There is absolutely no reason why a good quality drysuit should not last for many years as long as you take care off it before and after every dive. Looking after your drysuit shouldn't take long or require any expertise, just a bit of care and attention to preparation, cleaning and simple maintenance. This blog will run through some tips, do's and don'ts of drysuit care that will help extend the life of your suit.
After a day of diving it can be very easy to get changed, travel home and forget about your kit until another day. This doesn't do your suit much good, especially if you were diving in salt water. Take a few minutes to follow these instructions:
- Rinse your suit with clean fresh water, both inside and out to remove contaminants
- Ensure sand/grit and dirt is washed out of the zip
- Give latex seals a good wash to remove contaminants such as sun lotion, body oils, perfumes and pollutants which can quickly damage them.
- Hang your drysuit out to dry in a well vented area, preferably upside down to allow draining. A drysuit hanger is perfect for this job.
- Make sure the suit is completely dry before preparing for storage.
A little preparation before putting your suit back into storage can really help keep it in good condition and performing well:
- Lubricate your suit zip with bees wax or other product such as McNett Zip Tech that has been specially designed for the job. Using a oil based lubricant will only help attract foreign particles to the zip.
- Lightly talc latex seals to help prevent perishing, the seals degrading and sticking together. Be sure to use an unscented and avoid baby powders as these can contain petroleum which can damage the seals. McNett Protalc is perfect for the job
- If you are unable to store the suit hung up then store it with the zip undone and avoid excessive folding of the zip to prevent snapping.
- Before getting in your suit be sure to re-check your zip for anything that might affect its integrity
- Use talc to dust latex seals to make it easier to get the seals on and more comfortable to wear
- Check the operation of the inflator and dumps to make sure they are in full working order.
Here are some simple Do's and Don'ts to bear in mind:
- Use clean (ideally warm) fresh water for cleaning
- Store the suit with the zip open
- Dry in well ventilated areas. If drying or storing in a garage be aware of paint and other chemical fumes that can damage latex seals.
- Clean your drysuit in a washing machine – as you can imagine it doesn't do it much good
- Clean your suit with any solvents or cleaning products that aren't produced for the purpose
- Store in direct sunlight. UV will break down latex seals
- Fold the zip. Keeping the zip flat will reduce the chance of the zip cracking
- Force the zip. If it gets stuck, pull it back, clean out the teeth, lubricate and try again.
Got a tip or trick for maintaining your drysuit that we haven't listed? Help out your fellow divers by leaving a comment.