Let’s face it, after a dive the last thing you want to do is lug your gear up to the dive shop, turn your wetsuit inside out and thoroughly wash and dry your suit. However, proper wetsuit maintenance is important if you want your wetsuit to last.
1. Fresh Water
After a dive, you want to wash your wetsuit in fresh water. Most dive center will have dedicated wash basins for dive gear. Some will even have a wetsuit specific basin. Removed your wetsuit and turn inside out. Swish it back and forth in the water for one minute and remove from the water to dry.
2. Wetsuit Shampoo
For an extra clean wetsuit you can use wetsuit shampoo or luke warm water with baking soda. If you are at a dive center ask them if you can use wetsuit shampoo to the wash basin. They may ask you to wait until all the dive gear, computers, cameras are washed before adding the shampoo. Or you can wait until you are back home and give your suit a soak in your bathtub.
3. Avoid Drying In The Sun
Hang up your wetsuit using a large hanger or drying rack. Just make sure to keep your wetsuit out of the direct sunlight. UV will cause your suit to discolor and the neoprene can lose flexibility.
4. Let It Dry
Take the time to let your wetsuit dry before packing it away in your dive bag. Avoid putting a wet wetsuit in a hot car or dive bag as this will encourage the growth of bacteria. Try the Dive N Dry system for drying wetsuits on the go.
5. Visual Inspection
Once your wetsuit is dry you can flip it back right side out. Check the zipper/s to make sure there are no tears. If your zippers are sticking you can get a zipper wax to loosen them up. Check the velcro at the top of the suit, to make sure its not falling off. Place a small piece of fabric or cover with an extra piece of velcro to avoid snagging your wetsuit during packing and travel.
6. Storing Your Wetsuit
Once you have a nice dry wetsuit fold the arms over the chest and fold in the legs. Fold the suit over into a nice square and place in your dive bag. Place your wetsuit in last and avoid placing heavy equipment on top of your suit, this can cause dents in the wetsuit fabric.