First let us explain in our Discovery channel knowledge why does a wetsuit stink in the first place? Wetsuit smell is the result of a normal sweat and body oils and odors that our bodies produce. These get stuck on the neoprene and become a breeding ground for the bacteria. Bacteria is the source of the bad smell in our wetsuit. Another thing is leaving your wet wetsuit in a plastic bag for a while. This is a whole other level of wetsuit smell :). If you are persistent enough you can even grow mold on it. And then there is pee. Peeing in your wetsuit will also make it smell worse.
Before It Starts to Stink
Rinse your wetsuit with fresh water after every use and right after every use then hang it out to dry.
Don’t pee in it.
If the Smell Is Already There
There are special soaps and shampoos for washing wetsuits and they will help you eliminate the smell. They are pretty mild so they don’t damage the neoprene but on the other hand you ca not expect your wetsuit to smell like a rose garden after one shampoo use.
There are few different brands (for instance PISS OFF, a pretty descriptive name), I guess they all work about the same. Normally you need to mix the soap solution with lots of water and then soak your wetsuit in it and leave it there for about 10 to 20 minutes and then NOT rinse it.
We also found another homemade recipe for washing smelly wetsuits. It goes like this:
1. Fil the tub with fresh warm (not hot) water.
2. Add a couple caps of dish washing detergent.
3. Wash your wetsuit in it and the detergent will break down the body oils and wash away the bacteria that leads to smelliness.
4. Rinse your wetsuit in fresh water so you get all the detergent off, then dry your wetsuit in the fresh air.
5. Try to repeat this every few weeks and your wetsuit will be odor free.