Follow our handy wetsuit care and cleaning guide to make sure you get the most out of your wetsuit and keep it lasting for longer!
If you have a good surfing wetsuit (and if you don’t we have a great guide on the best wetsuits for surfing) then you want to keep it in good condition so that it lasts as long as possible.
Always Rinse Your Suit With Fresh Water
Pretty much after every time you use it, make sure to give your wet suit a thorough rinse with cold or room temperature fresh water. Salt from the saltwater getting stuck in your suit can ruin the neoprene so it is wise to give it a thorough rinse.
Hang Your Suit To Dry Folded Over
When letting your suit dry, you want it hanging folded over on a thick, fairly flat surface – using a wire hanger will leave permanent indents and not letting it stretch out enough will cause it to crease or wrinkle.
In fact I would personally recommend a proper wetsuit hanger like the one below:
Don’t Dry Your Suit In Direct Sunlight
Direct sunlight and UV rays can age neoprene, making your wetsuit break down a bit quicker. Dry your wetsuit indoors or in a shaded area when ever possible.
Dry Your Wetsuit Inside Out
The material will stiffen when it is air dried, so it can be a bit more difficult to get in and out of your wetsuit. However if you dry it inside out, the exterior will still maintain it’s flexibility a little bit more easily.
Heat Is Your Wetsuit’s Enemy
Heat can break down the neoprene so don’t leave your wetsuit in hot places – like in the trunk of your car – and don’t wash it in hot water…so that also means don’t use the washing machine.
And don’t iron your wetsuit – unless you’re trying to get wax out, in which case a low temperature iron and a tea towel will work well, as you can see in our guide on how to remove wax from a wetsuit.
Be Careful When Taking Your Wetsuit Off
Yes it will be sticky and clingy, but grabbing it and trying to pull it off you won’t help you. I mean it will get it off you but it will damage the suit as well! Take your time, apply pressure over broad areas to help slide it off – don’t just grab and pull!
And try not to take it off over sand – as you’ll just end up with a load of sand getting caught up in the neoprene and need to go through the hassle of trying to wash it again, which isn’t exactly fun.
Use Wetsuit Shampoo Occasionally
Using shampoo and conditioner on your wetsuit isn’t essential all the time but it can be useful to do from time to time. It will keep your neoprene softer, which of course makes it easier to put on and take off and it will also help deal with the smell your wetsuit may pick up.
Without wanting to be crude, bear in mind that most wetsuits aren’t designed with easy access if you need to go to the bathroom so peeing whilst in your wetsuit is a pretty common occurrence and you will not want to keep that smell in your suit!
Shampooing will help keep the smell in check, as will something like Mirazyme, which is designed to get rid of the bacteria that cause the stench particularly in wetsuits and sports gear.
Your Wetsuit Is Your Own
Don’t lend out your wetsuit to friends and family. Especially if they are – to put it politely – a different “shape” to you. It can end up stretching out your suit, making it an awkward fit for you the next time you wear it.
So To Summarize Wetsuit Care And Cleaning
- Rinse it after every use
- Don’t leave it in the heat or the sun
- Hang it doubled over with a thick plastic hanger
- Leave it to dry inside out
- Don’t put it in the washing machine or iron it
- Use something to get the smell out and shampoo occasionally to keep it clean
- Don’t lend it out to anyone