F.A.Q. How Do I Wash, Care & Store My Wetsuit?

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F.A.Q. How Do I Wash, Care & Store My Wetsuit?

These days wetsuits are almost exclusively made from neoprene. This rubber material is flexible and provides an effective body hugging fit. Neoprene has tiny bubbles of nitrogen trapped into the material and this provides additional heat insulation and also assists with buoyancy. Although there are other some other materials that can be made into wetsuits, neoprene is the most popular as it combines flexibility, durability and affordability.

You should get into the habbit of washing all of your dive gear and particular your wetsuit after each dive. Doing this will remove the salt, sand, pee and debris that it comes in contact with when you use it. In addition it has been proven that regular and through cleaning will not only maintain and extend the life of your wetsuit but will also save you money down the track as well.

If your wetsuit smells it is probably because you didn’t wash it after your last session in the water or let it dry properly before you put it away. Wetsuits can get just as dirty as any other item of sports apparel and so they do need to be washed thoroughly after each use. It is a good idea to soak your wetsuit in some cold water or rinse it off with a hose first. Then use a quality wetsuit shampoo wash to soak your suit in. This will help to wash away any salts or chemicals that could degrade your neoprene. In addition the wetsuit shampoo's leave a special conditioning film over your neoprene that preserve the rubbers suppleness, stretch and softness. In addition the wetsuit shampoo wash will clean away any body oils, sweat and bacteria. It is this bacteria that makes your wetsuit smell if you put it away damp and unwashed.

In addition to giving your wetsuit a good wash you should also allow it to dry throughly before storing it away. When hanging your wetsuit to dry it should preferably be in a well ventilated area away from direct sunlight. Remember that your wetsuit is made from rubber and that prolonged exposure to the sun's harsh UV rays will result in the rubber drying out, loosing it's stretch and in sever cases even cracking. So avoid it.

If you are putting your wetsuit into storage for the winter then there are a number of ways you can help to make sure it is in good condition for the next season. Firstly wash and dry the suit thoroughly before you put it away. Either hang the suit up or lay it flat on a shelf. If you bend the suit the creases can become permanent so this must be avoided. Also keep the wetsuit away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures as these can both cause the neoprene to degrade.

If you are putting your open cell wetsuit into storage for an extended period of time it is important to take a few extra steps. Open cell wetsuit can have issues with the open cell surfaces fusing if left stored incorrectly. In order to prevent this happening to your open cell wetsuit you should ensure that it is throughly washed and cleaned in the correct manner. Allow time for the suit to dry throughly. Then once it has been washed and dried correctly you need to dust the wetsuit with unscented talc. The talc will minimise the potential for fusing. To store the wetsuit leave your wetsuit the right way out. Do not hang the suit. Instead lie your wetsuit flat and do not fold it.

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