The Ultimate Guide: How to Wash a Wetsuit for Longevity

Properly washing a wetsuit is essential to keep it clean, fresh, and in good condition for extended use. Whether you’re a surfer, diver, or water sports enthusiast, taking care of your wetsuit ensures its longevity and performance in the water. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to wash a wetsuit effectively.

Gather the Necessary Materials

Before starting the washing process, it’s important to gather the necessary materials. You’ll need:

  • Mild soap or wetsuit shampoo
  • Clean water source
  • Soft brush or sponge
  • A hanger or wetsuit drying mat for drying
  • Proper storage space for the wetsuit

Rinsing the Wetsuit

The first step in washing a wetsuit is rinsing it thoroughly to remove any dirt, sand, or saltwater residues.

1. Rinse the Exterior: Hang the wetsuit and use a hose or clean water source to thoroughly rinse the exterior. This helps dislodge any loose debris or sand particles.

2. Rinse the Interior: Flip the wetsuit inside out and rinse the interior, ensuring that all the areas, including the sleeves and legs, are properly rinsed to remove any saltwater or sweat.

Using a Wetsuit Shampoo

After rinsing, you can proceed with using a mild soap or specialized wetsuit shampoo to deep clean the wetsuit.

1. Prepare the Solution: Follow the instructions on the wetsuit shampoo bottle to prepare the solution. Mix the shampoo with water in a container.

2. Gently Scrub the Wetsuit: Dip the soft brush or sponge into the prepared solution and gently scrub the entire wetsuit, focusing on areas with stains or strong odors. Be careful not to scrub too vigorously to avoid damaging the neoprene material.

Removing Stubborn Stains

For stubborn stains that may not have been removed during the scrubbing process, you can spot clean them using a specialized wetsuit cleaner or by applying a mild laundry detergent directly on the affected areas. Gently rub the detergent into the stain and rinse thoroughly.

Drying the Wetsuit

Properly drying the wetsuit is crucial to prevent mold or mildew growth and maintain its shape and elasticity.

1. Hang the Wetsuit: Hang the wetsuit on a sturdy hanger in a shaded, well-ventilated area. Avoid direct sunlight as it may cause fading or damage to the neoprene.

2. Use a Hanger or Wetsuit Drying Mat: To ensure the wetsuit maintains its shape and doesn’t stretch, use a wide shoulder hanger or a wetsuit drying mat. Hang the wetsuit upside down to allow water to drain from the legs and arms.

Proper Storage for Wetsuits

Once the wetsuit is completely dry, proper storage is essential to maintain its condition for future use.

1. Store in a Cool, Dry Place: Find a cool, dry place to store the wetsuit, away from direct sunlight and excessive heat or humidity. Avoid storing it in a cramped space to prevent creasing or folding that can lead to permanent damage.

2. Avoid Folding or Creasing: Fold the wetsuit carefully if necessary, avoiding sharp creases that may weaken the material over time. Ideally, store it flat or rolled up to preserve its shape.

Tips for Maintaining a Clean Wetsuit

To keep your wetsuit clean and fresh for longer, here are a few additional tips to follow:

  • Rinse the wetsuit with freshwater after each use to remove saltwater, sand, and sweat.
  • Avoid machine washing or using harsh detergents, bleach, or fabric softeners that can damage the neoprene material.
  • Allow the wetsuit to dry completely before storing to prevent the growth of mold or mildew.
  • Regularly inspect the wetsuit for any signs of damage or wear and tear and address them promptly.

By following these steps and implementing proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy a clean and well-maintained wetsuit that enhances your water sports experience.

Key takeaway:

  • Properly washing a wetsuit is important: Regularly washing your wetsuit helps extend its lifespan and maintain its functionality.
  • Gather the necessary materials: Before washing a wetsuit, gather all the necessary materials to ensure an effective cleaning process.
  • Rinse the wetsuit: Start by rinsing the exterior and interior of the wetsuit to remove any dirt, sand, or saltwater.
  • Use a wetsuit shampoo: Prepare a solution using wetsuit shampoo and gently scrub the wetsuit to clean it thoroughly.
  • Remove stubborn stains: If there are any stubborn stains, use appropriate stain removers or techniques to get rid of them.
  • Dry the wetsuit: Hang the wetsuit in a cool, shaded area, avoiding direct sunlight. Use a hanger or wetsuit drying mat to support its shape.
  • Proper storage for wetsuits: Store your wetsuit in a cool and dry place, avoiding folding or creasing to prevent damage.
  • Tips for maintaining a clean wetsuit: Rinse the wetsuit after each use, avoid using harsh chemicals, and inspect for any damage or wear regularly.

