How to look after your swimming wetsuit

By Hati Whiteley

The better you look after your wetsuit, the longer and happier a life it will lead. Here’s how to keep your wetsuit in good condition.

After your swim

  • Give it a thorough rinse inside and out with clean water - do not use hot water or any cleaning agents.

  • Hang it inside-out and allow it to dry away from direct sunlight or any heat sources (the shower is a good spot as you can let it drip dry).

  • Once the inside is dry, reverse it and hang to dry the outside.

Storing your wetsuit

  • Make sure your wetsuit is completely dry before you store it.

  • When storing your wetsuit, either hang on a rounded, wide-shouldered hangar, fold loosely and store in its mesh bag on a shelf or lay it out flat under a sofa or bed.

  • Never stack other items on top of it.

  • When transporting your wetsuit, roll it up rather than folding it. To protect the outer, some of us transport it inside out.

Cleaning your wetsuit

  • Never ever put your wetsuit in a washing machine or tumble drier.

  • After use, wash your wetsuit by rinsing it thoroughly with clean water and allow to dry completely.

Repairing your wetsuit

  • Neoprene can tear if you catch it on something (like your nails). You can repair this using a neoprene glue like Aquaprene:

  • Clean the damaged area of dirt and oils with wet wipes or a damp sponge.

  • Apply your glue to the damaged area, ensuring a nice even spread. If it’s a tear, it’s best to apply the glue inside the tear using a business card to make it neat.

  • Leaving the glue to set overnight for a good strong bond.

If feel that you’re unable to fix your wetsuit yourself, pop into a Repair Station in one of our stores or get in touch with our support team and we’ll see what we can do to help.

Keep your wetsuit away from:

  • Sunlight: neoprene is like a vampire, it doesn’t like prolonged exposure to the sun.

  • Fingernails and other sharp objects: neoprene is delicate so it’s easy to nick it with your nails when trying it on.

  • Heat: keep it out of the kitchen and away from anything else hot (irons, radiators, log burners…)

  • Surf wax: it sticks to everything, including neoprene.

  • Bleach, paint or dye.

  • Washing machine and dryer: read below for advice on cleaning your wetsuit.

  • Petroleum products: these will damage the neoprene. Use wetsuit-approved anti-chafe lotions instead.

  • Rushing: always take your time to put your wetsuit to prevent accidental damage.

Further reading

Wetsuit Fitting Guide

Our tips for getting your wetsuit on, getting the fit right, then getting it off again.

Get into Wild Swimming

Share in the joy and adventure of swimming outdoors with these tips and inspiration from our expert Alpkiteers: the whys, hows, and wheres of wild swimming...

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