DIY Wetsuit Wash

I’m really not a fan of Winter. We’re lucky- for the most part- to have pretty temperate Winters here in Florida. However, for most of us, we will be in a Spring suit or 3/2 mm suit at some point in the Winter. For me, I hate the cold, so my wetsuit season starts up earlier than for most people, inevitably bringing out the Wetsuit Style Police to tell me “it’s not cold- get that wetsuit off.” Yeah, there’s nothing better than being a bikini clad popsicle covered in goose bumps, convulsing on the beach from hypothermia effects. Sexy.
Anywho, since wetsuit season is coming around, I figured it would be worth it to make my own DIY wetsuit wash, thinking it’s got to be cheaper than what’s in the dive shops and online.
My Mother-In-Law knows I do a lot of crafts, so she was so kind to bring me a big box of hotel shampoos and conditioners for Christmas…..”No, no, this is great, I didn’t need a new board or anything, tiny plastic bottles are even better…..” You don’t mess with the Mom In Law.
But the little bottles turned out to be useful as good portion sizes for my Wetsuit Wash, and even came with an ingredient I use.
I gathered my materials: delicate care Woolite, white vinegar, and conditioner (that I got from the bottles), a tablespoon measure, and a teaspoon measure, and a measuring cup.

Materials to make the wash

Here’s my recipe to make around 5 portions (1 portion = approximately 6 teaspoons liquid):
3 tablespoons Woolite (for general cleaning)
3 tablespoons White Vinegar (for bacteria removal)
3 teaspoons lightweight hair conditioner (to help keep seams and tape supple)
3 tablespoons Water (as a dilute)
5 empty shampoo bottles (at least capable holding 6 teaspoons of liquid or more)
Mix these thoroughly into a measuring cup with a pour spout.

Yields around 1/2 cup of wash

Pour the solution into each empty conditioner bottle, thoroughly stirring the liquid in the measuring cup prior to each bottle pour.
Next, it’s very important to label each bottle with “Wetsuit Wash”, so it doesn’t get mixed up with other stuff. I labeled mine with a simple label maker:

So, I finally ended up with around 5 bottles of wash (shake it up a bit before pouring into your bucket of water):

Finished bottles of wash

This should last me the season and more, since it’s recommended to wash your neoprene once a month. I’ll agitate the wash into approximately 5 gallons of water in a bucket. It also helps to have a softer bristle brush (like a dish brush), to get off wax and sand while washing. Don’t use the brush to scrub into the neoprene, only to remove sand, wax, or other “clingers”. Ewww.
Agitate the wetsuit in the wash and water for around 5 minutes, making sure the inside and out gets attention. You can leave it to soak, but not over 15 minutes- it’s just not effective past that.
Rinse your suit well until the water is clear, and hang it to dry on a good broad shouldered hanger, or folded over a rod at the waist (this drying method is slower).
So the next time you get bugged by the Wetsuit police, turn around, bend over, and tell them to “smell the freshness”. They’ll want to make their own wash!

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