The debate of whether or not a wetsuit should be washed in a washing machine continues. Generally, wetsuits should be washed delicately – ideally by hand wash. And should never be tossed in the washing machine.
But, what if it becomes absolutely necessary? Is it possible? Yes. It is possible but is hardly recommended. If you ask other wetsuit owners, they might advise you to do so at your own risk. We’ve prepared for you the steps you need to make in how to wash a wetsuit in a washing machine.
- Washing machine and wetsuits
- How long does neoprene take to dry
Table of Contents
Washing Machine and Wetsuits
As much as possible, you must avoid using washing machines for washing your wetsuits. Neoprene is quite sensitive to heat, and washing machines use heat as part of the cleaning process. Heat causes neoprene to lose a lot of its flexibility.
Moreover, the constant tumbling from the tub and the dryer can affect the seams. The last thing you want to happen in your wetsuits is damaged seams that may cause a leak when you are in the water. The warmth expected from it wouldn’t be as promising as it was.
How to Wash a Wetsuit in a Washing Machine
Understandably, some circumstances may push us to put our wetsuits in the washing machine. In such cases, here are a few simple steps to follow.
Step 1. Do not use detergent.
The first step is the same as the first step you would in washing your garments – putting them in the tub. The difference is that you won’t put any detergents on it. Detergents are far too strong and may damage or decrease the quality of your neoprene. It leaves a long-lasting effect on your wetsuit, such as becoming brittle and going too loose. Instead, you can replace detergents with a cup of wetsuit wash.
Step 2. Do not use hot water
Stay away from hot water. Use only lukewarm water or set your washing machine to the lowest possible temperature.
Step 3. Avoid the intense wash cycles
Aside from avoiding hot water, it would be best if you tried to keep it at the most delicate wash cycle. It would be a big mistake to put the wetsuit in the washing machine in its highest wash cycle as it will seriously hamper the wetsuit and could get the seams fully damaged.
In addition, you must not add your wetsuit with other clothes as they could damage the wetsuit when the machine runs.
Step 4. Do not use the drier
Creases on the wetsuit highly affect how the neoprene holds heat. Wetsuits get creased while in the drier. So, do not use the drier. Instead, after washing, hang it up on a wide hanger and let it dry under a shade.
How Long Does Neoprene Take to Dry
Drying a wetsuit after cleaning takes two stages. Again, squeezing or any process that will leave creases in the neoprene is a no-no. The same goes with heating, so don’t squeeze and don’t put under direct heat.
Hang it to dry, so the outside of the suit dries. Once you notice that it doesn’t drip any excess water, turn it inside out to let the other side of the wetsuit dry. Drying both sides is critical. If one side doesn’t dry properly, the moisture within will destroy the suit over time.
Feel the side being dried every once in a while. If the side exposed to air feels dry, turn it inside out to dry the other side. Do this repeatedly until it feels completely dry.
Washing a wetsuit is a tedious task that it is almost always tempting to turn to a washing machine for help. But, as much as you can – do not. If you want your wetsuit to last longer, wash it safely by hand. And, make sure to dry it out completely.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: How do you remove stains from neoprene?
A: You can hand-wash your wetsuit as you would delicate clothing. Gently squeeze out dirty water, then allow it to soak a bit longer. If the neoprene is especially dirty with grime, you can soak it in cool water with mild detergent. But, do not scrub. Simply allow it to soak for a bit.
- What to Do With Old Wetsuits
- What To Wear Under A Wetsuit
- Wetsuit Water Temperature Guide
- Best Wetsuit Cleaners
- O’Neill Wetsuits Review
G’day, my name is Rach Taylor and I’m the proud Founder of Surf Hungry. I am a former Australian Olympic athlete and Australian representative surf sports athlete. I’ve worked in the surf industry and lived at many of Australia’s best surf spots, sparking a life-long love of the ocean and a passion for surf sports which also rubbed off on my two young sons! I am also lucky to spend a lot of ocean-time in my favorite second home, Indonesia. In addition to SurfHungry I have founded several other websites in my areas of passion, namely coffee and rock climbing, and am also a regular rowing content contributor.