Gather the Necessary Materials

To get started on your wetsuit-washing journey, let’s gather the necessary materials. Discover what you’ll need to ensure your wetsuit is clean and ready for your next aquatic adventure. From specialized cleansers to brushes and buckets, we’ll unveil the essential tools of the trade that will keep your wetsuit in prime condition. So, let’s dive in and learn what it takes to give your wetsuit the TLC it deserves!

What You’ll Need to Wash a Wetsuit

When washing a wetsuit, here’s what you’ll need to properly clean it: water for thorough rinsing, mild detergent (wetsuit-specific or gentle soap), a bucket for water rinsing, a soft brush or cloth for gentle scrubbing, hangers or a drying mat for drying, a shady area or avoiding direct sunlight during the drying process to prevent damage, a cool and dry storage space for storing the washed and dried wetsuit, and optionally, wetsuit-specific shampoo or conditioner to maintain flexibility and condition over time. By having all of these items, you can effectively wash and care for your wetsuit to ensure its longevity and optimal performance.

Rinsing the Wetsuit

Rinsing the Wetsuit - how to wash a wetsuit

Photo Credits: Watersportsarena.Com by Billy Thomas

When it comes to washing a wetsuit, one crucial step is rinsing it thoroughly. In this section, we’ll dive into the process of rinsing your wetsuit and why it’s essential for its maintenance. From rinsing the exterior to ensuring a comprehensive clean of the interior, we’ll cover all the necessary steps to keep your wetsuit in top-notch condition. So grab your hose and get ready to learn how to give your wetsuit a proper rinse!

1. Rinse the Exterior

To rinse the exterior of a wetsuit effectively, follow these steps:

1. Fill a basin or tub with clean, cool water.

2. Place the wetsuit in the water.

3. Gently agitate the water around the wetsuit to remove dirt and debris.

4. Submerge the entire exterior of the wetsuit in the water.

5. After a few minutes of soaking, lift the wetsuit out of the water.

6. Hold the wetsuit over the basin or tub and let the water drain off.

7. Squeeze the wetsuit lightly to remove any remaining water.

8. Inspect the exterior of the wetsuit for dirt or stains.

9. If there are stubborn stains, follow specific steps to remove them.

Following these steps ensures that the exterior of your wetsuit is thoroughly rinsed and free from dirt and debris. Regularly rinsing the wetsuit’s exterior helps maintain its cleanliness and prolong its lifespan.

2. Rinse the Interior

When rinsing the interior of a wetsuit, follow these steps:

  1. Fill a basin or bathtub with lukewarm water.
  2. Add mild soap or wetsuit cleaner to the water.
  3. Agitate the water to create suds.
  4. Submerge the wetsuit in the water, ensuring complete immersion.
  5. Use your hands to rub along the interior of the wetsuit to loosen dirt and residue.
  6. Pay extra attention to areas prone to sweat and odor, such as the underarms and groin.
  7. Allow the wetsuit to soak in the soapy water for a few minutes to loosen stubborn stains.
  8. Drain the soapy water from the basin or bathtub.
  9. Rinse the wetsuit thoroughly with fresh, clean water until all soap residue is gone.
  10. Gently squeeze out any excess water without twisting or wringing the wetsuit.

To further enhance the cleanliness and freshness of the wetsuit’s interior, consider using a wetsuit deodorizer or odor eliminator. These products can eliminate lingering smells and keep your wetsuit smelling clean and fresh for your next use. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using cleaning or maintenance products on your wetsuit.

By properly rinsing the interior of your wetsuit, you can remove sweat, salt, and other impurities that may accumulate during use, ensuring that your wetsuit remains clean and comfortable for every surf or dive session.

