With summer just around the corner, water sports are all set to make a comeback. Activities such as sailing, surfing, jet skiing, and swimming in the relaxed sea waters are incredibly popular among the masses. In order for you to enjoy these experiences to the fullest, you must have the right gear. In other words, if you have invested in a wetsuit, keeping it in good shape is crucial. The question is how to clean a wetsuit.
Washing a wetsuit properly is an important aspect of its maintenance, which is why we have put together an A-to-Z wetsuit wash guide for you.
Washing Your Wetsuit: A Step-by-Step Guide
The first step in cleaning a neoprene wetsuit is eliminating the excess sand and dirt. As soon as you have finished wearing your wetsuit, rinse it with clean (unsalted) water.
2. Add the Cleaning Solution
Fill a large container or your bathtub with 6 to 8 inches of cool or lukewarm water once your suit has been rinsed, and pour some wetsuit cleaner into the water. Add a bit of detergent to this solution – just use a third or fourth of what you would normally use in a laundry load; do not go overboard.
3. Let the Washing Begin
Next, turn your wetsuit inside out and splash it in the water, ensuring that the water reaches the arm and leg holes of the wetsuit as well. Do this for 3 to 5 minutes, and don't be too gentle. Make sure the soap is completely absorbed and that the water is working its way into the suit.
4. Soak, Soak, Soak
Allow the wetsuit to soak in the cleaning solution for about 5 to 15 minutes, depending on how dirty it is. You will notice the accumulation of very fine sand particles at the bottom of the container or bathtub you are using. All of that sand and salt wears down your suit over time, so removing it is vital to extend its lifespan.
5. Hang it Out to Dry
Can you dry a wetsuit in the sun? It is advised not to hang your suit the way you would normally hang any wet clothes. As it may come to your notice, a wetsuit has the potential to pull on the shoulders. The weight of a wetsuit that has been soaked pulls down very hard, causing the shape of your suit to warp and stretch, which will lead to a bad fit. It is recommended to purchase a hanger designed specifically for wetsuits so that they maintain their shape.
Moreover, to protect the neoprene, make sure to hang the wetsuit inside out so that you can put it on comfortably the next time you decide to go for a surfing session.
Things to Avoid When Cleaning Your Wetsuit
Although you have learned the step-by-step process to cleanse a wetsuit properly, there are some things you must avoid doing to prevent wear and tear of the wetsuit material.
Don’t Rinse It with Hot Water.
Never ever rinse your wetsuit in hot water as the neoprene's stretch and flexibility will be compromised. Moreover, using a washing machine is not preferred either as it will completely ruin the structure of the fabric.
Don't Use Random Cleaning Solutions.
Don't use standard laundry soap or anything with a lot of chemicals and scents to wash your wetsuit. This can produce strange skin reactions when you are in the water, which can turn into mild chemical burns in extreme circumstances.
Don’t Fold It Down The Middle.
Although many people like to fold their wetsuits down the middle on a hanger to help them dry faster, it can be quite damaging because that fold could turn into a crease, causing a bulge or pocket in the wetsuit around the belly area. This pocket can fill with water and weigh you down during any water-based activity.
Don't Iron Your Wetsuit.
Putting a hot iron on any rubber-like material is a bad idea in general, let alone a swimsuit. Never make the mistake of ironing your wetsuit or exposing it to the scorching summer heat. Although a wetsuit might take a long time to dry, you must remain patient for the sake of its lifespan.
Final Thoughts About How To Clean A Wetsuit
Now that you have a step-by-step guide on how to clean a wetsuit, you will know exactly what to do when you plan your next athletic trip. While sea salt, UV rays, and chlorine can all harm this unique fabric, with the proper care, you can extend its life significantly and enjoy your summertime extravaganza to the fullest.