Wetsuit Maintenance and Preventing Wetsuit Rash
Wetsuits are an expensive investment. To help make your wetsuit last longer and keep you warmer, here are a few tips and tricks that you should know and consider for wetsuit maintenance.
Basics of Neoprene
All wetsuits are made from Neoprene; of which there are several brands. All neoprene is a petroleum based foam. This is import to know because most detergents and soaps have degreasers in them that will break down the neoprene and the glue that bonds them together. We recommend using a preferred wetsuit cleaner such as Revivex to clean your suit without risk of damage.
Cleaning and Drying
Always clean and dry your suit after each use to maximize the longevity. Additionally, by not cleaning your wetsuit properly you put yourself at risk of getting wetsuit rash. Wetsuit rash usually occurs on multi-day dive trips. It is a result of bacteria multiplying in a wet environment as a result of sweat, dead skin cells, and other accumulations in a wetsuit.
Always wash and dry your wetsuit as best you can after each dive day. Open cell suits need to be dried inside-out initially. This prevent the neoprene from sticking to itself on the inside of your suit.
If you already have wetsuit rash the best thing to do is keep the area dry and clean. Use white vinegar to keep the area clean. Additionally, you should use some type of triple antibiotic to prevent infection. Continue to monitor the area and seek medical attention if it continues to get worse.
Neoprene can be fragile. If you nick or tear Neoprene, it is important to repair it right away. This will prevent it from becoming a bigger hole and possibly ruining your suit. When repairing your suit, begin by making sure the Neoprene is dry. If the hole is large or the tear is long, be sure to put a piece of wax paper under the hole to ensure the glue does not drip through. You can potentially glue one side of your suit to the other. We recommend using the Aquaseal+NEO; this glue drys soft, is very strong, and will not take away the flexibility of your wetsuit.