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How To Remove Wax From A Wetsuit

Learn how to remove wax from a wetsuit to keep your suit looking clean and as new as possible.

Let’s be honest. Your board will have wax on it, and with you paddling on it, getting on and off it, and popping up, some of that wax is more than likely going to end up transferring on to your wetsuit.

If you’re lucky, it will stay pretty much superficial and you might be able to just brush it off. But if it gets a bit deeper in, then you might need to give a bit more thought to it.

In theory having a bit of wax on your wetsuit just means a bit of extra waterproofing for you – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – but it can also add some weight to it over time, and can quicken wetsuit wear and tear so it is good to maintain it properly.

How To Remove Wax From A Wetsuit

There are some commercial wax removers you can use, but I personally wouldn’t be too keen on going near my wetsuit with any of those. I don’t think taking a harsh chemical to a fairly delicate synthetic fabric is the wisest move in the world, especially if there isn’t a huge amount of wax you need to get rid of. You could end up doing more harm than good.

Thankfully there is a much better, simpler solution you can use at home and all you need for it are an iron and a tea towel.

You don’t need any steam in the iron – you just need the heat.

To remove wax from a wetsuit with an iron:

  1. Switch the iron on and set it to a low temperature setting. If it has a nylon setting, use that. And remember, the iron should be empty as you do not want or need steam for this.
  2. Test the iron on a small, inconspicuous area on the inside of your wetsuit to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  3. Assuming you have the temperature right (and if you don’t, it goes without saying to adjust the temperature), place your tea towel over the waxy area that you need to remove the wax from and gently iron. Make sure you keep the iron moving so that there is less chance of it burning.
  4. The wax should come away from the wetsuit and stick to the tea towel.
  5. Repeat the process on all the other areas you need to remove wax from.
  6. And that’s about it!

A few warnings though:

  • Like I already said, make sure you test the iron on the inside so that you can be sure the temperature is right. You don’t want to end up burning through your suit!
  • Do not use this method for suits with rubber seals or liquid taping as these could get damaged under the heat.
  • The same goes for zips and PVC knee pads – they are at risk of getting damaged from the heat.
  • Some suits’ chest panels also have a fluffy lining that can get messed up under the heat as well.

Be careful, make sure you have the iron temperature right and stick to just the neoprene areas with wax, and this is a great way to keep your wetsuit looking pretty damn close to new!

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