Wetsuit Care and Repair
After diving wash thoroughly with warm, fresh water. If possible, soak your suit
in a large tub, giving it several fresh water rinses. To help protect the rubber
and eliminate odors, periodically rinse the suit with a commercial wetsuit conditioner
or with a mixture of baking soda and water. It is recommended that you use a fabric
softener for the final rinse of neoprene articles to increase their life.
While washing, check for leaks or tears, especially around the seams, knees
and the seat. Fill different parts of the wetsuit with water to create a balloon
effect and mark any spots where the water leaks out. Repairs should be made only
after the suit is completely dry. While rinsing, work the zippers and twist locks
to insure that all salt or sand particles are rinsed free.
After rinsing the suit, it is best to hang it up and let it air dry completely.
Use very wide hangers to prevent creasing the rubber or stretching the suit. After
the suit is dry, lubricate metal wetsuit zippers with silicone or beeswax to prevent
corrosion and to ensure smooth operation for future dives.
Make sure the suit is completely dry before storage, and always store it at
a constant temperature away from smog, heat and sunlight. If it is stored on a
hanger, use an extra-wide, smooth hanger. Never fold or stuff a wetsuit into a
diving bag for storage. You may also store your wetsuit in a large plastic bag,
such as a trash bag, sealed tightly to protect it from exposure to ozone, smog
or gas fumes from your garage that would attack the rubber. Just ensure that it
is perfectly dry first.
Wetsuits are susceptible to snags and tears from abrasive surfaces and sharp objects.
Small tears and gouges can be easily repaired with a can of wetsuit cement, and
large holes can be repaired with a neoprene patch. Commercial wetsuit cement easy
to use and is available at Sharky's Scuba.
As your wetsuit, gloves and booties start showing wear, they can be given a
longer life by applying one of the many brush on liquids now available for just
this purpose. Simply make sure the item is clean and dry, then brush it on with
an applicator or spatula. While doing the glove palms or booty soles, fine sand
can be added to give them a much better grip.