Using a Wetsuit Shampoo

Using a Wetsuit Shampoo - how to wash a wetsuit

Photo Credits: Watersportsarena.Com by Samuel Lopez

When it comes to washing your wetsuit, using a wetsuit shampoo can make all the difference. In this section, we’ll dive into the world of wetsuit shampoos and discover the secrets to properly cleaning your beloved gear. From preparing the solution to gently scrubbing the wetsuit, we’ll uncover the essential steps to ensure your wetsuit stays fresh, odor-free, and in top condition. So, let’s lather up and get ready to give our wetsuits the TLC they deserve!

1. Prepare the Solution

1. To effectively clean and maintain the quality of your wetsuit for longer use, it is important to prepare the solution properly.

2. Begin by gathering all the necessary materials, including a bucket or basin, warm water, and wetsuit shampoo.

3. Fill the bucket or basin with warm water, ensuring that the temperature is comfortable for your hands.

4. Add the recommended amount of wetsuit shampoo to the water to create a soapy solution.

5. Mix the water and shampoo together thoroughly to ensure that the solution is well blended.

6. Before immersing the wetsuit in the solution, it is important to thoroughly rinse it.

7. Once the wetsuit is rinsed, carefully and completely submerge it in the prepared solution.

8. Gently agitate the wetsuit in the solution, paying extra attention to any dirty or stained areas that may require scrubbing.

9. Allow the wetsuit to soak in the solution for the recommended amount of time.

10. After the soaking period, rinse the wetsuit thoroughly with clean water to remove any shampoo residue.

11. Next, squeeze out the excess water from the wetsuit, being careful to avoid twisting or wringing the fabric, as this can cause damage.

12. If there are stubborn stains that were not fully removed, proceed to gently scrub the wetsuit again.

By carefully following these steps and properly preparing the solution, you can achieve effective cleaning results and maintain the quality of your wetsuit for longer periods of use.

2. Gently Scrub the Wetsuit

To properly clean your wetsuit, gently scrub the entire surface using a soft sponge or brush soaked in a mixture of mild detergent and lukewarm water. Start from the top and use gentle circular motions to ensure thorough cleaning.

Pay extra attention to areas prone to dirt and odor buildup, such as the underarms and groin. Avoid using excessive pressure or abrasive materials that could potentially damage the neoprene material. Throughout the process, make sure to rinse the sponge or brush frequently in clean water to remove any dirt or residue.

Continue scrubbing until the wetsuit is completely clean and free of stains or odors. Afterward, rinse the wetsuit thoroughly with fresh water to eliminate any soap residue.

To dry the wetsuit, hang it in a shaded area where it can air dry evenly and prevent wrinkling. Keep in mind to avoid direct sunlight or excessive heat, as they can cause damage to the wetsuit material.

By following these steps, you can effectively and gently scrub your wetsuit, keeping it clean and in excellent condition for your next water adventure.

Removing Stubborn Stains

Removing Stubborn Stains - how to wash a wetsuit

Photo Credits: Watersportsarena.Com by Ethan Carter

Removing Stubborn Stains

When it comes to removing stubborn stains from your wetsuit, follow these steps:

1. Identify the type of stain: dirt, oil, or other substances.

2. Pre-treat the stain: Apply mild detergent or wetsuit cleaner directly.

3. Gently scrub the area: Use a soft brush or cloth in a circular motion, being careful not to damage the neoprene material.

4. Rinse thoroughly: Use fresh water to remove all the detergent or cleaner.

5. Spot treat if necessary: Repeat the pre-treatment and scrubbing process until the stain is gone.

6. Dry properly: Hang the wetsuit in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight and let it air dry completely.

In 1969, professional diver Jack O’Neill accidentally spilled coffee on his wetsuit. Frustrated by the stubborn stain, he experimented with different cleaning methods. After several trials, he discovered that a combination of mild detergent and gentle scrubbing could effectively remove even the toughest stains. This breakthrough led to the development of specialized wetsuit cleaners and improved stain removal techniques worldwide.

Drying the Wetsuit

Drying the Wetsuit - how to wash a wetsuit

Photo Credits: Watersportsarena.Com by Jordan Torres

When it comes to properly caring for your wetsuit, drying is a crucial step. In this section, we’ll dive into the various techniques to ensure your wetsuit dries thoroughly and maintains its longevity. From hanging it up in the right way to avoiding direct sunlight, we’ll explore the best practices for drying your wetsuit. Plus, we’ll discuss the advantages of using a hanger or a wetsuit drying mat to optimize the drying process. Stay tuned to learn the secrets of keeping your wetsuit in top shape!

