Cleaning Wetsuits for a Group

I will be cleaning 15 wetsuits twice a week during the white water season. The suits will be used for kayaking and must be turned around in 2 days. What cleaning solutions are used and how are the suits dryed?

When diving…
We used to use a fresh water dip tank with mild cleanser and maybe a little Lysol then hang up to dry. Probably just hosing them off would be OK.

Not a big deal.

NRS sells a good product
NRS sells a good wetsuit cleaning solution by the gallon. You don’t need very much. You could get a large Garbage can, fill with clean water, soak the suits in the cleaning solution in the garbage can and then spray off with a hose. Wet suits need to dry hanging up and well separated on a thick hangar or PVC pipe dryer, preferably not in direct sun which will shorten their effective life. If you live in a humid climate or a cold climate it can take 2 days to dry off.

A friend of mine made a drying rack out of PVC pipe for multiple wet suits.

I’ve seen several raft and tube outfitters set up with a series of barrels. As suits get returned they get dipped and sloshed in each barrel in turn.

I imagine that they are a bleach or other disinfectant solution, low-suds detergent, and a few rinse steps.

Your local health department may have some recommendations or requirements.

McNett makes a product called Mirazyme that will get the odor and funk out of almost anything. It took the smell of a dead mouse out of a ski boot liner of mine, so I’m guessing that it’ll work fine for wetsuit. I don’t know the largest qty they sell in, but it doesn’t take much…couple cap fulls to a 5 gallon bucket of water worked well as a dip.

It will oxidatively cross link the neoprene and ruin the wetsuits.

on dive trips
we put a bottle of “Sink-the-Stink” in the rinse tank, everyone gives their neoprene a rinse, then hangs to dry and it keeps them smelling fresh. I believe it’s one of the enzyme products and is available at dive shops. I’m not sure if it comes in larger economy size but worth looking for.

wash neoprene in chlorinated water… it does not like chlorine. Use the solution from NRS … I wash mine in the washing machine on the gentle cycle. Seems to work fine my wet suits have responded well.