Submitted by Nick Bone on Sat, 07/23/2016 - 10:22
Just wondering as too other peoples tips and tricks with wetsuit care. When i was a bit younger, absolutely no care with my wetsuits and as a result chewed through them pretty quickly. Last couple of years though ive started to rinse them occasionally and that did seem to help a little. But this year, ive been a bit lax on the rinsing but ive taken up drying the wetsuit out in complete shade. Sure it takes a bit longer but im finding the wetsuit is staying in great condition. I got this 3/2 back in april and im still in it and i live in Vicco. Im usually in a 4/3 by this stage!
I give a quick rinse after each use then shade dry...then once a month the full hand wash in a 20lt bucket to get all the salt out of the air pockets in the rubber ...then end of winter another thorough wash with a splash of wool mix in the bucket, get 3 winters out of a 3x2 steamer.
About ten years ago, my mate Sidey who was a chemical engineer who made the glues for wetties, told me that urine breaks down the glues. Ever since then I've held out from pissing in my good steamers but I don't know if it's lengthened the life of the seams or whether the glues have simply improved.
Have kids.........Your wetsuit barely ever gets used and last for years.
1. Always wash out in fresh water even if it means wearing it in the shower.
2. Never ever dry it in direct sun.
3. Never leave it in a stinking hot car.
I also store mine in the bathroom I made my wettys there own towel rail that they sit nicely over (no creases), my theory is the moist air helps them last longer and rubber stays soft, seems to work and they don't go mouldy or smelly or anything weird.
For further reference and common sense.
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Would be most interested in anyone's opinion about what you do at the end of the season. Those first half dozen wears in the early winter seem to be stiff. Not sure how much that is me getting used to having so much rubber (ha!) around me again, and how much it is the wetsuit getting dried out and losing flex. Current wetsuit is a pretty high end model, bought at the end of winter 2 years ago on sale (best way to get a cheap steamer, look for sales in October).
Anyways, second winter for this one and still warm as toast, but gee it seemed hard to move in initially. Now it seems to have stretched out again and feels great.
Udo's splash of wool mix at season's end may have something going for it. As far as upkeep concerned, I always rinse out the suit and hang to dry in the garage. Generally get 3 seasons out of them then they become the back-up for the next year.
BF- I just put that down to difficulty getting used to wearing a full steamer each year. Probably soak in water and wear it to the shops a few days before the first surf - something to test out anyway.
Cat 5 wetsuit wash seems to be popular with the Triathlon guys for there wetsuits.
Im generally following all of the above. Gotta get better with the rinsing but im rather disciplined with no UV drying out. But as for the pee part farkkkkk out in the ocean where i do most of my expelling so to speak.
Ive looked after this wettie good and proper and would you believe it, its lasting way longer haha. I just wonder if you had to prioritise how would you place the care tips?
I am the bone
Also cat 5? Wool mix? What are theseee..
Cat5 5 is a wetsuit wash
Wool mix is a fabric wash for woollens and delicates...
ask ya mum.
Quite possible Mk1. Perhaps develop a wetsuit stretching machine that you can run it through a half dozen times just before the winter comes in.
I suspect that a fair bit of it is the 'getting used to it' problem. Been enjoying summer surfs more and more with just board shorts and a long sleeve vest and I do love that lack of restriction. I tend to stay with that for a fair while these days, and have noticed how many blokes are wearing steamers and short sleeve steamers through summer. I assume they must be 1 and 2 mm suits, but I don't really want to go down that path personally. Getting used to the full rubber takes a few surfs, no doubt about it, but some of it might be down to the material getting a bit less flexy from lack of use.
While on the topic, some time ago I took to giving my wetsuit a thorough rinsing and then throwing it into the washing machine and putting through just the spin cycle to get it drier quicker. I only bother with this if I'm likely to have two surfs in a day, or having a late surf and want it to be as dry as possible for the next morning.
