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How To Get Rid Of Wetsuit Smell

   April 7th, 2024   Posted In: Articles, How-To  

Wetsuits remain an indispensable gear for water enthusiasts, including seasoned surfers, passionate divers, and dedicated swimmers. A wetsuit keeps you warm in water, protects your skin, and helps you to float more easily. However, due to the main element of wetsuits, neoprene – a synthetic rubber, the gear often develops an offensive odor that can be rather pungent.

Furthermore, a wetsuit smell can affect your overall diving, swimming, or surfing experience, as well as those around you. Thankfully, it is possible to get rid of the wetsuit smell with proper wetsuit cleaning and some simple steps. In this article, we’ll explore what causes wetsuit smell and provide practical tips to eliminate this pungent odor completely.

What Causes a Wetsuit to Smell?

As mentioned earlier, wetsuits are made of neoprene rubber, which can absorb odors from exposure to the ocean, pool chemicals, sunscreen residue, body oils, and more. The suit’s design also creates a warm, damp environment for bacteria growth when not properly rinsed and dried.

Wetsuit smell can be described as a pronounced odor that occurs due to bacteria and fungi thriving in the damp, dark environment of your wetsuit. These microorganisms feed on dead skin cells, sweat, and other organic matter trapped inside the neoprene fabric. Over time, this may cause an unpleasant odor that can give your wetsuit a terrible smell or make it less enjoyable to wear.

7 Tips to Get Rid Of Wetsuit Smells

Here are some easy and helpful tips on how to prevent or stop your wetsuit from smelling:

  1. Rinse your wetsuit immediately after use. As soon as you’re out of the water, rinse both the outside and inside of the wetsuit thoroughly with fresh water. This removes salt, chlorine, sunscreen oils and other odor-causing gunk while it’s still fresh. Pay extra attention to areas, such as the armpits, crotch, and neck. These are areas where sweat tends to accumulate. Also, do not rinse your wetsuit with hot water to avoid damaging the neoprene fabric.
  2. Use a Wetsuit Shampoo or Odor Remover. Invest in shampoos or cleaners that are specifically designed for cleaning wetsuits. These commercial wetsuit cleansers can kill odor-causing bacteria and remove unpleasant smells from your wetsuit. Look for ones with natural antimicrobial ingredients. Also, ensure that you follow the usage instructions on the product label for optimal results.
  3. Soak your wetsuit in a vinegar solution. What’s more, you can remove the unpleasant wetsuit smell by soaking the gear in a vinegar solution. The mild acetic acid in vinegar makes it effective at neutralizing odors. Prepare a large container with water and white vinegar. Mix one part white vinegar with four parts water in the container. Soak the wetsuit for about 30 minutes before rinsing. Once done, rinse the wetsuit thoroughly with fresh water. The vinegar helps neutralize odors and keeps your wetsuit smelling fresh.
  4. Make a baking soda paste. Baking soda is a powerhouse for absorbing and eliminating odors in clothing materials. Make a spreadable paste by mixing baking soda and a small amount of water. Apply this paste to the inner lining of your wetsuit while focusing on odor-prone areas. Let it sit for about one hour. This allows the baking soda paste to absorb all the unpleasant smells. Afterwards, rinse thoroughly with fresh water.
  5. Hang your wetsuit properly to dry. After cleaning, hang your wetsuit inside-out in a well-ventilated area, on a plastic hanger, or clothesline that’s out of direct sunlight. Direct sunlight and UV rays can weaken the neoprene fabric over time. You can also use a wide hanger to maintain its shape.
  6. Apply odor eliminators. When dealing with stubborn, deep-set wetsuit smells, consider using an enzyme-based odor remover. These specialized products are designed to break down organic residues and neutralize odors effectively. Spray the enzyme-based odor remover directly onto the inside of your wetsuit, focusing on areas with the strongest smell. Allow it to soak for a while, then rinse thoroughly with fresh water.
  7. Consider ozone treatment. Finally, in extreme cases where getting rid of the wetsuit smell seems challenging, a powerful solution to consider is the ozone treatment. This method involves using an ozone treatment machine to flood your wetsuit with ozone gas. This effectively eliminates the unpleasant odors on a molecular level. You can reach out to your local dive shop to see whether they offer this service.

Stop Wetsuit Smells in its Tracks

Wetsuit smell can be very offensive and can make your diving, swimming, or surfing experience unpleasant. Thankfully, with regular cleaning and proper drying, you can drastically remove odor and extend your wetsuit’s lifespan. Also, by following the insightful how to get rid of wetsuit smell tips mentioned above, you can keep your wetsuit smelling fresh, extend its overall durability, and make every surf session, dive, or swim very enjoyable.

Quadri Abdur is an enthusiastic writer who creates well-researched, SEO articles and website content for websites, blogs, and social media. His other interests include watching football, rom-com & high school drama TV shows, playing games, and researching new technologies.

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