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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