How to Clean Scuba Gear With Salt Corrosion Oxidation

Written by mary feuer
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How to Clean Scuba Gear With Salt Corrosion Oxidation
Stay safe by keeping your scuba gear in good condition. (scuba diver entering the water image by starush from

Keeping your scuba gear clean isn't just a question of neatness: it increases the likelihood that every dive will be a successful, safe dive. That's why it's so important to learn proper gear maintenance. Good equipment care begins with rinsing after every dive, but many divers skimp on the post-dive clean-up. Left unchecked, corrosion can lead to regulator malfunctions while shortening the life of your BC. If your gear shows visible oxidisation from salt water corrosion, you'll need more than fresh water to resolve the issue.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bucket or bathtub
  • 1 gallon hot (not boiling) water
  • 1/2 cup plain vinegar
  • 1/2 cup simple green
  • Soft fingernail brush or toothbrush
  • Clean, dry towels

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  1. 1

    Fill the bucket or tub with the water, vinegar, and simple green.

  2. 2

    Place the equipment in the water. As always, take care to place the valve cap on your regulator to avoid getting water inside.

  3. 3

    Soak the corroded gear for three to four hours, or overnight if possible.

  4. 4

    Rinse your gear with cool water, using the soft brush to scrub any areas where visible corrosion remains. After soaking, you should be able to remove the green or white film left by salt water easily.

  5. 5

    Dry your equipment thoroughly before putting it into storage.

Tips and warnings

  • If the above steps fail to remove the corrosion, you may need something stronger. Visit your local dive shop and ask the operator which salt removal treatment he recommends.
  • While this method works wonders for external corrosion, corrosion can form inside the regulator as well. If you suspect your gear has been exposed to internal corrosion -- that is, water has got inside the first or second stage while the equipment was not pressurised -- take it to a qualified service centre for inspection.

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