How to wash a wetsuit?

If you like to take care of your wetsuit then it is wise to wash it after every use. This will also help you keep those bad wetsuit smells away. So how do you wash a wetsuit? First – don’t use any chemicals, soaps, detergents, bleaches and things like that. For regular everyday washing after you come out of the water just fresh water is enough. Once in a while like every few months you can wash your wetsuit with a special soap for washing wetsuits or if you can’t find one – you can use baby shampoo. These two are mild enough to be used on neoprene. Other soaps and detergents are to strong and aggressive for washing wetsuits and will ruin the neoprene.

When you come out of the water you can:

  1. Keep your wetsuit on and just take a shower and rinse it while you are in the shower. This is the fastest and easiest way.
  2. You can hang it outside somewhere and hose it with fresh water or
  3. you can put it in your tub (or some plastic water container…) filled with water. Leave the wetsuit to soak for an hour or so, so all the salts will dissolve and will be washed away from your wetsuit. Then rinse it with fresh water and hang it to dry. This method is the best, but it takes the longest so if you use your wetsuit every day you can do this once a week.

These are the most common ways to wash your wetsuit. Things you can’t do include washing machines, strong detergents, bleach etc… you could also possibly use dry cleaning but we never tried it so better ask your dry cleaner before you do it.

Also check out how to dry a wetsuit.


  1. Use ice to make the tar cold and brittle. You can remove some of it this way.

    “detergents are to strong and aggressive for washing wetsuits and will ruin the neoprene.”

  2. how can i get tar off my wetsuit? is it ok to use detergent on it? any ideas?

    Olive oil or peanut butter…. works like a charm.

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