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How To Wash A Wetsuit

Cleaning a wetsuit after a swim may be easier than you think. Find how to wash wetsuits in a quick and simple way, and how to prolong their lifespan!


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Regardless of whether you’re lucky enough to be able to do it every day or as a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, exploring the ocean (or just swimming in it) is an amazing experience. However, it’s important to look after your wetsuit. If you’re left wondering the best way of cleaning a wetsuit or asking “can you wash a wetsuit” then these tips are for you.

Don’t forget to bring your wetsuit inside after coming back from a diving or swimming trip. Wetsuits don’t do well being kept in the boot of a car and should be washed as soon as you get home, even if they just need a quick rinse in fresh water.

How to wash a wetsuit

Firstly, it’s not always necessary to completely clean your wetsuit. Wash it by hand in fresh water every time you’ve been for a swim in the ocean (a lot of diving places have rinse tanks where you can rinse your wetsuit), and every so often give it a good wash. This is how to clean a wetsuit at home in a quick and easy way:

  1. Begin by rinsing out the wetsuit to make sure you won’t be rubbing sand into the neoprene, then either fill the bathtub about a third of the way up with cool water and submerge the wetsuit or rinse it in cool water in the shower. Avoid using hot water as this can damage the neoprene (that goes for those of you who like to take a nice, hot shower after a cold swim, too – take off your wetsuit before you step into the shower to feel human again)

  2. Drop a small amount of wetsuit shampoo or OMO Sensitive Liquid into the bathtub (check the product label for dosage instructions). If you’re using a shower, rub a small amount onto your wetsuit, ensuring the wetsuit is treated. It doesn’t need to be covered in heaps of product – a little goes a long way!

  3. Squeeze the soapy water out of the wetsuit and rinse it in fresh, cool water, gently squeezing out any suds from the detergent until the wetsuit is completely free from the cleaning product and excess water

  4. Hang the wetsuit up to dry on a wetsuit hanger or a normal plastic hanger. Avoid metal hangers as these can damage the neoprene! Place the wetsuit in a warm, well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. If you’re hanging it out to dry outside, place it in the shade

  5. Once the wetsuit has dried completely, hang it up in storage rather than folding it away. This will help your wetsuit keep its shape and its insulation properties

Now you know how to clean a wetsuit, there’s nothing stopping you from getting back into the ocean for another underwater adventure – well, at least not a dirty wetsuit…

  • Rinse out the wetsuit to get rid of any sand from your last swim

  • Submerge or rinse the wetsuit in cool water

  • Treat the wetsuit with a small amount of wetsuit shampoo or OMO Sensitive Liquid (check the product label for dosage instructions)

  • Rinse the wetsuit and squeeze out the product

  • Rinse in fresh, cool water, making sure all product has been washed out. Squeeze out the remaining water

  • Hang the wetsuit to dry on a plastic hanger in a warm, well-ventilated place, away from direct sunlight

Originally published