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How to Properly Clean and Care for Your Wetsuit

If you’re an avid watersports enthusiast, you know how important it is to properly care for your wetsuit. Regular maintenance not only prolongs the life of your gear but also ensures optimal performance out on the water. One key aspect of wetsuit maintenance is cleaning. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of using a wetsuit shampoo and how to properly clean and care for your wetsuit.

Why Use a Wetsuit Shampoo?

A wetsuit shampoo is specifically formulated to clean and condition neoprene, the material most wetsuits are made of. Regular shampoos and detergents can be harsh on neoprene, leading to premature deterioration of the fabric. A wetsuit shampoo, on the other hand, is gentle yet effective at removing salt, chlorine, and other contaminants that can build up on your wetsuit.

Using a wetsuit shampoo also helps to maintain the elasticity and flexibility of the neoprene, ensuring a comfortable and snug fit every time you put on your wetsuit. Additionally, some wetsuit shampoos contain conditioning agents that help to prevent the neoprene from becoming stiff or brittle over time.

How to Clean Your Wetsuit

Cleaning your wetsuit regularly is essential to prevent odors, mold, and bacteria from developing. Follow these steps to properly clean your wetsuit using a wetsuit shampoo:

1. Fill a large tub or sink with lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water, as it can damage the neoprene.
2. Add a small amount of wetsuit shampoo to the water and mix it until it’s evenly distributed.
3. Turn your wetsuit inside out and submerge it in the water. Gently knead the neoprene to help the shampoo penetrate the fabric and loosen any dirt or grime.
4. Let the wetsuit soak for 10-15 minutes to allow the shampoo to work its magic.
5. Drain the soapy water and rinse the wetsuit thoroughly with fresh water. Make sure to rinse out all the shampoo residue to prevent skin irritation.
6. Gently squeeze out excess water from the wetsuit, being careful not to wring or twist the neoprene, as this can cause damage.
7. Hang your wetsuit to dry in a shaded area away from direct sunlight. Avoid hanging it on sharp or rough surfaces that can cause abrasions.

Pro Tips for Wetsuit Care

In addition to regular cleaning with a wetsuit shampoo, here are some pro tips to help you care for your wetsuit and extend its lifespan:

1. Avoid washing your wetsuit in a top-loading washing machine, as the agitator can damage the neoprene. Instead, hand wash your wetsuit as described above.
2. Store your wetsuit flat or hanging on a wide, padded hanger to maintain its shape and prevent creases.
3. Avoid exposing your wetsuit to harsh chemicals, oils, or solvents, as they can degrade the neoprene.
4. Rinse your wetsuit with fresh water after each use to remove salt, sand, and other debris that can cause premature wear and tear.
5. Periodically treat your wetsuit with a wetsuit conditioner to keep the neoprene soft and supple.

By following these tips and incorporating a wetsuit shampoo into your regular wetsuit maintenance routine, you can keep your gear in top condition and enjoy many more hours of fun in the water. Remember, a well-maintained wetsuit is not only more comfortable to wear but also performs better, giving you the confidence to take on any watersport challenge that comes your way.

Conclusion

Caring for your wetsuit doesn’t have to be a chore – with the right tools and techniques, you can easily keep your gear clean, fresh, and ready for your next adventure. Using a wetsuit shampoo is a simple yet effective way to ensure your wetsuit stays in top condition for years to come. Incorporate regular cleaning and proper storage practices into your wetsuit maintenance routine, and you’ll be rewarded with a durable, comfortable wetsuit that enhances your watersports experience every time.

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