After a fun surf session, it’s important to clean and dry your wetsuit to help maintain its quality and functionality. In this guide, we will teach you everything you need to know about wetsuit care.
Your wetsuit is an essential part of your surf equipment when you’re surfing in cold water conditions. Besides your surfboard, a wetsuit will be one of the most expensive purchases, so it’s important to know how to keep it clean. Good wetsuit care will extend its lifespan and save you a lot of money. It will also guarantee a comfortable and flexible fit.
Your wetsuit will get dirty from sweat, saltwater, and sand (and let’s be honest… you might even need to pee in it at some point). So good wetsuit care is necessary to preserve the quality of the fabrics and keep it fresh & clean!
How to wash a neoprene wetsuit
We need to pay good attention to wetsuit care to prolong its life. If you start slacking on wetsuit care, the neoprene will lose its quality, and the chances are you will experience increased wear and tear damage.
If you are new to surfing, you might ask yourself how to clean your wetsuit? The process is quite simple once you’re familiar with washing a neoprene wetsuit, but there are a few things you need to avoid doing in the process – so keep reading to get our best tips and tricks!
1. Rinse in cold water
After every surf session, you need to clean your wetsuit from sand, saltwater, etc. The best way to do this is to rinse it with cold fresh water and give it a good scrub with your hands to remove all traces of sand and dirt.
Make sure you get around all the small details, such as the zipper. Afterward, turn the wetsuit inside out, and clean it on the inside as well. If you have a tub or plastic container, we recommend filling it with cold water and letting the wetsuit soak for about 10 minutes.
You should never use hot water, as it will make the neoprene lose some of its stretch and flexibility. For the same reason, you should never wash your wetsuit in a washing machine; it will only cause more damage than good.
Never let your wetsuit lay around in the trunk of your car after a surf session. Wash it as soon as you get back home.
After washing your wetsuit by hand, there might still be some wax sticking on the suit. Don’t try to scrub it off. You might damage the neoprene in the process, and it’s hard to avoid getting wax on your wetsuit anyway.
2. Use a wetsuit cleaner and conditioner
Every once in a while, use some wetsuit soap when you’re cleaning it.
Apply some wetsuit cleaner and conditioner to the container that you’re letting the wetsuit soak in. Lather your wetsuit to make sure it absorbs the wetsuit soap. This extra step in your wetsuit cleaning process will help remove any odor and substances that slowly deteriorate the neoprene.
It’s important that you only use an actual wetsuit soap or a small amount of mild baby shampoo.
Just like hot water, regular bath soap/shower gel will damage the fabrics of your wetsuit. So make sure to use a product made for the purpose.
3. Dry your wetsuit after washing it
Sun and hot water are the wetsuit’s worst enemies, and they will break down the neoprene’s qualities and cause it to age much quicker. You can hang your wetsuit to dry indoors or outdoors, but never in direct sunlight.
Avoid hanging your wetsuit like a regular t-shirt since it will put too much tension on the most sensitive areas of the wetsuit, which can stretch out the shoulders and make it tear more easily.
Never throw your wetsuit in a dryer! The heat from the dryer will destroy the neoprene, so it’s important to let your wetsuit air dry.