As divers, our suits are more than just gear; they’re our second skin in the underwater world. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or just beginning your journey beneath the waves, understanding how to properly maintain your wetsuit or drysuit is crucial. These suits are your armor against the elements, and their care is paramount for both their longevity and your comfort. In this guide, we dive into the essential practices for cleaning, drying, and storing your dive suit, ensuring it’s always ready for your next aquatic adventure.
Wetsuit Care: Cleaning Post-Dive
After each dive, it’s vital to cleanse your wetsuit of salt, sand, and other oceanic elements. Rinse it thoroughly in fresh water to prevent salt crystal formation, which can degrade the material. For persistent stains or odors, opt for a wetsuit-specific cleaner or a gentle, unscented soap, always adhering to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Drysuit Maintenance: Keeping It Pristine
For drysuits, start by closing the zipper and rinsing the exterior with fresh water to remove salt and contaminants. Pay special attention to the neck and wrist seals, as well as the zipper’s teeth, ensuring all traces of sand and dirt are removed. Use a soft cloth and mild soap solution for tough stains, but steer clear of harsh chemicals or bleach.
Drying Your Suit: The Right Way
Direct sunlight might seem like a natural drying solution, but UV rays can harm neoprene or fabric. Instead, dry your suit in a shaded, airy space. Hang it by the shoulders on a padded or wide hanger to avoid creases or stretching. For drysuits, avoid hanging by the collar to protect the neck seal. Let the suit drip-dry completely before storage.
Soap for Cleaning: Choose Wisely
When using soap, select a mild, non-abrasive, and fragrance-free option designed for dive suits. Regular household detergents can be too harsh, potentially damaging the suit’s material.
Storing Your Wetsuit: Inside Out or Not?
There’s no need to store your wetsuit inside out. This could unnecessarily stress the interior lining. Instead, fold it neatly or hang it as recommended, in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.
Wetsuit Zipper Care
Post-dive, rinse the zipper thoroughly to prevent salt buildup, which can wear down the slide and teeth. Use a suitable lubricant for plastic zippers to maintain smooth functionality.
Drysuit Zipper Maintenance
Inspect and clean the drysuit zipper regularly, removing any debris. Lubricate it before each dive, following the provided instructions. Avoid aerosol or petroleum-based lubricants, as they can damage the zipper and suit material.
Drysuit Zipper Storage: Open or Closed?
For drysuits, the storage protocol for zippers varies: keep plastic zippers closed and metal zippers open to ensure optimal performance and longevity.
By adhering to these care and maintenance tips, you ensure that your dive suit remains a reliable companion on your underwater journeys. Proper upkeep not only extends the life of your suit but also enhances your overall diving experience. Dive in with confidence, knowing your suit is as prepared for the ocean’s depths as you are. Happy diving!
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