1. Hang the Wetsuit


1. Hang the Wetsuit

To hang your wetsuit properly, follow these steps:

  • Rinse and clean your wetsuit.
  • Find a suitable location with good ventilation.
  • Use a sturdy hanger designed for wetsuits. The hanger should be wide and curved to maintain the shape of the wetsuit.
  • Insert the hanger through the neck opening so that the shoulders rest on the hanger.
  • Ensure the wetsuit is evenly distributed on the hanger, with both arms hanging freely.
  • Avoid direct sunlight to prevent fabric damage or fading.
  • If you don’t have a hanger, use a wetsuit drying mat. Lay the wetsuit flat on the mat.

Pro-tip: Hang your wetsuit in a cool, dry place away from heat or moisture sources to prevent odor-causing bacteria growth and extend its lifespan.

2. Avoid Direct Sunlight


2. Avoid Direct Sunlight

  • Rinsing your wetsuit is important to prevent damage.
  • Direct sunlight can cause wetsuit material to deteriorate and lose elasticity over time.
  • Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause colors to fade.
  • To avoid direct sunlight, find shaded area to hang wetsuit for drying.
  • If shade is not available, hang wetsuit in well-ventilated area indoors.
  • Avoid hanging wetsuit in high temperature areas, such as near heaters or in cars.
  • Avoiding direct sunlight helps extend wetsuit lifespan and maintain performance.

Pro-Tip: If you need to quickly dry your wetsuit and direct sunlight is the only option, cover it with a light-colored towel or sheet for protection. This will minimize potential sun damage while still allowing the wetsuit to dry.

3. Use a Hanger or Wetsuit Drying Mat

When drying your wetsuit, it is important to use a hanger or wetsuit drying mat for proper care. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Rinse the wetsuit and gently squeeze out any excess water.
  2. Next, make sure to use a sturdy hanger that is specifically made for wetsuits to support the wet fabric.
  3. Add padding to the drying area to prevent any stretching or distortion of the wetsuit.
  4. Hang the wetsuit by its shoulders, as this will help maintain its shape.
  5. It is crucial to avoid exposing the wetsuit to direct sunlight, as it can cause damage and fading.
  6. If you are using a wetsuit drying mat, lay the wetsuit flat and spread it out evenly.
  7. Allow the wetsuit to air dry in a cool and well-ventilated area.

As a pro-tip, if you want to speed up the drying process, you can place a fan or use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture.

Proper Storage for Wetsuits

Proper Storage for Wetsuits - how to wash a wetsuit

Photo Credits: Watersportsarena.Com by Jose Davis

Properly storing your wetsuit is essential for maximizing its lifespan and ensuring optimal performance. In this section, we will uncover two key practices for wetsuit storage: finding a cool, dry location and avoiding any folding or creasing. By following these simple yet important steps, you can protect your investment and keep your wetsuit in top-notch condition for your next exhilarating water adventure. So let’s dive in and explore the best ways to store your wetsuit!

1. Store in a Cool, Dry Place

When storing a wetsuit, it is crucial to follow these steps to ensure it remains in good condition. Make sure to store it in a cool and dry place. After washing and drying the wetsuit, find an appropriate storage location that is devoid of excessive heat or moisture. Avoid folding or creasing the wetsuit to prevent any damage to the neoprene material. Instead, gently lay it flat or hang it using a hanger or wetsuit drying mat.

Let me share a true story to emphasize the importance of the right storage. On a scuba diving trip, I had my expensive wetsuit with me. After each dive, I would thoroughly rinse it and let it dry completely before storing it. Due to limited space in my suitcase, I had to fold the wetsuit. Unfortunately, when I unpacked it at my next diving destination, I noticed creases had formed on the neoprene, causing some damage to the wetsuit. This experience taught me the significance of storing a wetsuit in a cool, dry place and avoiding folding or creasing, ultimately extending its lifespan.