It works well and so far I haven't had any problems with affecting durability. FYI, but no guarantees on whether it will ruin your wetsuit or not.
Always rinse your wetty in fresh water after surfing. Makes it dry faster from my experience, not to mention keeps it feeling newer, longer.
If your wetty gets a bit smelly, washing it in a small amount of dishwashing liquid in the laundry tub gets rid of any smell and makes it feel oh so soft. But you have to rinse it a great deal afterwards to ensure you get all the soap out.. I don't think it attracts noah's.. does it?
I've always been worried about washing my wetty in hot water in case it weakens the glue, but I'm starting to think its not that bad.
I've found hanging my wetty on a plastic coat hanger instead of doubled-over makes it dry a bit faster too. And turn it right-way in when the bottom inch of the leg is the only bit still damp.
Fresh water wash after every surf, dry in shade hanging up. End of season wash in a bucket with some Napisan, dry it well, turn right side out and hang in a cupboard - soft and flexi when used next season ;)
I usually get at least 3 seasons out of a steamer, best run was 5.
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Don't forget the talcum powder at the end of the season. And really is one freshwater rinse enough? Surely two or even three would ensure that the concentration of salt falls far enough to ensure that no damage occurs. Of course the really important thing is to make sure it dries, however slowly, in full shade since sunshine triggers a cascade of chemical changes in the neoprene that could prove destructive within as little as five years. Even more important is to check the humidity before exposing your tender synthetic rubberised materials to the atmosphere. Low humidity can ruin the complexion of even the finest quality suits in a matter of hours.
Every wetsuit comes with manufacturers care instructions so not sure why we wouldn't just follow what they say.
Washing machines may throughly clean a wetsuit but I wonder about how the glued seams would hold up in the longer term especially on top loading machines which are notoriously harder on clothes than front loaders. My industrial chemist mate says wool wash is a waste of time and money when it comes to wetsuits. The use of talcum powder is dubious for ones hidden cracks but BB could be on to something there .... lol
Yeah, don't wash you wettie in the washing machine, just lay it around the edges and do a spin dry. :-)
Going through the whole washing cycle will very likely stuff your wettie.
Agree, no detergents on a day to day basis, just rinse it thoroughly inside and out (especially around the crotch) and spin it in the washing machine.
Then lay down flat to dry in the shade on something like a slatted table or chair. Even after a sunset surf, will be 98% dry for the early (in northern NSW).
Especially if you don't spin dry your wettie I reckon putting it on a hanger will stretch the neck and shoulders.
Funny floyd, now that i think about it of course there are care instructions, but ofcourse like everything else like that ill take a glance before nonchalantly tossing instructions in bin only to wonder why things dont work out like they should haha.
Northcore Hookup Magnetic Wetsuit Hangar - Brilliant simple idea.
Rinse every time, shade dry & store are all a must but a rubber matt in the back of the car is the final key.
Lay it on the ground so you don't trample the poor thing into the gravel carpark.
This stops the internal lining getting trashed & full of sand/dirt/oil etc. Also take it easy on the suit when getting in & out as the constant ripping & stretching of the seams can't be good for longevity.
The matt then doubles as protection from sea water for the back of the wagon. Sweet.
Wrap/seal up the velcro of ya leggies/booties too so they doesn't stick all over the lining of the suit & rip it apart when you tear them off.
I rarely rinse my wetties and only wash them when they stink. I put them in our front loader on gentle and use about a teaspoon of a 50/50 shampoo and conditioner mix then drip dry them in the shade.
Wetsuits are for beginners.
The Fire makes a good point. If you can't feel the surf how can you be surfing?
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Lucky you Nick!... I did ask how does this A-List wetsuit timetravel?
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Get a grip of yourself Nick!... Your wettie is consuming you.
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If anyone has 5 minutes to answer my wetsuit care survey for my product design major project, it would be hugely appreciated! Thanks
Thanks very much guys!
Done, albeit belatedly.
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Yep and done also