Make it Last: How to Care for Your Wetsuit

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A wetsuit can be an ocean athlete’s best friend. It acts as a second skin that keeps you warm and toasty during cold surf sessions. Wearing a wetsuit when you adventure in the sea lets you dive deeper, longer, and kitesurf in even the coldest conditions. They’re not cheap, so you’ll want your wetsuit to last as long as possible. In this guide, we’ll tell you exactly how to care for and maintain your wetsuit.

Rise Your Wetsuit with Fresh Water After Every Use

After getting out of the water, you can take a shower wearing your wetsuit or run it by itself under fresh water. Normal soaps and detergents tend to be too harsh for wetsuits, and can cause stains or damage. If your wetsuit starts to smell, rinse it with fresh water and soap created specifically for neoprene. Then, hang the wetsuit to dry somewhere with fresh air.

Avoid Putting Your Wetsuit in the Washer or Dryer

We do not recommend washing your wetsuit in the washing machine, and never put it in the dryer. The washing machine’s spin cycle could stretch or warp the neoprene, and the dryer can melt and weaken the material. While some washing machines have a delicate rinse cycle, we still suggest washing your wetsuit by hand.

Avoid Leaving Your Wetsuit Directly in the Sun

If hanging your wetsuit outside to dry, only keep it directly in the sun until it dries, then bring it into the shade. Turn it inside out to dry it completely. If you’ll be leaving the wetsuit outside for more than a few hours, hang it in the shade instead. The UV rays from the sun damage neoprene — making it thin and brittle.

Never Hang Your Wetsuit on a Wire Hanger

When hanging your wetsuit, use a thick wooden or padded hanger made specifically for wetsuits. Wire hangers cause the wetsuit to stretch leave rust stains.

Escape the Stank with Wetsuit Wash

Stinky suit? Rinse the foul odors out of your wetsuit with a wetsuit wash. Choose a rinse that’s made specifically for wetsuits or neoprene material. Bleach, detergent, and other cleaners will be too harsh for your wetsuit.

Never Store a Wet Wetsuit

Make sure your wetsuit is completely dry before putting it away. Damp wetsuits can attract mold, bacteria, and mildew. If you live in the tropics with high humidity, rinse your wetsuit very well — any salt remaining in the wetsuit will attract water from the air, preventing it from drying all the way.

How to Care for a Wetsuit Zipper

Don’t fold your wetsuit over at the zipper to where it will make a crease. This can warp the teeth, making it harder to zip and unzip. If your zipper gets stuck, remove any sand, surf wax, or other debris with an old toothbrush. Then, coat it with a thin layer of beeswax.