these happen to novice surfers, that’s why we are reminding you to leave the iron alone. Ironing a wetsuit is another way to ruin the neoprene fabric. Most likely, you’ll have holes and burned off skin on your wetsuit.

Personal Hygiene and Health

Cleaning is an essential aspect of life that contributes a lot to our health and hygiene. To avoid harboring infections, cleaning is necessary and important.

Your wetsuit undergoes constant exposure to saltwater, dirt, bacteria. That’s why it’s important to clean out your wetsuit to avoid any infections that may enter your body. I hope this article helped you learn how to clean a wetsuit adequately.

Comfortable and Durable Wetsuits

Altogether, you’ll want to buy a wetsuit and you’ll want to have extras on hand if you plan to use it more often. Wetsuits give you comfort and safety when you go into the water. Ultimately, you’ll want purchase a wetsuit that will fit your body type. Therefore, you’ll want to measure you the length of your waist, neck, and wrists before going out wetsuit shopping.

If you’re looking for a brand new wetsuit then take a look at our top 5 wetsuits for surfing.

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