Is it OK to wash a wetsuit in a washing machine?

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Well…it’s not. If you only have one wetsuit just wash it in a tub, you’ll survive. Here are a few tips on washing and drying your wetsuit. But if have lots of wetsuits, if you run a surf school, organize rafting trips, rent wetsuits…etc then clean and not too smelly wetsuits  are more important that duration. Rental things don’t last long anyway. And you will save time. Here are a few tips for washing wetsuits in a washing machine without damaging them:

  • don’t use laundry detergents, they are too strong!
  • use the lowest temperature you can (30C/86F),
  • choose a wash cycle for delicate clothes (hand sign for simulation of hand washing),
  • turn off the spin cycle, leave the wetsuit soaking wet and dry it outside,
  • don’t use the drier (obviously).

I’ll never forget how I rented a wetsuit to a girl, a first time surfer. She returned it a few days later saying she washed it in a washing machine because she didn’t like the smell. She even used fabric softener to make it smell nicer and it was folded like a sweater :).


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