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How to Clean Neoprene

Neoprene is a synthetic rubber substance that is water resistant and stretchable. Its buoyancy makes it a perfect material for wetsuits that are used by deep sea divers, snorkellers, and surfers. The neoprene will need to be cleaned in order to remove any residues that have built up on the wetsuit during water activities. Cleaning is as easy as soaking and hanging the neoprene to dry.

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  1. Fill a tub or large basin with warm water and add a small amount of liquid dish soap. The water should be slightly sudsy but not overflowing with bubbles.

  2. Give the neoprene wetsuit a good shake before washing to remove any debris that may have collected on it. Sand, loose dirt and ocean plant life can all be found on the outside of a wetsuit now and then, so it is a good idea to rid the neoprene of these items before laying it in the tub.

  3. Lay the neoprene wetsuit in the soaking tub for approximately 30 minutes. Swish the wetsuit around in the water to remove any residue that has accumulated on the surface of the neoprene.

  4. Scrub the neoprene with a soft scrub brush. A gentle scrubbing will help to loosen any dirt stains that have become embedded in the neoprene. The soap from the soaking tub should be sufficient to clean the stain, but more can be added to the scrub brush if necessary.

  5. Hang the neoprene wetsuit to dry. Line drying by hanging the wetsuit by the legs with plastic clothespins is ideal. Otherwise, use a hanger. The hanger should be plastic and not made of wire, which can rust and leave stains on the freshly washed neoprene.

  6. Tip

    Neoprene wetsuits can be hung outside on a clothesline and sprayed with a garden hose for quick cleanups. Adding a small amount of liquid dish soap to a scrub brush can help to remove any dirt stains that have been left on the neoprene. The neoprene that makes up the wetsuit can sometimes harbour a rubber odour that can sometimes be reduced by soaking in soap and water.


    Neoprene is part of the latex family. Those that have a latex allergy can have a negative reaction when skin comes in contact with the neoprene in the wetsuit. It is important to know whether the neoprene affects you before setting out for the day in a wetsuit.

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Things You'll Need

  • Warm water
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Tub or large basin
  • Scrub brush
  • Clothes line
  • Plastic clothes pins
  • Plastic hanger

About the Author

Jonae Fredericks started writing in 2007. She also has a background as a licensed cosmetologist and certified skin-care specialist. Jonae Fredericks is a certified paraeducator, presently working in the public education system.

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