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How to Properly Clean Your Wetsuit

If you’re an avid water sports enthusiast, you understand the importance of keeping your gear in top condition. Your wetsuit is a crucial piece of equipment that requires proper care to ensure longevity and performance. Regularly cleaning your wetsuit is essential to prevent odors, mold, and bacteria buildup. In this article, we’ll discuss the best practices for cleaning your wetsuit to keep it fresh and functional for years to come.

The Importance of Cleaning Your Wetsuit

Whether you’re a surfer, diver, or paddleboarder, your wetsuit comes into contact with various elements such as saltwater, sand, sunscreen, and sweat. Over time, these substances can accumulate on your wetsuit, leading to odors and deterioration of the material. Additionally, wearing a dirty wetsuit can irritate your skin and increase the risk of skin infections. By regularly cleaning your wetsuit, you can prolong its lifespan and maintain its performance.

Choosing the Right Wetsuit Cleaner

When it comes to cleaning your wetsuit, using the proper cleaner is essential. Avoid harsh detergents, bleach, or other household cleaners that can damage the neoprene material of your wetsuit. Instead, opt for a wetsuit-specific cleaner that is designed to effectively remove salt, sand, oils, and bacteria without compromising the integrity of the fabric. These cleaners are gentle on neoprene and contain ingredients that help to deodorize and disinfect your wetsuit.

Cleaning Your Wetsuit

Now that you have the right cleaner, it’s time to clean your wetsuit. Follow these steps to ensure a thorough and effective cleaning process:

1. Rinse Your Wetsuit: After each use, rinse your wetsuit with fresh water to remove salt, sand, and debris. Hang it to dry in a shaded area away from direct sunlight.

2. Fill a Tub or Sink: Fill a tub or sink with cold water and add the recommended amount of wetsuit cleaner. Submerge your wetsuit in the solution and agitate it gently.

3. Soak Your Wetsuit: Allow your wetsuit to soak for 15-20 minutes to allow the cleaner to penetrate the neoprene and loosen dirt and grime.

4. Rinse Thoroughly: After soaking, drain the tub and rinse your wetsuit with fresh water. Squeeze gently to remove excess cleaner and dirt.

5. Hang to Dry: Hang your wetsuit on a wide, padded hanger or lay it flat to dry in a well-ventilated area. Avoid hanging it in direct sunlight or near heat sources, as this can damage the neoprene.

6. Store Properly: Once your wetsuit is completely dry, store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid folding or compressing your wetsuit, as this can cause creases and damage the material.

Tips for Maintaining Your Wetsuit

In addition to regular cleaning, there are several tips you can follow to maintain your wetsuit and extend its lifespan:

– Avoid using petroleum-based products such as sunscreen or hair products on your wetsuit, as they can degrade the neoprene.
– Rinse your wetsuit with fresh water after each use to remove salt and sand.
– Avoid drying your wetsuit in a clothes dryer, as the heat can damage the fabric.
– Store your wetsuit flat or on a wide hanger to maintain its shape.
– Inspect your wetsuit regularly for any tears, holes, or damage, and repair them promptly to prevent further deterioration.

By following these cleaning and maintenance tips, you can keep your wetsuit in top condition and enjoy optimal performance in the water. Remember, a clean wetsuit is a happy wetsuit!

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