Here are 5 easy steps to rinsing off your drysuit:
1. Rinse with fresh water – After your epic day of diving, zip your drysuit closed and make sure to thoroughly rinse the outside of your drysuit with fresh water. Make sure to focus on rinsing the zipper and valves extra well.
2. Flush Valves – Flush the inlet and exhaust valves with fresh, running water. You must treat and clean these valves like you would your regulator. If not rinsed properly, the valves can stick due to salt build up in the inlet valve and lint, dirt, or sand build up in the exhaust valve. Also, consider blowing the valves dry with compressed air after flushing them.
3. Do I Rinse the Inside of my Suit?? - Only rinse the inside of the drysuit if it became wet.
4. Latex Seals – After about 12 dives, or before long term storage, wash latex seals with mild soapy water to remove accumulated body oils that can shorten the life of your seals.
5. Drying the Suit – after completing the above steps, open the zipper and hang the suit to dry upside down by the socks/boots in a shady area. DO NOT HANG IN DIRECT SUNLIGHT! If you had to rinse the inside of the suit and it still feels moist after the outside is completely dry, turn the drysuit inside out and allow the inside to dry as well.
The zipper is the heart and soul of your drysuit and has it's own maintenance steps. Keeping your zipper properly cared for can mean the difference between the best or the coldest, wettest dive of your life. Caring for your zipper can extend the life of your drysuit for many years.
Here are 6 Ways to Maintain Your Drysuit Zipper:
1. Lubricate your zipper before every single dive. Open and close the zipper a few times after lubricating, causing friction on the zipper, which, in turn, heats the lubricant and, therefore, causes it to flow into the zipper teeth better.
2. Rinse your zipper thoroughly with fresh water after every dive.
3. Lubricate your zipper after every dive with specifically made zipper wax on the outside part of the zipper.
4. Do Not use aerosol or petroleum based lubricants on your zipper as it will adversely affect the zipper and suit materials.
5. Scrub your zipper, gently, with a soft toothbrush using mild soapy water after every 25 dives. Lubricate the zipper after this cleaning.
6. Store your drysuit with the zipper in the open position.
Now that you've properly rinsed and lubricated your drysuit all you need to do to store it properly between dives is to hang it on a large hanger, zipper open, in a cool, dry, dust free area. If, however, you are planning on taking your drysuit on a dive trip please follow these specific folding instructions instead of just shoving it into your dive bag:
1. Lay the drysuit zipper open, facing down, on a clean surface with the arms out to the side.
2. Fold the feet/boots inward toward each other.
3. Roll the feet up in an equal manner and continue rolling the suit up to the shoulders.
4. Tuck the wrist seals into the sleeves and then fold the sleeves across the entire rolled up suit, one over the other.
5. Carefully place into a large storage bag.
6. DO NOT stack anything on top of this bag.
Drysuit diving is just around the corner and you can rest easy knowing you now know a few easy steps on how to properly care for your drysuit; hopefully now the task does not seems as daunting. If you are ready for a new drysuit, or have questions on how to use and maintain it, be sure to visit us at Underseas Scuba Center. Now go out and enjoy these last days of fun summer diving!