How to Store a Wetsuit: Tips for Proper Care and Maintenance
Storing your wetsuit properly is essential to ensure its longevity and maintain its performance. Whether you’re a scuba diver, surfer, or water sports enthusiast, following these guidelines will help keep your wetsuit in top condition.
1. Rinse thoroughly: After each use, rinse your wetsuit with freshwater to remove salt, sand, and other debris. This prevents the accumulation of odors and prevents damage caused by corrosive elements.
2. Dry it out: Hang your wetsuit in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. Avoid using hangers that can stretch or damage the suit. Folding your wetsuit can cause creases that may become permanent, so always hang it.
3. Avoid heat sources: Keep your wetsuit away from heaters, radiators, or any other heat sources. Excessive heat can damage the neoprene material and cause it to lose its flexibility.
4. Beware of sharp objects: Ensure that your wetsuit is stored away from sharp objects or rough surfaces that could puncture or tear the neoprene. Consider using a dedicated wetsuit hanger or bag to protect it from accidental damage.
5. Use a wetsuit shampoo: Every few uses, clean your wetsuit with a specialized wetsuit shampoo. This helps remove salt, bacteria, and oils, preventing the buildup of foul odors and maintaining the suit’s elasticity.
6. Store flat if necessary: If you don’t have enough space to hang your wetsuit, you can carefully store it flat, folded in half, in a cool and dry place. Just make sure it doesn’t get crushed or creased.
7. Avoid excessive stretching: When hanging your wetsuit, avoid stretching it too much. Over time, excessive stretching can lead to a loss of elasticity and a looser fit.
8. Repair promptly: Inspect your wetsuit regularly for any signs of damage, such as small tears or loose seams. Repair these issues promptly to prevent them from getting worse and compromising the suit’s integrity.
9. Keep away from pets: As much as we love our furry friends, it’s best to keep them away from your wetsuit. Their sharp claws can easily damage the neoprene, causing irreparable tears.
10. Store in a cool, dry place: Avoid storing your wetsuit in damp or humid areas, as these conditions can promote the growth of mold and mildew. Opt for a cool and dry place, such as a closet or a dedicated gear storage area.
11. Rotate storage positions: If you have multiple wetsuits, it’s a good idea to rotate their storage positions. This helps prevent any one wetsuit from being constantly stretched or compressed, ensuring a longer lifespan for all your suits.
Common Questions and Answers:
1. Can I wash my wetsuit in a washing machine?
No, it is not recommended to wash your wetsuit in a washing machine as it can damage the material. Hand washing with a wetsuit shampoo is the best method.
2. Can I store my wetsuit while it’s still wet?
It’s best to dry your wetsuit completely before storing it to prevent mold and unpleasant odors.
3. How often should I wash my wetsuit?
It’s recommended to wash your wetsuit every few uses or when you notice a buildup of salt, bacteria, or odor.
4. Can I hang my wetsuit with a regular hanger?
It’s best to use a wetsuit hanger or a thick padded hanger to prevent stretching and damage to the neoprene.
5. Can I store my wetsuit in a plastic bag?
While it may seem convenient, storing your wetsuit in a plastic bag can trap moisture and lead to the growth of mold and mildew. Use a breathable bag or hang it instead.
6. How long does a wetsuit typically last?
The lifespan of a wetsuit depends on various factors such as usage frequency and maintenance. With proper care, a wetsuit can last for several years.
7. Can I use a hairdryer to dry my wetsuit?
Using a hairdryer can expose your wetsuit to excessive heat, which can damage the neoprene. It’s best to air dry it.
8. Can I store my wetsuit in the garage?
Garages are often prone to temperature fluctuations and can be damp, which is not ideal for wetsuit storage. Choose a cool and dry place indoors instead.
9. Can I use household detergent to wash my wetsuit?
Household detergents are not suitable for wetsuits as they can degrade the neoprene. Always use a wetsuit-specific shampoo.
10. Can I repair my wetsuit myself?
Minor repairs like small tears or loose seams can be fixed at home using neoprene glue or patches. However, for major repairs or complex issues, it’s best to seek professional assistance.
11. How do I remove stubborn odors from my wetsuit?
Soak your wetsuit in a mixture of vinegar and water for about 30 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. This should help eliminate any persistent odors.