How to take care of a wetsuit

10 wetsuit care tips

Nothing worse than a crusty old wetsuit full of holes. We all want our wetsuits to last long, stay fresh and remain flexible. We’ve got you covered with our basic 101 wetsuit care and maintenance tips and tricks. These steps will help you to extend the lifespan of your wetsuit.

Wetsuit durability

It all starts with a good wetsuit. At SRFACE wetsuits we focus on making durable quality products. To optimize durability, we make our wetsuits as strong as possible. But to extend the lifespan of your wetsuit, you need to take care of it. Good maintenance means less wear and tear which results in a longer wetsuit lifespan. A long lasting wetsuit means less waste going into landfills so less environmental impact.  

1. How to wash your wetsuit

Wetsuit washing instructions: Rinse your wetsuit with cold or lukewarm water. Make sure you wash both inside and outside so all sand, salt and dirt is removed. Add a bit of natural soap or SRFACE Wetsuit Wash to your bucket of water to help you keep your wetsuit fresh. Rinsing your wetsuit thoroughly on both sides will extend the longevity of your wetsuit.

2. Don’t use chemicals

Avoid using any chemicals, detergents or any other cleaning products besides natural soap or SRFACE Wetsuit Wash which is made with biodegradable natural soap.  

3. Don’t machine wash or tumble dry

To keep your wetsuit from wearing out, don’t machine wash or tumble dry your SRFACE wetsuit. It will damage the neoprene and the seams and will result in a deteriorated wetsuit quickly.

4. Don’t iron your wetsuit

We know you all want to look sharp in the water, but please don’t iron your wetsuit. The heat will damage the neoprene.

5. Don’t dry your wetsuit in direct sunlight

Don’t leave your wetsuit in the sun to dry as this will accelerate wear of the neoprene and lining. The ozone and UV rays in sunlight cause neoprene to lose stretch and become brittle over time. UV will also cause colors to fade.  The longer you leave your wetsuit in the sun, the quicker it will deteriorate.

6. Avoid chlorine

Although wave pools might become the norm, don’t use your wetsuit in chlorinated water. Chlorine will damage the neoprene and the glued seams. It also fades the print colours and lining. Avoid chlorine for a long lasting wetsuit.

7. How to store your wetsuit between sessions

After you’ve rinsed your wetsuit thoroughly, allow your wetsuit to drip dry. Hang your wetsuit inside out over a rail or on a wide shoulder hanger. Avoid a damp or mouldy pile. Don’t leave your wetsuit laying around wet or soaked in a bucket of sea water in the boot of your car.

8. How to store your wetsuit for the season

You will most likely own more than one wetsuit in different thicknesses. Perhaps a 5/4mm wetsuit for winter and a 3/2mm summer wetsuit. This means you will have to store one of them for the season while you’re using your preferred wetsuit thickness. The best thing to do for long term wetsuit storage, is to hang your wetsuit correctly, rather than folding it up in a cupboard. To avoid the neoprene creasing over time, don’t store your wetsuit inside out. If you use a hanger, make sure it’s a thick hanger with wide shoulders, so the wetsuit neoprene doesn’t overstretch in the shoulder area. Avoid thin metal wire hangers as these will damage the neoprene foam. You can also use pants hanger, a hanger with a horizontal rod, that allows you to fold your wetsuit in half over the waistline. This will prevent the wetsuit from stretching out the shoulders over time. When you store your wetsuit, make sure it is completely dry on both inside and outside to avoid mold or bad smell.

9. Can I pee in my wetsuit?

The easiest way to stay warm during a long winter surf… right? It’s not advisable to pee in your wetsuit, but let’s face it, it’s hard not to when you are out there in 5℃ when it’s offshore and barreling. Is it good for your wetsuit? No. But is it really bad? No, as long as you rinse your wetsuit after each session there should be little harm in taking a leak when you need to.

10. Avoid velcro

Velcro damages your wetsuit lining by tearing the fibers. Try to avoid storing your leash in the same bag with your wetsuit. Some boots also have velcro straps attached to them, and every SRFACE wetsuits comes with two velcro leg straps. Contact with velcro doesn’t ruin your wetsuit straight away but will slowly deteriorate the lining.