How To Clean and Maintain Your Scuba Diving Wetsuit

Lingering saltwater, sand, silt and other unsavory liquids can wear down on your wetsuit or get it stinky in a hurry. To keep your wetsuit in tip-top shape and have it last as long as you can fit, it’s important to properly prep and clean it before and after each dive. Here are a few tips from our Gear Editor on keeping your scuba diving wetsuits in great shape.


• CHECK ALL ZIPPERS to make sure they slide freely. If there’s any corrosion, SCRUB the zipper WITH A TOOTHBRUSH AND WHITE VINEGAR, then rinse it thoroughly. If it’s clean but still slides hard, you can lubricate it with a little zipper wax.

• CHECK FOR TORN SEAMS OR LOOSE STITCHING, and to make sure any patches on knees or elbows are in place.

• Use only an APPROVED NEOPRENE ADHESIVE to make any minor repairs.

• Before donning your suit, be sure to remove your watch and any other jewelry or equipment that could damage your suit.


• With the suit inside out, SOAK FOR AT LEAST 15 MINUTES in clean, fresh water (swimming pool dips don’t count, since chlorine will damage the suit).

• MAKE SURE ZIPPERS ARE CLEAN from salt or sand and that they slide freely; if metal zips are corroded, scrub with a toothbrush and white vinegar.

• If the suit is smelly or dirty, you can HAND WASH IT WITH A GENTLE SOAP like wetsuit shampoo or baby shampoo.

• THOROUGHLY RINSE THE SUIT and hang it out of the sun, still inside-out, on a wide hanger to help prevents creases.Wetsuits

Wetsuit Storage:

  1. Wetsuit material can develop a permanent crease if left folded for a extended period of time. It is best to store your wetsuit laying flat. If that is not possible, you can store your suit on a hanger. Use as thick a hanger as possible to better support the weight of the suit. The thicker the suit, the heavier, and therefore the thicker your hanger should be. There are several after-market hangers available designed specifically for this purpose.
  2. Store in a cool, dry and protected place out of direct sunlight.
  3. Do not store your wetsuit in garage if the garage is used to park a vehicle. The exhaust emissions from the vehicle can over time deteriorate the neoprene.


  1. Avoid any contact with oil, gasoline, aerosols, or chemical solvents.
  2. Do not expose any part to aerosol spray, as some aerosol propellants attack or degrade rubber and plastic materials.
  3. Do not use any type of alcohol, solvent or petroleum based substances to clean or lubricate any part.
  4. Do not store your equipment near any oil, gasoline, chemicals, or solvents.

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