How to Clean a Neoprene Wetsuit

Updated February 21, 2017

For divers, kayakers and surfers, keeping warm in the water is a major concern. A wetsuit can offer protection against the frigid water temperatures they encounter. Many wetsuits are made from neoprene, a synthetic rubber known for its insulating properties. Neoprene wetsuits are durable, but accumulated salt, sand, urine and other materials will decrease their longevity. Routinely giving your neoprene wetsuit a proper cleaning will help extend its usefulness.

Rinse your wetsuit with fresh water after use to remove impurities. If your wetsuit is not heavily soiled, a good rinsing is all you need to do.

Fill a tub with warm water. Add a wetsuit shampoo, mild detergent or 1 tsp of baking soda. Soak your wetsuit in the solution, scrubbing the zipper and other hard-to-clean areas with a toothbrush. Drain the tub and rinse the cleaning agent from the suit.

Lay the wetsuit flat to dry, away from direct sources of heat and sunlight. Flip over the wetsuit midway through the drying process to allow the other side to dry thoroughly. You can also dry your wetsuit on a thick hanger.


Never use saltwater to clean a wetsuit. Do not machine wash or dry.

Things You'll Need

  • Fresh water
  • Wetsuit shampoo, mild detergent or baking soda
  • Toothbrush
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About the Author

Sophie Levant is a freelance writer based in Michigan. Having attended Michigan State University, her interests include history classical music, travel, and the German language. Her work has been published at eHow and Travels.