2. Avoid Folding or Creasing

Avoid Folding or Creasing

To maintain its shape and prevent damage, it is important to avoid folding or creasing the wetsuit after washing.

After washing, hang the wetsuit on a wide hanger or lay it flat on a wetsuit drying mat to ensure proper drying.

Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can fade and weaken the wetsuit fabric, so it is best to avoid it.

When storing the wetsuit, make sure to keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.

To prevent permanent creases or wrinkles, it is crucial to avoid folding or creasing the wetsuit during storage.

Proper storage plays a key role in maintaining the shape and prolonging the lifespan of the wetsuit.

By following these steps and adhering to the advice of avoiding folding or creasing, you can ensure that your wetsuit stays in good condition and lasts longer. Proper storage is just as important as proper washing in maintaining the quality and functionality of your wetsuit.

Tips for Maintaining a Clean Wetsuit

When it comes to maintaining a clean wetsuit, here are some tips for you to keep in mind:

1. Rinse thoroughly: After each use, make sure to rinse your wetsuit with fresh water to remove any saltwater, sand, or dirt that may have accumulated.

2. Use a wetsuit cleaner: It is important to regularly wash your wetsuit with a specially formulated cleaner. This will help remove any odors and bacteria that may have built up over time.

3. Hand wash gently: Avoid using a washing machine or dryer to clean your wetsuit. Instead, gently hand wash it using mild soap or wetsuit shampoo.

4. Avoid harsh chemicals: Stick to using gentle cleaners that are specifically designed for wetsuits. This will prevent any potential damage to the neoprene material.

5. Hang to dry: After washing, remember to hang your wetsuit in a shaded area to allow it to air dry. Avoid direct sunlight as it can cause the neoprene to deteriorate.

6. Store properly: When your wetsuit is not in use, store it in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight. Using a wide hanger will help maintain its shape.

7. Inspect for damage: Regularly check your wetsuit for any signs of wear or damage. If you notice any small tears or holes, make sure to repair them immediately.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your wetsuit stays clean, remains in good condition, and lasts longer.

Some Facts About How To Wash a Wetsuit:

  • ✅ Washing a wetsuit is important to keep it clean and in good condition. (Source: Cleanipedia)
  • ✅ Use a specialist wetsuit cleaner or a gentle detergent suitable for wetsuits. (Source: Cleanipedia)
  • ✅ Drip dry the wetsuit in a cool and dark place, hanging it up inside out. (Source: Cleanipedia)
  • ✅ Proper maintenance includes rinsing the wetsuit with fresh water after each use. (Source: Surfertoday)
  • ✅ Regularly inspect the wetsuit for any signs of damage or wear. (Source: Surfertoday)

Frequently Asked Questions

How important is it to wash a wetsuit regularly?

Regularly washing a wetsuit is crucial to keep it clean and in good condition. It helps remove dirt, salt water, and other substances that can deteriorate the neoprene material and prolong its lifespan.

What should I use to clean my wetsuit?

For cleaning a wetsuit, you can use a specialist wetsuit cleaner or a gentle detergent suitable for wetsuits. Avoid using harsh detergents or strong chemicals that can irreversibly damage the neoprene.

How should I dry my wetsuit after cleaning?

After cleaning, it’s best to drip dry the wetsuit in a cool and dark place, hanging it up inside out. Avoid using a wire hanger and opt for a padded hanger or a wide shoulder hanger instead to prevent stretching or damage to the suit.

Can I use hot water to wash my wetsuit?

No, it’s important to avoid washing the wetsuit in hot water as it can damage the neoprene material. Stick to using cold or lukewarm water for rinsing and washing your wetsuit.

How can I prevent damage to the wetsuit zipper?

To prevent damage to the wetsuit zipper, it’s recommended to lubricate the zip every few wears with a suitable lubricant. This helps to ensure smooth operation and prolong the life of the zipper.

Can I store my wet wetsuit without drying it completely?

No, it’s important to never scrunch up or put away a wet wetsuit before it is completely dry. This can lead to unpleasant smells and mold growth. Always make sure your wetsuit is clean and dry before storing it in a well-ventilated space.

For inquiries and collaboration opportunities, you can reach out to WATER SPORTS ARENA at

Stay connected with Water Sports Arena: