One of the worst things about owning a wetsuit is the smell of a damp one. Wetsuits are a great way of keeping warm weather you're dinghy sailing, kayaking or diving. But with use, bacteria from sweat, urine and the sea itself can build up leaving your wetsuit with an unpleasant odor. Leaving your wetsuit in a kit bag, bin or any other kind of closed storage can really make your suit smelly.
Preventing this can seem like a never ending challenge. We have a couple of tips on how to keep your wetsuits smelling clean.
Rinse your suit.
Prevention is better then cure and by far the easiest way to prevent toxic substances sticking to your suit is to give it a good rinse with fresh water after every use. And we really mean EVERY USE!
With a garden hose or hanging up in the shower, give the suit a proper wash down. Once finished, turn the suit inside out and go again. Remember to get into the zip. Salt water, unsurprisingly, contains salt. This can get lodged in the teeth and toggle of your zips. Over time it can clog the zip so much that you'll no longer be able to close your suit.
Sometimes a rinse won't be enough or your suit may have been in storage for a while. If this is the case you can look at a neoprene cleaner or wetsuit shampoo to wash your wetsuit. Some of these you can put in your washing machine but we would recommend hand washing.
The glue used on the seems of wetsuits can be sensitive to heat so a drying machine is an absolute no go. Always let the wetsuit air dry.
If you have to use a washing machine never use a bio detergent, always select low heat and non spin cycle. The washing instructions on your wetsuit should always be followed.
Still can't rid of that smell?
What have you done to your poor wetsuit? Fear not, we you can still bring your suit back from the brink with an odor eliminator. Just like the wetsuit shampoo we don't recommend a washing machine when treating your wetsuit. Let it soak in a large bucket, sink or bath. Alternatively, you can try filling a tub or bucket with water and adding a cap full of something like Febreze or Dettol. Rinse the suit after and allow to air dry before repeating if necessary. Definitely try cleaning the suit in the manner above before trying this solution.